(CNN) – The campaign of Sen. John McCain called on Sen. Barack Obama Tuesday to “rein in” community organizing group ACORN and “to work aggressively against wide-scale voter fraud.”
McCain campaign manager Rick Davis made the challenge in a statement released in response to an ACORN letter to the campaign Tuesday morning.
Citing the rising number foreclosures nationwide, the community advocacy group asked McCain to fight a practice known as “caging” - the challenging or removal of voter from the rolls because they no longer live at the address listed on their voter registration.
In its letter, the group asked McCain to reach out to Republican Secretaries of State in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, and West Virginia and obtain a guarantee from each of them that “a voter in their respective states who has lost their home to foreclosure does not lose their right to vote.”
In the McCain campaign’s response, Davis noted that the campaign had reached out to the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee to propose unprecedented, bipartisan monitoring teams in precincts where either side feared voter irregularities. Former Republican senators John Danforth and Warren Rudman, the co-chairs of the McCain campaign’s Honest and Open Election Committee, renewed the proposal at an appearance at the National Press Club Tuesday morning.
Davis also used the letter as another opportunity to tie Sen. Obama to ACORN. “Given the extensive relationship between Barack Obama and ACORN, our campaign also feels that Senator Obama has the responsibility to rein in ACORN’s efforts and to work aggressively against wide-scale voter fraud.”
The response challenging Obama to control ACORN is the latest in a major effort by the McCain campaign to highlight both Obama’s ties to group and the prospect of voter fraud. Gov. Sarah Palin used recent reports about questionable voter registrations submitted by ACORN to encourage donations in an e-mail sent out Monday. Late last week, the McCain campaign released a Web video highlighting Obama’s ties to the group, and accusing the group of voter fraud and pressuring banks to give mortgages to unqualified individuals.
In his statement, Davis said the McCain campaign never received a response to its proposal for bipartisan monitoring teams. But Tuesday the Obama campaign released a letter to Danforth and Rudman September 23 in which campaign manager David Plouffe turned down the monitoring proposal, and instead detailed a number of questionable practices in that they said seemed designed to lessen or suppress participation by Democratic voters.
The Obama campaign is also set to have a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon to discuss a number of issues relating to voting in light of recent press reports about the millions of new voters registered in anticipation of the November election.