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. Another-Republican-4-OBAMA


    Troopergate: the REAL October Surprise

    Todd Palin member of the Alaska Independent Party 1994-2002

    Sarah Palin was endorsed by the Alaska Independent Party (check out their web site......do your homework!)

    Sarah Palin spoke at the convention for the Alaska Independent Party this year!

    McCain & the Keating 5; ONLY senator censored for his involvement.

    The Republican Legacy to America: OVER $10 TRILLION IN NATIONAL DEBT & COUNTING.

    STILL spending ......$10 BILLION.........in Iraq each month

    Another Bush/Cheney/McCain LEGACY: $490 BILLION DEFICIT

    10,000 Americans losing their homes...........daily

    Number ONE reason for hard-working Americans to declare bankruptcy: HEALTH CARE COSTS.

    Jobs lost: 759,000

    McCain & His Republican Controlled Congress January 1994 through January 2007: DEREGULATED BANKS & WALL STREET.

    The "Gram-Leach-Billey Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999" WHO IS THE 'GRAM'........PHIL GRAM ONE OF MCCAIN'S ECONOMIC ADVISORS.

    ************CNN PLEASE POST*************************************

    October 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    This will make McCain a two time loser

    First to Bushie

    Then to Obama

    SWEET !!!!!

    October 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. McCain-Palin are LIARS !

    This truly is the most pathetic campaign ever. They should be disqualified ! McCain-Palin and their campaign aides are LYING EVIL scrandals who would stop at nothing while pursuing their sorry campaign of distraction.

    " If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we’re going to lose." McCain' top aide said.

    They have no new ideals and their campaign is in the toilet. I truly hope voters will reject them completely !

    No weapon forged against you [ Barack Obama] will prevail, and you [ Barack Obama] will refute every tongue that accuses you [ Barack Obama] . This is the heritage of the servants [ Barack Obama] of the LORD, and this is their [ Barack Obama] vindication from me," declares the LORD. – Isaiah 54:17

    " I [ God ] will send my terror ahead of you [ Barack Obama] and throw into confusion every nation you [ Barack Obama] encounter. I [ God ] will make all your [ Barack Obama] enemies turn their backs and run." – Exodus 23:27

    The Lord will rescue me [ Barack Obama] from every evil attack and will bring me [ Barack Obama] safely to his heavenly kingdom. – 2 Timothy 4:18

    11 For he will command his angels concerning you [ Barack Obama] to guard you [ Barack Obama ] in all your ways; 12 they will lift you [ Barack Obama ] up in their hands, so that you [ Barack Obama ] will not strike your [his] foot against a stone. 13 You [ Barack Obama ] will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you [ Barack Obama ] will trample the great lion and the serpent. – Psalm 91:11-13

    I have given you [ Barack Obama ] authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you [ Barack Obama ]. – Luke 10:19

    It's time for the American people to get it right and NOT vote for McCain-Palin, instead vote for change. It's time for this country to turn the page and seek a new and better future for ourselves and our children.It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time to elect Barack Obama for president !

    Obama-Biden are the wiser and stronger team to solve the crucial challenges we have in this nation and abroad !


    October 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. Jason

    Every time McCain n' pals pulls another shameless, lie-filled stunt like this, the cries of "terrorist" and "kill him" at their rallies increase. I am seriously growing concerned over the safety of Mr. Obama. Heaven forbid anything happens to him or his family because of the radical right spewing lies and agitating the more unstable people in their branch.

    May the Secret Service protecting the Senator and his family stay sharp and keep them out of harm's way. This is a highly charged time in our history, and, sadly, history has shown that terrible things often happen to great men.

    October 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Hal, Redondo Beach, CA


    No ethics, no honor, no courage and no brains. If only Dorothy would come along and drop a house on them.

    October 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. ohio voter

    I am so confused
    Both candidates have suppoters, fans whatever
    But only one side is calling for "KILLING" someone


    October 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. Amy

    It's ironic that the Republicans are worried about this race being stolen from then when that's exactly what they did in 2000 and 2004!

    October 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. EDW

    When I read about this on Huffington Post I knew that McCain would blame this on Obama. The sky was grey this morning, I guess that was Obama's fault too. Well, then the NY ballot blunder is all McCain's fault.

    October 10, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Michael

    Okay, first of all McCain and Palin are making statements and allegations as though they are not guilty of any wrong doing themselves.

    McCain says Obama is stuck in the past with his comments about McCain's voting record and yet McBush, ummm, I mean McCain can't let go of a brief encounter Obama had with someone more than twenty years ago named Ayers. Fact is, McCain has worse and far more in depth ties with Iran Contra personnel than anything that can be attributed to Obama and Ayers (and the FACT that Ayers was never proven to have been what McCain is stating in the first place). But, well, that's a given at this point I think anyone with a free-thinking brain can figure out.

    October 10, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. E C

    If Obama win this election, he would have won it twice, with McCain and all the (Joe SixPacks) of the country, they don't have an agenda, so they continue raise lies and deception, honesty, if that was the only way I could beat someone, I wouldn't want it, but, again some people will beat up a blind man, and call himself a man, McCain (you are aren't nothing) Let say it again, (you aren't nothing, and all (Joe sixpacks) who don't have, what my father would say, A pot too pee in, and a window to throw it out of. You pathetic SOB's

    October 10, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. Today's minn. townhall

    Please, report on the woman at mccain minn. townhall today that said she doesn't trust Obama because he is an arab.

