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. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Unfortunately we all have to live with phony registration by BOTH parties. There should not be any paid organization even allowed to get signatures for either party. But you notice the Republicans never screamed "foul play" when they stole the elections in 2000 and 2004 did you? WE were supposed to have seen a paper trail at the 2006 election in Arizona and that didn't happen....we have a Republican in charge of that area by the way.

    October 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. deb in Glenside PA

    They've been running these smear ads all week and its not working. Look at the polls. Obama is ahead in almost every swing state and way ahead nationally. We are turning a positive corner away from the Bush way of doing things. McCain is in danger of hurting his legacy as a decent Senator and human being. He needs to get his campaign under control. .

    October 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Ashish

    plz send the code!`

    October 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. jim

    this is such a joke. mccain is irrelevant now. just cancel the last debate or have obama debate bob barr instead.

    mccain should debate cynthia mckinney on public access station number 82 since they both have about the same credibility right now. just sad.

    October 10, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. Biff


    October 10, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    And Mark – if you aren't old enough to remember watergate, go to google

    October 10, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. Linda

    Why is it that this CNN page reports all the negative about Obama. CNN has become more negative than Fox. Other news outlets are not reporting this garbage.

    Now that it seems to me that CNN is pro McCain...I am switching to MSNBC.

    Let's see if this is printed!!

    October 10, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. AirDiva for OBAMA

    Last I checked, ACORN registed all voters, not just democrats. Obama worked for the firm that represented ACORN, not for ACORN itself.

    BTW- Don't you have to show id to vote? I'm sure "Mr. Jimmy Johns" will have a hard time proving his existence and right to vote if in fact, he is just a place of business.


    October 10, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |



    October 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Andrea KC

    I'm ashamed to admit that I am a resident of Missouri and somehow we screwed up several years ago and elected Matt Blunt as governor. As if we Missourians and the rest of the nation needed another reason to be sickened by Blunt's tactics he is now joining the bottom of the barrell McCain campiagn to try to disparage Obama at every turn. But I've got news for politicians who choose to run filthy campaigns full of lies and baseless accusations.....NOT THIS TIME.

    October 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Not gonna work, McCain! Let's talk about your unreported GAMBLING earnings from years past! Talk about skeletons in the closet! Johnny boy has been a "known regular gambler". He is gambling now with his entire campaign by going with all this negativity. It's backfiring! Even sending Simple Sarah to NASCAR tomorrow is not going to reverse the downward spiral of your campaign! In fact, by then we should know the results of Troopergate, so Sarah may be looking for a job as a water girl on the track.

    October 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. The truth be told


    October 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Ronald

    The Republicans ruin our economy and McBush gives us lies and a disgusting Smokescreen. The sleazy McBush said he would not bring up Rev. Wright because that would be dishonerable. Then yesterday McBush plants a Black Conservative radio host in his speech crowd. He gives this planted surrogate the microphone and He then does McBush dirty work and starts screaming about rev. Wright. McBush was correct. It was and he is DISHONERABLE.

    October 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. Terry, NJ

    The weasle Obama at it again I see. Registered people who are dead to vote... Of course since Obama thinks he's "The One" maybe he plans to raise them from the dead to vote for him. Obama will say anything to win the election. Meanwhile his lackies will do anything for him to win the election.

    Don't drink the Koolaid!

    October 10, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Becky CA

    You want the truth and facts. Here they are from CNN:

    Fact Check: Would McCain's mortgage plan shift burden to taxpayers?
    The Verdict:
    True. The McCain campaign acknowledges the plan would shift the burden to taxpayers.

    Fact Check: Would Obama fine businesses over health care?
    The Verdict: False. McCain calling the plan's payment a fine is at odds with his own Web site, which calls it a tax. Obama's campaign says small businesses would be exempt from the plan.

    October 10, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Pillar Strength in Missouri

    I am so ashamed of my Missouri Governor for lowering themselves to the attack standards of their Republican Party. But wait, they're a Republican, and did they not get away with voter fraud last presidential election? I will remember my vote next time our Governor runs for re election again. I am so sick and tired of the hate from McCaine when all I see on the Obama campaign is Hope.

    October 10, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. kay

    Only about 25 days till the election. Do you think McCain can come up with a new threat against Obama each day?? Cindy was out flapping her mouth the other day. She got caught stealing drugs from a non-profit organization she work for. Did she do any time in Jail??? If Michaelle Obama took a loaf of bread they'll through her butt in Jail.

    October 10, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Jay

    *************THIS JUST IN**********************

    McCain says Obama is the cause of Global Warming because he drives a car and flies in planes!!!

    October 10, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. Oregon calling

    As I have stated before, I see and smell something very fishy here. If you were ahead in the polls, and have always followed the rules then why would you pull a stunt like this to get elected? No, my money is on the GOP as they have been down in the polls, slinging what ever they can think of and trying all sorts of tactics.

    Vote smart / OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    October 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. Frank

    There's a group of POW's who were held the same time and place as John McCain and they claim they can Prove that during that time, John McCain was turned into the real life Manchurian Candidate. I don't know, but that might explain his behavior of late.

    Is John McCain the Real Life Manchurian Candidate?

    October 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Maggie from Virginia


    Obama received more contributions from employees of Fannie and Freddie. McCain received more contributions from Fannie and Freddie as an organization. Factcheck it.

    October 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. BM

    If Obama were to stir up hate and attemt to divide, he would be disqualified from the race.
    What's more terroistic as Palin and her husband cursing the US and wanting to separate themseveles from the US. Surely McCain and his supporters are aware of this and was condoned by Sarah. But then again, she is white, therefore, they are patriotic and one of them as they often say.

    October 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  23. Mark

    What's funny is all the dems posting on this blog are the ones who sound like outraged people. We get it, we get it, barack hussein obama (and it is NOT racist to say someones name) can do no wrong. If he were to stand up and say, I am going to starve all kids to save education cost, left wing liberals would say, "barry is a genius". You guys are the ones who are out of touch and you are so right, I don't want 4 more years of a bad president...I don't want barry hussein!

    October 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. Nicole, AL.

    I have yet to see why the McCain campaign and the media are wasting our time with this. There certainly seems to be ample evidence that voter registration fraud is going on in certain places, but I've seen no evidence that links Obama to this effort. Prosecute the perpetrators of the fraud – whether it's ACORN itself, or rogue ACORN employees like the organization itself claims – but stop pointing fingers. It only increases the distrust and anger most Americans have about the politcal process.

    And as for the Democrats that are accusing the Republicans of veiled racism for their allegations ... please! I've even heard some trying to tie it in with the "great racial conspiracy" of requiring photo identification. Voter registration fraud is illegal and should be prosecuted, and anyone who believes that getting a photo ID is a huge hurdle is not living in the 21st century.

    Where are the real issues here? If all Americans were independents, the world would be a better place!

    October 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. Steve A. , New Braunfels , Texas

    McCain, you make me tired ! The more you fight Obama the stronger he gets, we the people,don't want you or Palin, we don't want the same old people doing the same old thing, Obama gives us hope ,you don't.....Obama 08

    October 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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