Ferraro Steps Down From Clinton Campaign

"It's disappointing that Clinton supporters have sought to somehow diminish Sen. Obama's candidacy and his support by suggesting he's in some way being given preferential treatment because of his race," Schakowsky said. "Any and all remarks that diminish Sen. Obama's candidacy because of his race are completely out of line."

Schakowsky urged Clinton to call on all of her advisers and supporters to change the tone of the campaign.

Obama campaign manager David Axelrod added the comment was "part of an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed" within the Clinton campaign, pointing to Clinton's remark on "60 Minutes" that rumors of Obama being a Muslim aren't true, "as far as I know," she said.

"When you wink and nod at offensive statements, you're really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes," Axelrod said, arguing that Clinton is seen as a "divisive and polarizing force."

The Obama campaign pounced Tuesday afternoon on Clinton's mild statement about Ferraro's remark, referring to language Clinton used when she urged Obama to denounce and reject anti-Semitic comments by Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan.

"With Sen. Clinton's refusal to denounce or reject Ms. Ferraro, she has once again proven that her campaign gets to live by its own rules and its own double standard, and will only decry offensive comments when it's politically advantageous to Sen. Clinton," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.

"Her refusal to take responsibility for her own supporter's remarks is exactly the kind of tactic that feeds the American people's cynicism about politics today, and it's why Barack Obama's message of change has resonated so strongly in every corner of the country," Burton said.

Ferraro is currently a lobbyist in New York with Blank Rome Government Relations.

Campaign Surrogates Go Off-Message

It's not the first time a Democratic surrogate has made controversial remarks.

Obama's senior economic adviser Austan Goolsbee told Canadian diplomats the candidate's anti-NAFTA rhetoric should be interpreted as political positioning and not an articulation of policy, according to a Canadian government memo.

Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice was part of a mini firestorm last week when she appeared to go off-message and said that neither Obama nor Clinton is ready to answer the proverbial 3 a.m. phone call in the White House.

"Clinton hasn't had to answer the phone at three o'clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They're both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call," Rice told MSNBC last week.

At the time, the Clinton campaign e-mailed a YouTube video of the interview to reporters.

Earlier in the campaign, Bill Shaheen, a Clinton campaign co-chairman in New Hampshire, stepped aside after making remarks about Obama's past drug use. The Clinton campaign also fired Iowa staffers who forwarded e-mails with false rumors that Obama is a Muslim.

Ferraro's comments appeared to highlight her frustration with Obama's campaign. The Illinois senator is leading Clinton in popular support and pledged delegates, according to ABC News' delegate scorecard.

In the interview with the newspaper, Ferraro also rejected the notion that Obama will bring together Republicans and Democrats.

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