October 10th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain camp charges Obama ties to ACORN

The RNC launched a new Web site Friday about Sen. Obama's relationship with ACORN on the same day that the McCain campaign also sought to highlight the same issue.

The RNC launched a new Web site Friday about Sen. Obama's relationship with ACORN on the same day that the McCain campaign also sought to highlight the same issue.

(CNN) - John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis and Missouri Governor Matt Blunt accused Barack Obama of ties to ACORN, the embattled community group facing allegations of voter registration violations in several battleground states.

Governor Blunt talked about the community organization’s voting law violations in Missouri and Davis said he hoped that the press would examine ACORN’s activities “so that none of those battleground states are stolen from the campaign in this election.”

This week ACORN and Project Vote announced that their voter registration drive had been the most succeful in history with more than 1.3 million voters registered in 21 states.

As they have done with recent attempts to link Obama to Bill Ayers, the McCain campaign tried to raise questions over whether the Illinois senator was being truthful about his past association with ACORN.

Listen: Davis, Blunt on Obama, ACORN

The Missouri governor said Obama’s ties to ACORN went a long way back, to a period “before he launched his political career in the land of Bill Ayers,” and cited that in 1993 Obama acted as their lawyer on a case and ran a 1992 ran a voter registration drive and taught classes with them in the early 1990s.

When a reporter asked point-blank if the campaign was charging the Obama camp of conspiring with ACORN, Campaign manager Rick Davis said that the Democrat had given $832,000 to a front group for ACORN, and said the McCain campaign was just trying to get questions answered about his association with the group.

Asked whether McCain would address the issue in his debate with Obama, Davis demurred, saying that he hoped the media would ask the Democrat before the debate.

And asked about the angry crowds at recent events that had shouted out things like “terrorist” and “off with his head” at recent rallies, Davis said that he didn’t know who those people were, and if they were there as supporters or to disrupt the rallies.

He said while people are “incredibly frustrated” that he is “very confident that it has nothing to do with what the candidates are saying on the stump” because their red-meat rhetoric pales in comparison with Obama and Biden. Davis alleged that there were similar incident at Obama rallies but that they didn’t get the same attention that the McCain disruptions did.

The McCain campaign and the RNC also looked to emphasize Obama’s links to ACORN by releasing a web video and launching a Web site that highlights those alleged ties, and provides information about the group’s activities in a number of states likely to be battlegrounds in November.

As it has with the McCain-Palin’s effort to highlight Obama’s ties to William Ayers, the Obama campaign accused the McCain campaign of trying to distract attention away from the many issues the country is facing less than a month before Election Day.

“Today’s conference call was another effort by the McCain campaign to throw out false charges to ‘turn the page’ from the issues that matter to American families,” said Obama-Biden campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor. “Barack Obama strongly condemns voter registration fraud or any other breach of election law by any party or group. The McCain campaign’s allegations about Sen. Obama are completely transparent and false. He believes that the registration of voters at record levels is good for our democracy, and the McCain-Palin campaign’s false claims are nothing more than another dishonorable, shameful attempt to divert voters’ attention from the unprecedented challenges facing their families and our nation,” Vietor added.

Six Republicans in the House of Representatives who were all previously Secretaries of State asked Attorney General Mukasey Friday to begin an investigation into whether ACORN is engaging in voter fraud, echoing a similar request from McCain Thursday on the campaign trail. A number of congressional Republicans also urged Thursday that any federal funding to ACORN be immediately cut off.

ACORN's Las Vegas office was raided by Nevada state officials last week. CNN also recently reported about questionable voter registration applications submitted as a result of ACORN’s registration efforts in Lake County, Indiana.

Related: ACORN responds to McCain Web video

Filed under: ACORN • Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Voter Problems
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. NoMccain

    Mccain is desperate, and grasping at straws.

    Give it up John... you lost.

    October 10, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Jay

    Oh my God McCain.....
    You're a freaking LOSER!!!

    October 10, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Paul, Tampa

    Whatever old man. Have you noticed how bad the economy is lately? Perhaps you should focus on something relevant or get out of the game!

    October 10, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. Why Palin for godsake!

    How about Rick Davis starts by telling us the truth about the bank checks he has been getting from Frannie Mae?

    The American people want to know.

    October 10, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  5. Tracey

    If only Obama has ties, so does McCain.

    October 10, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. OS

    Would not the GOP President and VP candidates be held responsible for their supporters making satements of killing Obama??


    October 10, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Jeff, Texas

    Yet again, more lies from McCain!! He is PATHETIC.... Willing to do and say anything to get his chance in the whitehouse before he dies!

