October 10th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
6 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. cornelia, minneapolis

    I can't believe McCain. He has nothing to say about his policies. EVERYTHING IS ABOUT OBAMA... What a lame old man, on his last chance to get public attention...

    October 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. Mountain man

    They are grasping at straws and are going to end up with the short one this time around. Noboby but the ignorant ones seem to be listening. This is our future not a "prize" to be won like McCain stated.

    October 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. S. Boatman

    Mccain And His Campaign Are In Ruins! He Has No Solutions To Any Of The Problems Americans Are Facing! Im Doing Everything I Can To Make Sure Mccain Is Not The President! I Volunteer, I Donate, And Most Importantly I Will Vote For Obama!

    October 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. Shirley

    This ACORN thing is just another smokescreen. I wouldn't be surprised if they discover that some McCain supporter group submitted all those fake voter registration forms.

    October 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. voter

    I guess the McCain camp already missed the memo that said Obama had no connections with ACORN. If you want to talk about voter fraud, talk about how the republicans supressed the vote in 2000 and 2004.

    October 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. ohio

    lies lies lies lies lies lies lies lies

    October 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. I have a brain

    Wow...pretty soon McCain is gonna run out of crap to fling! Oh wait, he's got Palin, another political monkey. NO MORE C STUDENTS

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. hometowndemocrat

    The repugnants get the name OSAMA put on a ballat and then have the nerve to turn around and accuse OBAMA of dirty politics...........

    I've never been in agreement with the republican party but at least I used to respect them. McCain/Bush have brought down the republican party............they will never be again what the once were.

    As for Palin, she doesn't even deserve a comment. I'm looking very forward to Nov 5th when she goes home with her tail between her legs and we never hear from her again!!! Oh, happy day!

    October 10, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. Bigbubba

    McCain's campaign tactics are bringing forth the rabid and the psychotic in his followers. His rallys are becoming more and more like Klan rallys. People who should know better feel encouraged to fill the air with hatred. This is exactly the kind of crowd McCain is aiming at.
    The people who yell "Terrorist" and "kill him" are just the people John McCain represents. Liberals believe that all viewpoints have a place in a democratic society. The ultra conservatives believe that anyone who does not believe what the far right says should be jailed, deported or not allowed to ever speak.
    McCain should apologize to Obama personally and to the American public for the conduct of his followers. They are a disgrace to the nation and to the people who have died in defense on their right to speak.

    October 10, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. maurice

    he said she said. both of them are lieing crooks the way i see it. im not voting for obama or mcain now. yup i can flip-flop too. and im also voting against all the incumbents.. lets get ready for a real change not some scripted polititian.

    October 10, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. Joey

    Obama worked for the law firm that represented ACORN. The Republicans are again grasping at straws.

    October 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Pay attention to the LAST Paragraph ——————

    Obama has been justly criticized for his ties to former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers, who in 1995 hosted a campaign event for Obama and in 2001 gave him a $200 contribution. The two have also served together on the board of a foundation. When their connection became known, McCain minced no words: "I think not only a repudiation but an apology for ever having anything to do with an unrepentant terrorist is due the American people."

    What McCain didn't mention is that he has his own Bill Ayers—in the form of G. Gordon Liddy. Now a conservative radio talk show host, Liddy spent more than four years in prison for his role in the 1972 Watergate burglary. That was just one element of what Liddy did, and proposed to do, in a secret White House effort to subvert the Constitution. Far from repudiating him, McCain has embraced him.

    How close are McCain and Liddy? At least as close as Obama and Ayers appear to be. In 1998, Liddy's home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator's campaigns—including $1,000 this year.

    Last November, McCain went on his radio show. Liddy greeted him as "an old friend," and McCain sounded like one. "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family," he gushed. "It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."

    October 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. Maggie

    OK, there are no comments allowed on the misspelled name blog, but I live near Rensselaer and I can tell you – that city will go to Obama by a LANDSLIDE. It was a typo.

    October 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. KIMBER

    McInsain is trying to divide this country racially. Palin and the old man are just sore losers. I am a 40 year old white woman from SC. and alot more whites are supporting OBAMA than you think.

    October 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Emmy Lee

    Everybody please read the "Fact Check" . You will find most of Mc.Cain/Palin comment about Obama are false or misleading and what Obama said about Mc .Cain the verdict always true.
    So now you know who you can trust.

    October 10, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Dave, Illinois

    If Obama wins, working people who pay taxes are screwed. The Obamites who have enough time to fill these bloggs during the days will get a raise in their welfare checks. Any wonder why he is surging in the polls?

    October 10, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. Arkansas Undertaker

    Just call Obama the "N" word and be done with it!!!!!!

    Why is everything his fault?

    October 10, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. Kris in Denver

    • Fact: Obama was never an ACORN community organizer.
    • Fact: ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee.
    • Fact: ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Obama ran in 1992.

    In his capacity as an attorney, Obama represented ACORN in a successful lawsuit alongside the U.S. Department of Justice against the state of Illinois to force state compliance with a federal voting access law. For his work helping enforce the law, called “Motor Voter,” Obama received the IVI-IPO Legal Eagle Award in 1995.

    Since the U.S. Department of Justice was on the same side as ACORN in the one law suit involving ACORN that Obama was involved in as a private attorney, are the Republicans going to smear the heck out of DOJ, too? Sheesh, they get more and more lame every day.

    October 10, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. N.S of Huntsville, Al

    ANOTHER DAMM THING IF ACORNS NAME IS ON THESE APPLICATIONS IT DOSEN'T MEAN A DAMM THING BECAUSE ANY BODY COULD PUT ACORNS NAME ON A BUNCH OF REGISTRATION FORMS. THIS IS A OUTRAGED WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THERE KIDDING, MY 3RD GRADE DAUGHTER CAN FIGHURE THIS OUT. THEY HAVE A BUNCH OF REGISTRATION FORMS THAT ARE NOT VALID, THROW THEM AWAY AND GET ON WITHTHE ONES THAT ARE. THIS IS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN, NO VOTER REGISTRATION THAT ISN'T VALID CAN VOTE, SO WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM?

    October 10, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. wct

    Obama has ties to weird people with bad past - not only one but more than one - what does it say about him?? NO judgment!!! it seems like there's quite a lot coming out now that people really dont know about Obama after all..... too bad =(

    October 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. Michael

    Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, son of Missouri Representative (7th District) Roy Blunt. So... someone who got their job with the help of their father (Nepotism) wants to criticize whatever tenuous link there is between Senator Obama and another political organization. Hi pot, this is kettle, have you two met? It looks like you have.

    October 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. Mark

    N.S of Huntsville, Al, the problem is in places like Ohio, you can register and vote on the same day. Dont be so naive my friend. Apparently you aren't seeing to clearly through all the bs...want to talk about the Woods Fund now???

    October 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. David Goldman for OBAMA

    OK, OK, OK !!! WE GOT IT !!! WE GOT IT !!!

    BARACK OBAMA IS OMNIPOTENT.

    BARACK IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GLOBAL WARMING TOO.

    HE IS EVERYWHERE. HE DOES EVERYTHING !!!

    WE ALSO KNOW THAT JOHN MCGREEDY IS NOWHERE

    AND DOES NOTHING EXCEPT CRASH OUR MARKETS.

    October 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Shannon, FL

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

    Amy,

    Who gives you financial advice, Bozo the Clown?

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. McCain

    Barak HUSSEIN OSAMA nay Obama is a Moslem! Better he run in Saudi/Afgan where he is loved!

    October 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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