October 14th, 2008
04:09 PM ET
10 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. bridgette

    I love the fact that they don't let them get away with anything. Because ACCORN has been registering voters for over two years and by law every ballot that they get they have to send it to the election commissioners, that's what their called in my state, and it's up to the election commissioners to go through them. Here's another thing that bothers me about this is that they are only complaining about swing states and it's only in minority neighborhoods. Why are they constantly trying to suppress our votes.

    I dont' understand how McCain can fix his lips to even suggest that the Obama campaign is trying something. I think this man has really lost his mind.

    October 14, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Tony



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

    ACORN, who cares. I can't stand McCain/Palin ticket. I was once a supporter of this ticket. This ticket is hateful, liars and erratic. I'm a registered republican and will be voting for Obama/Biden.

    October 14, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. rob


    October 14, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Tim - TN

    What everyone should know is the primaries were totally different. If anyone 'bad-mouthed' Obama during the primaries, that was ok. Even the Democratic Goddess Hillary spoke about Obama and Ayers. Now that Obama is the top dog for the Democrats, we need everyone to support him unconditionally. Just ask Hillary. THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH POLITICS. On one hand we can talk bad about our opponents, but only if the primaries are over. After that, anyone that speaks anything but support for Obama, must be a racist. That is what is seems like the DNC is trying to sell to me. I don't particularly like the GOP this year either. I believe there should be some very intense investigations into the voter registrations done by ACORN (I registered at the DMV, or some other government facility, why does ACORN exists?), but I really see this as another election that will be "won" by a decision in some court somewhere, and once again there will be no 'United States'. Revamp the Electoral College to 51 (one for each State, one for D.C.), this will eliminate the "Battleground States" (all is fair in love and war...) and help to eliminate some of the 'hate-filled' rallies on both sides...

    I'm sorry... I just woke up from my dream. Can we get a viable third choice that is on every State's ballot????

    October 14, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Rob

    another gimmicky smoke screen, hail mary from the McCain camp. Does anyone believe that these people are ready to lead when they can't even run a campaign?

    October 14, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. tjp, valley forge, PA

    Obama is as fraudulent as ACORN. He's tied in so tight to these crooks that he will find it difficult to govern once all the corruption of his past is brought to light.

    October 14, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Tired of W, OH

    I'm glad that Plouffe is explaining. But we know that truth doesn't matter to the GOP. They'll just keep repeating the lie until enough of their mob think it's true.

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |

    This kind of strategy is to be expected of someone who is drowning in their own campaign of lies. Every strategy has failed, so now they will say that Obama won because he pulled a "Bush 2000" and stole the election. WRONG!! This from the party who says that polls don't really reflect what the American people believe.

    Well, I went door to door for Obama this weekend and much to the MCSAME's chagrin, the feeling is pretty much as the polls state: more people are likely to vote for CHANGE-the Obama WAY. Sorry Sarah-you undercover communist". We SEE YOU!! OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. C Brown

    Take that GOP!

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. j williamson

    Republicans stole the last two presidential elections – they're obviously very good at it and will try to take this one as well if given any chance of doing so.

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. White Christian Mother for Obama

    McCain bringing up Ayres at the Debate will be a NEGATIVE thing against him... Its been investigated and found by FACT CHECK and other news worthy places that it doesnt stand up.

    Also I feel that back in the 60s when many people were protesting against America from the Wars.. Many were into the Hippie / peace/ and protesting movement. That guy grew up... and is now a PROFESSOR of a College. He also sits on some Educational Boards where also Obama did... That to me shows that Even though he has a shady PAST... people do Change and do better in life. Seems to me to be on a Board and be a Professor teaching... to me that he has become a RESPECTIBLE person of Americas SOCIETY!!

    So get a life Mccain the same!! Cant come up with something new.. Cant speak about issues because you have no new IDEAS.

    Go home!!

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Jerry Attrick

    Who are the pastors of these conservative politicians? They need to intervene and have a heart to heart talk with them regarding their blasphemies. Enough!