    October 10, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Acorn is a part Obama's first lessons in delving into politics. In Gary Indiana the first 2,100 registrations of 5,000 were found to be fraudulent. This is the same organization in 2004 in Ohio who had a worker offering crack for voter registrations. Also this is the rgoup that harrased bankers to give loans to those who shoould never have been given a loan for a housin the first place to help start the economy crisis we are expereiencing now. Acorn was part of the start of Obama's political career which started at a coming out party at the Ayers home for the Illinois State Legislature. Those are facts that have been recorded in the press, not just coincidence like Obama claims!

    October 10, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. 58 white old ladies for OBAMA





    October 10, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  14. Sue in MI

    Did you notice that Davis is only worried about votes being stolen from "the campaign" not from everyone? Figures, since the Rethugs are quite good at and happy to deny Dem voters.
    Obama represented ACORN in one suit years ago, but has no ties to them...another distraction, McCain! Have you noticed that Obama could be attacking Palin's secessionist ties, her pastor, her abuse of power, and McCain's contacts with Bill Ayers on the same Board, McCain's gambling, Cindy's pill addiction and stealing, Mccain's deplorable treatment of his first wife...my God, there are so many ways to bring this angry coward down, but Obama stays on the high road. He is a gentleman, and McCain and Plain are redneck bullies. The NRA and their ilk can have them.

    October 10, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. John

    This is the lowest it can get. So you have a group called ACORN that is allegedly involved in voter registration fraud. How does that affect Obama? Obama may have represented them in the past as an attorney and even contributed money to them, so what? Is it not a good thing for democracy to get many people registered to vote? If some over zealous folk in ACORN decides to forge or fake dcuments, how does that affect even the CEO of the group? Hoiw does McSenile know that the fraud was going to benefit Obama? Who told him that the people involved are not trying to help the REPUGLICANS?Pleeeeeeeeeeease! McPale and SarahCain should get back to the issues if they ever think of smelling the WH. Their attacks have really become ludicrous. Is McBush getting senile or he has just run out of ideas? McSame is indulging on all these divisive rhetoric and he claims that he works accross the aisle? This electiion has really revealed to us the real McCain – an over zealous unprincipled bigot who can do anything to get what he wants. Any one surprised? Afterall, this is a man who abandoned his incapacitated wife to marry a heiress. Shame on you McShame! Booooooooooooooooooooooooooo! LOSER!

    October 10, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. AZVoter

    Republicans, alll of them, have gone beyond the pale.

    Call Obama a fraud, a traitor, a terrorist; say anything to win the election.

    Someone yells "kill him" at a rally and what is the reaction? Cheering.

    If that is who you people are, if that is waht you will do to win, then take it, because America is over.

    October 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. SDunn

    Mark October 10th, 2008 6:38 pm ET

    Barbara – 65 yr old white female in NC, please try and tie Liddy's McCain contribuition to the likes of barry obama's campaign contributions from the top execs at Freedie and Fannie. That's a joke. You got to have something stronger than that…haha
    Ignorance is not attractive. McCain has over 100 lobbyists working on his campaign. One of them is Rick Davis who is still receiving checks from Fannie and Freddie. McCain receives lobbyist funding from Fannie and Freddie but of course McCain doesn't want to talk about his ties. Obama has received individual donations from people who work there just like any other industry. Liddy actually went to prison and served time for conspiracy, kidnapping, and burglary. McCain is still friends with this guy, but yet he wants to try and tie Obama to everything. McCain is a liar and his supporters are a bunch of bigots.

    October 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Gene

    Come on guys.. this is just another effort by McCain to "Reach across the isle" and work hand in hand with everyone, in an attempt to unite us all, not divide us.

    Wow... I just zoned out and found myself in the mind of one of the "republican base" 🙂

    October 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. MS

    John McCain should spend some time reading these blogs...it might do his campaign the world of good.

    October 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  20. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Someone missed the point – shady character who wants to subvert out constitution.

    Read the whole thing Mark

    October 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Trysh, Los Angeles

    I am trying to understand how Republicans want ambiguous ties to Obama to be condeming, but DIRECT ties to McCain to be excused and accepted.

    October 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. BM

    McCain/Palin are obviously lacking in intellect, credibilty and morals.
    There are many things Obama could reveal about both these candidates, but that just goes to show that Obama is above that.McCain/Palin apoear to be opportunist that will go to the gates of hell to destroy anyone who they fear is a threat to them.
    McCain/Palin and Cindy are stiring up hate and divisiness which is obvious and I don;t know why this is not addressed before things get out of hand.

    October 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. TH in GA

    I'm a Democrat and I am SOOOOOOOOOO ready for this election to be over. Mccain is dividing the country and Obama is uniting it. That's the truth, rather you like it or not. When you see the Obama rallies, it's a united front. Mccain's rallies are KKK rallies. What's wrong with having an educated man leading this country? Please don't say race is not a factor, because it is. It wasn't this much friction when Kerry or Gore were running for Prez. We must chooose the person that will help our country get back on track and be the United States, not Divided States. Enough is Enough.


    October 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  24. Jim

    Now if Obama stays on his current course and McCain on his, the 'change' that each one promises will be as plain as day.
    And if the people can't or won't see the difference and want complete change, then God help us all.

    October 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. Trysh, Los Angeles

    Also, why are they always asking the media to ask questions of Obama, but they don't want the media to ask questions of Palin?

    October 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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