    It is because of him and george bush that i am ashamed to be a registered republican!

    October 10, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. We've Seen And Heard Enough

    It's beyond silly season, we're into mean season. McCain knows he's losing so he's throwing everything and the kitchen sink.

    It won't matter, America has seen enough and we know who to vote for in order to preserve and defend this great country.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Jan


    Help us if we have to go through a re-count after 8 years of Bush
    as a result of another Florida recount.

    October 10, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. canuck

    just more angry rebubs who want to endanger Obama's life. stop them, stop them!!

    October 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. JayT.

    McCain better worry about his VP and her own little scandal brewing up in Alaska.

    October 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Bulldog

    McCain, Palin, and their supporters are getting downright nasty now. While Obama may be above the frey people like me will punch right back. You wanna play nasty we can play right back at ya. Consider this a warning.

    October 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Columbus Sailed The Ocean Blue

    Columbus sailed the ocean blue
    I hear he'd vote for Obama too

    Columbus Day is going to be meaningful to me because I never thought I'd have an opportunity to really work on Barack's campaign. I will be working through this holiday to elect the next POTUS, Barack Obama.

    O/B 08

    Goodbye George, Dick, Karl, Condi, John, Sarah, Laura, Cindy–don't let the door hit you.

    October 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  14. McCain's RAGE

    Voter after voter is counseling McCain at his rally in MN. I believe McCain see's that the voters are spending their time telling him what to do at the next debate. This tells me that the voters have no confidence in McCain to debate, let alone run the US.

    October 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  15. Don

    Acorn, I did not see, Ayers I did not hear, Rezak I did not talk....Iraqi officials asking not to withdraw– I did not mean........
    If one does not come fully clean, one is open to attacks!

    October 10, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. Mike

    Vote for hate, division and a non-existent economic policy (oh, yeah, we're just suffering a "mental" recession and the fundamentals are just fine) or send a clear vote that "Yes, we can!"

    October 10, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. Mark

    Martina, CNN did not "recently [report] about questionable voter registration applications submitted as a result of ACORN’s registration efforts in Lake County, Indiana". I specifically remember the CNN reporter saying "It is clearly fraud Anderson". Again, please stop showing your Obama persuasion and DO YOUR JOB, REPORT UNBIASED NEWS. I don't understand what is so hard about that.

    October 10, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. Listen Up...

    Anything but the issues. IF McCain were to actually dredge up a real concern about Obama, that message would be lost in the many attempts to snow the voters.

    October 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Lesley

    I think ACORN should be investigated. Obama is not running ACORN and it's false to accuse him of being involved in voter registration fraud. The McCain campaign isn't doing enough in the area of voter registration for themselves and that is another reason they are behind in the polls. The Repubs are saying nothing about the debacle of the 2000 campaign and how George Bush won his first election. I guess their fraud is acceptable. McCain just can't believe he is getting farther behind in the polls. He thinks he is entitled to win the election. The truth is that voters just don't want him in office and he can't handle the truth.

    October 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. Amy, NY

    Sarah Palin is starting to take the gloves off-–over 100,000 people are coming out to hear her in Virginia on Monday--

    These voters are serious and they just won't have a left wing Commie like Obama in the White House--

    The stock market collapsed on fears Obama might win and that then his spend and tax schemes would bring down our economy-

    If you want to see your 401 K come back, don't vote Obama/Biden-

    October 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. Chris from STL

    ACORN does the 'voter registration' but it is the responsibility of the election official to verify the validity of registration? So, what is all the fuzz about. If fake documents were discovered, it indicates that the election officials are doing the job ....

    October 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. LOL, It's The Economy, Stupid

    Please the Rethugs are talking about voter fraud? We ALL remember Florida 2000, and we will never forget.

    Save the drama for your momma, I'm voting for Obama.


    October 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Obama and the living dead

    In Lake County Indiana which borders Chicago, ACORN has tried to register between 2100 and 5000 people with falsified documents. Both Democrat and Republican managers at registration headquarters have recognized the fraud scheme. Many of the names submitted were those of dead people.

    October 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. James

    Has there ever been a dirtier campaign...EVER?

    Even Bush's campaigns weren't as bad as this...truly unbelievable. If McCains' pathetic attacks work, and he's elected because of them, you can bet there will be many riots/protests across the country.

    October 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. bob in L.A.

    "My opponenet is an unpatriotic, lying, radical with quesitonable morals."
    "Me?- I just don't have anything to help the country so I'll him names instead. That's how we Republicans roll!"
    John McCain/ Sarah Palin.

    Not a real quote- who cares, they don't understand facts anyway!

    October 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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