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Melissa

    I'm so sick of McCain, go Obama.

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Ohio Independent

    Oh my God, you are right. This is just what those scum bags wants to do. We are not going to buy it. We are sick at this kind of politics. My family and neighbours have decided to vote for Obama / Biden so it doesn't really matter. It's over for McCain / Palin...

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Democrats are trying to steal the election with dead men's ballots and Republicans are trying to "create a situation where voters don’t have confidence in the system?"

    Now that's what I call spin!

    Shrieking hysterics the lot of you!

    Vote third party!

    October 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Claire, Martha's Vineyard

    Thanks CNN for FINALLY uncovering Palin's involvement in the separatist group , The Alaskan Independence Party. Sara Palin is a complete oxymoron of an American. It is ironic how
    she spewed her venom and incited the most ugliest underbelly of
    American society, and she herself abused her power while in office.
    I wonder of the bigots some of which call themselves Cristians can look themselves in the mirror this morning?
    The sad part is that they probably can. McCain may have saved a tiny
    bit of any honor that he has left by defending his and Palin's lies about
    Senator Obama, who worked his way up to become a worthy and
    patriotic American, only to be told by his fellow American, that he is the
    wrong color. This should wake America up to not judge a book by
    its cover. The devil just may wear lipstick.

    October 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Reagan

    What David Plouffe's good conscious would have said.....

    “O'Bama is setting up a strategy here to make it harder to have a fair voting process ,”

    “McCain is trying to rectify a situation where voters have confidence in the system.”

    “McCain is raising questions. You know, crying out and raising questions about fraud, while Obama creates 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.”

    Is O'Bamas campaign too scared to face the result of a fair election?

    October 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. John

    Registration Fraud IS NOT Voter Fraud!
    Registration Fraud IS NOT Voter Fraud!
    Registration Fraud IS NOT Voter Fraud!

    Just because some poor person paid by the registration writes up registrations for "Mickey Mouse" and "Captain America" - which is wrong– doesn't mean that Mickey Mouse and Captain America are going to show up at the polls and vote for Obama.

    This is just a distraction. What Republicans do in response is try to throw out huge batches of legitimate new registrations– which are overwhelmingly Democratic– thus denying the real ones a right to vote.

    October 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. GET REAL.

    Here's what i don't get:
    McCain – implicated and investigated in Keating 5 scandal.
    Palin – implicated and investigated in Troopergate scandal.
    Obama – just happens to know Ayers and Rezko. No investigation, no court case in which Obama is implicated.

    So who would you rather stand next to: someone who may know a killer, or someone who was investigated for taking part in the killing? Please think about this… saying that someone sympathizes with bad people is one thing, but being investigated is a whole new animal. Don't speak it if you've done one worse.

    CNN, please post me. I've already tried three times today…

    October 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Matt

    This is just another of the McCain campaign's tricks to try and link Obama to negative people and entities that have nothing to do with him. Pretty soon they'll be making the argument that Obama and Bin Laden are in cahoots.

    On the other hand, I think it's important to bring people's attention to voter registration, especially if McCain's campaign tries the dirty tactics that Bush did in '04. I hope that Obama and his guys are ready for them, and are able to fight back against caging, and other dirty tricks they use to try to prevent democrats from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.

    October 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Jim from Middletown, CT

    Nice try, McCrypt. Really grabbing at straws now, aren't we?

    October 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. CD

    Tell them tell them the hard truth because we know the GOP is ready to do anything to WIN and want to use ACORN to justify their every 4 year activity of stealing votes. You can betcha that GOP thinks ACORN has just given them legitimate ground to fraud America again under the guise of preventing fraud. Well the GOP guys are joking if there is one election GOP won't rig ACORN or not it's when a Chicago Politician is running and the American people are suffering calling out for CHANGE. Guess what GOP don't even move that BOX you all will be so sorry if you do.

    Democrats 2008!

    October 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Ken, Republican Voting for Obama

    Every vote counts even a homeless American will vote.

    October 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Lynette

    Yeah, they are trying to flip the script.

    October 14, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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