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. S. Boatman

    Keep Wasting Your Time And Money On Nonsense Mccain! Avoid Talking About The Issues At All Cost! We Obama Supporters Appreciate It!

    October 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Another-Republican-4-OBAMA

    LOOK Sen. Obama's campaign according to the Washington Times donated to NOT ........ACORN,...... but "Citizens Service Inc. " to help register NEW voters during the ........PRIMARIES. The total donated from his campaign is, $832,508. The payments STOPPED in May!

    SEN. OBAMA HAS NOT DONE ANYTHING ILLEGAL. For Pete's sake!

    I find it DANGEROUS that Republican-attack-hate-divide-lie machine & MCCAIN are inciting hate.........anger.........and inciting violence!

    I am a middle-aged-grandmother, I am disturbed and disgusted with the far-right-hate-mongers.......... their hatred, lies and propaganda remind me of the Fascist and the Nazis!

    PLEASE AMERICAN, LET'S TELL THE FAR-RIGHT THAT THEY ARE WRONG. THAT THE FAILURES OF THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, ARE THE BUSH/CHENEY/MCCAIN FAILURES AND WE DO NOT WANT ANYMORE!

    STOP THE HATE! STOP THE LIES!
    ********CNN PLEASE POST MY COMMENT*********

    October 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. N.S of Huntsville, Al

    Arthur James,

    In response you damm right we don't need another lier, so you and your old uncle need to go sit down somewhere, because Pailn/McCain are the founders of lies and deception.

    your running out of time and thats all there is too it.

    October 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Nimi from NY

    The Republicans are willing to blame Obama for everything that's wrong iwith the world. If they have their way they will label the devil. But it doesn't change the fact that this election is going to be decided by people on the street than the McCain camp.

    October 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. donmcybertect

    They are trying to steal this election using false claims against Acorn and Obama to disenfranchise millions of voters in critical swing states. Go to therandirhodesshow.com to get a better understanding of exactly what is going on here. Make no mistake about it, we are going to have to fight this all the way to election day and beyond. Things may get real ugly folks. Pay attention!!

    October 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Deb

    So basically Obama is responsible for all that is bad and McCain/Palin represent all that is good. Right, that's why at thier rallies hate is spewed. I would not be surprised that Republicans did the bogus voter registrations to make Obama look bad.

    October 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. David

    FYI – The firm that Obama worked at appointed as the lawyer to defend ACORN – read the facts of this case dear McCain. The negativity and hatred coming out of the McCain camp and at his events are vile and disgusting to be happening in the US. I am sure if such activities occurred somewhere else McCain would be condemning them. McCain needs to open his eyes to what is going with his campaign and at his events.

    Falsely attacking an individual is vile and disgusting and downright dangerous.

    John McCain needs to apologize to Obama and more importantly he needs to apologize to the American people. And the best way he could apologize is to drop out of the race and support Obama.

    October 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Maggie from Virginia

    I live around the kind of people that attend the McCain/Palin rallies. To be honest, I'm concerned for my families safety. There's a community down the street called confederate ridge. Thankfully we have the second amendment. I urge all Obama supporters to remain focused and alert. Be ready for anything. Semper Paratus!

    October 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Independent

    Thank you my fellow prisoners.......

    October 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. SoniaGA

    This is Ridiculous!

    Acorn registers VOTERS, NOT DEMOCRATS!

    Obama did work for them in 1993, for you mathmatically challenged Rethuglicans, thats 15 years ago.....

    This is getting old and stupid!

    October 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Cleo, FL

    Bow wow wow–nothing but the dawg in meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
    –McShame

    October 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. DM

    I am a Deputy Registrar here in Texas. Now, the main point people need to understand ACORN is registering voters the Key is people still have a choice, they can vote Republican or Democratic People we still have a choice.....

    October 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. We love Sarah

    Sumi, CA October 10th, 2008 6:21 pm ET

    I am waiting to see when McCain will attack Obama's daughters.. Shameful.. Tastless campaigning. Now he is flip flopping telling his "followers" they don't have to be scared of Obama! Talk about extreme!

