Ferraro furor bangs back and forth

PA Primary team reports: The explosion from Geraldine Ferraro's gift of political ammunition to Barack Obama is now in its second day.

We refer, of course, to her comment that Obama only got where he was because he is black. Today, Obama assailed it as “slice and dice” politics as the argument continued on network and cable news shows, Associated Press reported.

Later, at a news conference in Chicago , Obama said he did not think Ferraro’s comments were racist.

“Part of what I think Geraldine Ferraro is doing, and I respect the fact that she was a trailblazer, is to participate in the kind of slice and dice politics that’s about race and about gender and about this and that, and that’s what Americans are tired of because they recognize that when we divide ourselves in that way we can’t solve problems,” Obama said on NBC’s “Today” show.

“I think that her comments were ridiculous. I think they were wrong-headed,” he said. “The notion that it is a great advantage to me to be an African American named Barack Obama and pursue the presidency, I think, is not a view that has been commonly shared by the general public.”

Ferraro, who was Walter Mondale’s vice presidential running mate, said Wednesday that her remarks were not racist and had been taken out of context. She accused Obama’s campaign of twisting her remarks to undercut his rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.