October 14th, 2008
04:09 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama: We don't need ACORN's help

Sen. Obama talked about ACORN with reporters in Ohio Tuesday.
Sen. Obama talked about ACORN with reporters in Ohio Tuesday.

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama responded Tuesday to the McCain campaign's efforts to link him to embattled community organizing group ACORN.

Watch: Obama on the economy, ACORN

"We've got the best voter registration, turnout, and volunteer operation in politics right and we don't need ACORN's help," Obama said Tuesday in Ohio.

The Illinois senator added that ACORN was not advising his campaign, and echoed campaign advisors who have increasingly accused the GOP of trying to suppress voter turnout as Election Day nears.

"What I want to make sure of, though, is that this is not used as an excuse for the kind of voter suppression tactics that we've seen in the past. Let's make sure everybody is voting, everybody is registered, everybody is doing this is a lawful way," he said.

The Democratic nominee's comments came the same day that his campaign held a conference call with reporters about the McCain campaign's recent focus on voter fraud.

Listen: Plouffe, Bauer on voting issues


Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and general counsel Bob Bauer accused Republicans of trying to intimidate voters and sow the seeds of confusion as the historic presidential election approaches.

"They seem to be setting up a strategy here to make it harder to vote," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters on a conference call. "To create a situation where voters don't have confidence in the system."

"They are going to try to raise questions. You know, cry out and raise questions about fraud and try and create a smokescreen out there to confuse voters and perhaps to give cover to some of the activities they're going to be undertaking over the next three weeks."

The Obama campaign also took issue with the McCain camp's recent efforts to link Obama to ACORN, whose voter registration efforts have come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks. "We have our own registration effort," the Obama campaign's general counsel Bob Bauer said on the call. "We register our own voters under our own standards and we do so successfully."

Bauer also denied that the campaign ever paid Citizens Services, Inc., an entity affiliated with ACORN, to register voters. "We have never paid ACORN a penny for registration purposes," said Bauer.

The campaign's payments to Citizens Services, Inc. "were for canvassing in some of the larger primary states back in the spring – Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania," Plouffe said. "It was to augment our grassroots organization."

Updated 4:09 pm to include Obama's comments in Ohio.


Filed under: ACORN • Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Voter Problems
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Spencer/Commonwealth of Virginia

    They don't understand that their fear tactics won't work this time around. Give it up GOP.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 14, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Scott in Atlanta

    Please read the article entitled "Make-Believe Maverick" in the October 16th edition of the Rolling Stones magazine. Even though they're a popular music publication, they've had some remarkable insight into the political arena.

    I dare you to read it "That one is a friend of Karl Marxs too"

    October 14, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Tony

    THIS IS NOTHING NEW.

    IT'S A PAGE RIGHT OU T OF THE REPUBLICAN PLAYBOOK.

    WHILE SINKING IN THE POLLS, MCCAIN AND PALIN ARE DOING THE ONLY THING THEY HAVE LEFT, LYING, ACCUSING, ATTACKING AND DISTORTING.

    I HOPE, THOUGH SERIOUSLY DOUBT, THAT WHEN MCCAIN LOSES IN NOVEMBER HE WILL DO SO WITH SOME INTEGRITY AND NOT THE WAY HE HAS RUN HIS CAMPAIGN.

    October 14, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Jody Monroe

    It appears as if the ACORN field workers get paid by the # of folks they register, which promotes false registrations. Maybe there's a better way to pay the field workers, perhaps hourly???

    Voter fraud is intolerable, no matter who commits it. Obama should welcome the ACORN investigations and call on them to correct their system. Obama needs to take a strong and swift stand against any type of voter fraud, AND should monitor the elections in every area.

    October 14, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Bad boys...

    I am AFRAID of REPUBLICANS...will there be a BUSH effect at the polls??? YOU BETCHA!!!

    October 14, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Average American

    This should be no surprise to anyone. It has been the standard for the last 7 years, 2 months and 3 days. Since it is election time, the scare tactics will start rolling out. It is all the Republicans have left.

    October 14, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Voter registration is bad – but it is NOT voter fraud. The people will not show up to vote because they are not real.

    AIP and PNAC are real. Google each of them and read very carefully – there are several articles on each.

    Just saying ------

    October 14, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  8. Joe

    McCain attended a political event that was co-sponsored by ACORN. Make sure you mention that next time this story comes up.

    October 14, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. karen raleigh

    I would be checking voter fraud from the republican side–who are they kidding–lets paint this country blue– all for one and one for all–lets unite. Obama/Biden 08 YES WE CAN

    October 14, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. lisa m

    No duh.

    What's new.

    October 14, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Maggie from Virginia

    Will the McCain camp ever learn?

    October 14, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Ed

    Is this not what the US government condemn when it happens in developing countries? It appears that humans are the same every where, afterall." Power is not voluntarily given to those who are oppressed.It must be demanded, " according to MLK Jr.