    HE ALREADY DID!!!!!!

    October 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  14. Biff

    This is the saddest campaign I have ever witnessed.

    but seriously..... who wants to go down in history as the guy to lost to the black guy???

    October 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. A NATION OF WINERS for OBAMA

    WHAT A SURPRISE ????

    MCBUSH USING THE SAME TACTICS AS BUSH ??

    WOW * WOW * WOW * WOW

    HAS THE SAME ECONOMIC PLAN TOO.

    October 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. LISA REID

    I AM NOT CONDONING ANY WRONG DOING OR FRAUD. I BELIEVE IF THESE PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED IN ANY WRONG DOING THEN THEY SHOULD BE EXPOSED AND IF CAUSED FOR BEING BROUGHT TO JUSTICE THEN SO BE IT. I FOR ONE DON'T WANT ANY SCANDLE WHEN BARACK WINS. IT SEEM THAT LOU AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THINKS THAT THE WAY WE VOTE MAY BE TAINTED OR NOT TRUSTED IN 2008 BUTFOR 2 YEAR MANY PEOPLE IN THE U.S BELIEVED THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STOLE THE ELECTION IN FRONT OF AMERICANS EYES AND NO ONE NEVER THOUGHT THE VOTING PROCESS HAD A FLAW IN IT THEN

    October 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Go Away McBush

    Whatever, come on November 4th.

    Tick tock....

    I called today to get tickets to Barack's swearing in ceremony.

    October 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. A Canadian who cares about my neighbour

    Now a McCain surrogate is demanding that Michelle obama be questioned about the Ayers allegation!!! My suggestion is to interview the prosecutor of the case who has said that trying to tie Obama to Ayers is "outrageoue".

    Even as the erratic, lurching McCain calls for respect for Obama at a rally where tv cameras are rolling, and a Republican "overlooks" the spelliing of Obama as Osama on the ballots in a New York County.

    What a joke that a party that consistently removes voters from registers all over the country especially blacks. These allegations again are the Republicans way of stereotyping poor voters, especially if they are black, as immoral and untrustworthy.

    Get back to us when you have PROOF that Obama had anything to do with these bogus registrations and when someone actually tries to vote using one of these names. Cnn's Lou Dobbs , who is anything but an Independet or a reliable source, again looks at this through prejudiced eyes.

    My question is how were these people getting new registrations paid? Was it by each new registration? Was it a quota system?

    October 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. Mark

    Does anyone know why barry changed his name...I am so confused.

    October 10, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Kurtis in CT

    Yeah...it would figure this story is buried in the depths of the mainstream media. I just love the Obama supporters defending this as "something Republicans would do, so why not us?"

    Two wrongs don't make a right...and Obama is the wrong man for the job. They're all liars.

    Vote out ALL incumbants, and vote Republican for President to balance out that wacky congress if you want REAL CHANGE.

    October 10, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. Biff

    THEY FORGOT THE LINK WHERE OBAMA HAS NOT WORKED WITH THEM IN THE GENERAL ELECTION..............

    October 10, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Mike

    ACORN employees are paid by the number of registrations they get...this is just an attempt by those employees to make a few bucks. It doesn't matter on Nov. 4th because the "fake" or "dead" people won't show up to the voting booth, will they? Another attempt to smear Barack, that's all...

    October 10, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. J.S.

    One man was registered 70 times–he got a cigarette or a $1 each time. If this was taking place in another country, we would be crying foul. Why isn't it being questioned by the liberal media, regardless of who is connected to it?

    October 10, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. Michael

    Nice stretch Amy, NY, saying "Sarah Palin is starting to take the gloves off—–over 100,000 people are coming out to hear her in Virginia on Monday—-" the venue can hold 100,000, but I seriously doubt that many will show up. Do you even know the ideas and theories behind communism and realize just how wrong you are about Obama being a communist?

    October 10, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Voter fraud

    CNN-

    MORE NEWS ON VOTER FRAUD PLEASE!!! NOT GETTING ENOUGH ATTENTION!!!

    October 10, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8