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. N.S of Huntsville, Al

    I thought McCain said yesterday he is fighting back. His plan to help America was nothing. And like I said if there is voter fraud, how does it benefit Obama? The magic number is 270, he needs people to vote more then needs them to register. So if McCain have a problem with ACORN go get them, bring them down your damm self.

    The ECONOMY Stupid!!!!

    October 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. FAYE, NV

    I guess they want to blame Obama for Acorn mess. The Palin/McCain is good at pointing fingers. We will not be fool on this matter. Palin/McCain has nothing to offer, therefore, they continue to druge up whatever to link it to Obama.

    There is no confusion on this time. We need change.

    October 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. mike


    October 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Eric

    Mister Plouffe, can you include in this strategy Lou Dobbs. The guy has been hammering everyday the Acorn thing for more than a week. At no point did he mention McCain working in collaboration with Acorn until 2006. At no point did he talk about Palin misconduct. At no point is he talking about vote suppression. It was absolutely disgusting to see him bark at Zimmerman who dared to contradict him while raising the question of hate speech with McCain and Palin. I am still struggling to understand how an objective media keep this guy on their schedule.

    October 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Bubba

    Palin and her grampa are running scared. Losers. How dare the Republicans even field a candidate after Bush's open dishonesty! They should all be ashamed.

    October 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Bystander

    No really...

    Hey...do you think that's why the DNC marched out Congressman Lewis to protray McCain as George Wallace?

    No way–they would never stoop that low just to quell dissent in the populace!!

    Or would they....
    Let's not forget who is in charge in the DNC!!!

    October 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Matt

    After the typical accusation towards the GOP, Obama begins to distance himself from ACORN. Wonder who is going to get thrown under the bus this time? I guess it is easier than calling for an investigation of this problem... wouldn't want to do THAT... it might disqualify some of his "voters."

    How very Presidential.

    October 14, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. CR in WI

    There have already been some discrepencies by McCain here in WI. Absentee ballot requests were sent out to registered democrats from the McCain camp, but the return address sent these requests to the incorrect clerk. There has been a lot of effort wasted by these election clerks to clarify the situation. They are trying to contact all affected. But if people who do not receive their absentee ballot and aren't contacted, then try to vote on Nov 4th they will be subject to their vote being disqualified due to the previous absentee request.

    I'm *sure* this is just an honest mistake. . .

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. M. L. Moore

    Hilary Clinton should be our next Secretary of State ... She would be most effective there.

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Dave in Illinois

    The GOP should ease up on Obama and Acorn. In Chicago where he comes from, "ghost voting" is a time honored tradition for Democrats to insure their election night victories.

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Griff

    This Man is in no "Doubt a Liar"....

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Jeanette

    McCain is trying his dardest to blame Obama for Acorn – but it's really the republicans thats behind the Acorn antics.
    Go yo youtube and check out the sara Palin AIP Video!!! You will be amazed.
    Seems sara and her husband are secessionist (sp).

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Uncle Sam

    This is what Obama's $800,000.00 donation to ACORN has bought him. VOTER FRAUD!!! Whether you like it or not Obama your money has tainted the racist minorities at ACORN. They have been caught!

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. RealityKing

    It's already quite obvious that the only way Obama can win is through fraud. Fraud from ACORN and the entire progressive media..

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. tulsa

    Yes, vote for the Statesman, not the old warrior.

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Bitter in Texas

    Voter Registration Fraud by Acorn isn't the same thing as Voters Fraud at the polls...only when a fraudlent registered voters actually tries to vote is there any voter fraud...get it, Rethuglicans!

    Now, let's talk about Todd Palin and his membership in the AIP (Alaska Independence Party)...CNN is spilling the beans on this one. Tune in......this is a real eye opener.

    October 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Obama is effectively going to "do in" the GOP thugocracy that has been allowed to run wild for the last 8 years!

    October 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. TONY



    October 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. ANGIE

    Funny how the Mccain wants to start crying about this crap when Mccain was a supporter of Acon Quote SAYING ITS GOOD FOR AMERICA I wonder Mccain was ahead in the polls would they be crying about this nonsense MCCAIN CAMP ARE A BUNCH OF SORE LOSER CRY BABIES!

    October 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Jean

    Obama plays the VICTIM card very well.

    October 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. proud army and navy mom

    You don't have to worry Sen Obama, we will not fall for the repugs' game.

    We will stand up for our rights and not be intimidated by the repugs. We are aware of the tricks and games they play on voters. We've got your back.

    October 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Tom

    Look to the past for clues to the present. The Republican Party's history of attempting to supress the votes of poor and/or minority voters is well documented.

    October 14, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. California Gold

    The trajectory of the McCain-Palin campaign into non-issues is dismaying. McCain has spent 2008 destroying whatever amount of credibility he had and committed character suicide. Sad to say but Senator McCain has become utterly, hopelessly and terminally irrelevant. What a pathetic character.

    October 14, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. (Former) Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    The extremist right are good at scaring voters and this attempt to intimidate voters by focusing on ACORN is no different.

    October 14, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Informed Voter

    Voter Fraud is a distraction for Voter Supression by the GOP ... it's not 2000 or 2004 .....

    Vote Early .....!!!!

    October 14, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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