    Go Obama/Biden. Go!!

    October 14, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Shari, NY

    I feel like crying for McCain more than anyone else. He reminds of a baby uncontrollably soiling himself with a nanny who looks the other way. He and Palin might as well set up a podium in the wilderness and preach to the wildlife, for any reasonable person can see that their act is for the birds.

    October 14, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Greed is not good

    The GOP is the one interferring with voting rights and registration. Laws try to intimidate voters into thinking they need to have property or be homeowners to vote. States do not allow for mailing addresses on permanent absentee unless you document your physical address. That means the poor and even some renters that have to pay for rooms in private residence don't get to vote.

    October 14, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. ready for change

    ALL MCCAIN KNOWS TO DO IS LIE, SNEAK, PLANT RUMORS, IT HASN'T WORKED BEFORE AND IT WON'T WORK NOW, AMERICA IS SICK OF HIS AND HIS CRIMINAL RUNNING MATES ABUSIVE CAMPAIGN. VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN

    October 14, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    I don't see what the big deal is about this whole ACORN voter registration issue. So if someone at ACORN registers "Mickey Mouse", do you think he is going to show up at the polls to vote? If he does, do you think anyone is going to actually let him vote? This is a non-issue. Of much more concern is the tricks that are being used to remove people from the voter rolls.

    October 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. alabama independent

    He is tied to acorn and he should go back to washington and make sure there are laws in place to avoid fraud. Obama will try to win at all cost. May not like everything McCain stands for but can't trust Obama

    October 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. mike

    Acorn 100% vote for Obama. Acorn his baby and they go for papa. A lot of fraud going on this year. Obama no matter what never going to be President for MY FAMILY>

    October 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Cindy

    McCain linked to group in Iran-Contra case
    Obama was roughly 8 years old when Ayers, now at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was working with the Weather Underground, which took responsibility for bombings that included nonfatal blasts at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. McCain's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, has said that Obama "pals around with terrorists."
    In McCain's case, Singlaub knew McCain's father, a Navy admiral who had sought Singlaub's counsel when McCain, a Navy pilot, became a prisoner of war and spent 5 1/2 years in North Vietnamese hands.
    "John's father asked me for advice about what he ought to do now that his son had been shot down and captured," Singlaub recalled in one of two recent interviews. "I said, 'As long as you don't give any impression that you care more about him than you care about any of the other prisoners, he won't be treated any differently.'"
    Covert arms shipments
    Covert arms shipments to the rebels called Contras, financed in part by secret arms sales to Iran, became known as the Iran-Contra affair. They proved to be the undoing of Singlaub's council.
    In 1987, the Internal Revenue Service withdrew the tax-exempt status of Singlaub's group because of its activities on behalf of the Contras.

    October 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Sylvia, Dallas,GA

    The McCain and Palin ticket should be ashamed of themselves. ContinACORN employees forged documents to be paid. Is Obama to blame for that? NO, NO, NO!! What will McCain and Palin blame him for next?
    I am a Christian and I am so ashamed of the McCain and Palin ticket. They are a shameful representation of the Republican ticket. True republicans do not behave that way. The new GOP is filled with HATERS. FOX NEWS is despicable. Sean Hanity and Orielly are hate mongers and so are Sarah and John. This ticket is representing the something sinister.

    As for CNN, please do something about Lou Dobbs, he is a pretender. Far, far from independent but bias and favorable of the new style GOP (hate mongers) and he are so negative. I change the channel every time his show starts. Lou Dobbs, you are a disgrace.

    October 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. the other jd

    Well if anyone knows about voter fraud, it would be the Republican party. They perfected the art thereof.

    October 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. Real Change

    Republicans complianing about vote fraud is like the Cookie Monster complaining about somebody raiding the kitchen.

    October 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. John in Ohio

    McCain and the Republicans know that they are losing. They've known since the start that they would lose. They're working now on setting the stage for 8 years of whining about how the election was stolen from them. They are setting the stage for 8 years of petulant unthinking reactionary resistance to everything Obama and Congress tries to accomplish.

    Shoes on the other foot now, fascists. Cry more, your tears sustain me.

    So, when liberals are unhappy with how an election goes, we can threaten to move to Canada. Where will you guys go? What other country in the world is remotely as Christian Conservative as the US?

    Good luck and get lost.

    October 14, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. No Hillary = No Obama

    The Opportunists – that sums up the Obama campaign. When all is said and done do you really think people are going to vote for someone with no real experience to lead the country? Someone whose as thin as a sheet of ice in depth of policy and proposals? When the day comes, people will vote for the statesman, not the salesman.

    October 14, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Knowledge is Power

    the Republicans blaming the Dems for voter fraud?? Gee, I remember 2000. The Republicans stole that election, they are experts on fraud and clouding the issues.

    October 14, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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