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. Enlightened Voter

    Well the republiklans are desperate and know they offer no hope or change just more of the same. They have run an abominable negative campaign. Mccain can't even run his campaign and we see his judgement in palin and yet he expects us to let him run this country? Is he delusional or what?

    October 14, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Nicolas Collado

    I think the Republican Party and Mccain's campaign are trying to distract while they furnishe a fraud that prevent thousends of democracts voters from being located in the election day. I think they are trying to dislocate voters lists and prescincts in order to create c onfusion. All that investigation in battleground voters is moved by that issue.

    October 14, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    McCain is threatening to bring up Ayers and ACORN at the debate.

    Fair enough, Senator McCain, do you care to talk about something real that happened, that was bad and had you up to your neck in it – Keating 5?!?!?!


    October 14, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Bruce

    McCain should look into AIP and Palin. That is a real ANTI – AMERICAN GROUP

    October 14, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. TONY





    October 14, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. SC Blue

    ACORN is not a Democratic entity...they register all voters. Keep your eye on the Republicans, they have ecperience in STEALING elections, and preventing eligible voters from voting. Volunteer as a poll watcher, so when voters get turned away there is help at the polling place.

    October 14, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. Sylvia, Dallas,GA

    This is probably insiders from the McCains Camp that are producing the fraudulent voter registrations in an effort to frame the Obama Camp.

    October 14, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Jack - DSM, Iowa

    Obama really sounds cynical about the intelligence of the American voter.

    October 14, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Susan

    McCain and Palin are a disgrace to this country. They try to tie Obama to everything. Why doesn't McCain come clean about his good frien and convicted felon, G.Gordon Liddy, who McCain said he is so proud of. CNN is finally talking about Sarah and Todd palin, and the AIP, so lets talk about Liddy, and the other relationships with shady people that McCain has!

    October 14, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. mike

    The one who "created a situation where voters don't have faith in the system" was Obama. The FACT that his presidental campaign gave $800,000 to ACORN speaks for itself. Typical Obama-he's got a slick answer for everything.

    October 14, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Eric-30-m-PA

    Oh, please. The GOP is trying to make sure ACORN and others don't cheat, that's all. They know how Obama cheated in the caucuses and they don't want a repeat of that.

    October 14, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Jennifer

    McBush compaign...seriously reconsider how you are running the compaingn which is absolutely pathetic. The world is watching and i am sure, whole world is disgusted by McBush who questions the credibility/citizenship of the person who is his oppenent to just gain votes. just pathetic. Republicans who dont trust Obama, who think that he is terrorist, needs to check their head. They will probably vote for some white criminal but not obama..thats the height hatred they are showing. Its just disgusting.

    October 14, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Lyndon,CA

    Looks like Zimbabwe, the US version. Ballots with Barack Osama and problems with voting machines. Political rallies where nazi style if not George Wallace venom is spewed. Now if only opposition supporters could be chopped with machetes, but remember this is the US version.

    October 14, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. the other jd

    So how long do we have to wait until the story breaks about Palin's connection to the contractor who gave the Alaskan senator (the one who is on trial) his sweetheart deal?

    October 14, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. joeparadis

    Republicans suppressing and intimidating voters–gambling in the casino. That is not new. What is new is that they won't get away with it this time without a fight. Where are the loud mouths like LOU DOBBS and others? They are busy looking in mirror and getting apoplectic over contrived trivia.

    October 14, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. voter

    Dave in Illinois

    your information is inaccurate. the republicans including McCain and the governors of fl and ca all endorsed and spoke at the conference for acorn. ACORN is not in the obama campaign and has no relationship with any poltiical party. it is an independent group. if you want to talk about voter suppression, lets discuss the republicans who are purgining voter registration at the battleground states. the republicans also stole the election in 2000 & 2004.

    October 14, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. JayInNewHampshire

    Hillary Supporter.

    A Little upset your canadidate lost ar ya! Too bad get over it. We don't want your vote.

    October 14, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. Cari

    I was going to vote for McCain until I started researching Palin, she really scares me...from how her house got built, the AIP, her feelings, on guns and abortion, how she has attacted Obama, her ethics violation......how honest has she been. Did McCain even know her before he picked her. I doubt it...she is an embarrasment to the party.

    October 14, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. C.K.

    Laura in Boston-

    The simple fact of the matter is registering fake names, addresses etc. still doesn't equal voter fraud. Why? Because you still have to show up and present ID to vote to verify that you are you. It's all a mute point unless people actually vote repeatedly or illegally.

    October 14, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. tulsa

    I remember when Democrats said Bush had resorted to stealing the presidency you Republicans said "you have to support our president, like him or not.".

    lol.... now the shoe is on the other foot and you're saying "he's not MY PRESIDENT"

    What a patriot you are.

    October 14, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. TONY




    October 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Geo Joe in ABQ

    Vote early and vote often, that's how we did it in Louisiana. Seriously, there's a lot of BS flying on both sides. So volunteer to be a poll worker or poll watcher. DO something and don't just whine about it. In New Mexico you can still request an absentee ballot and vote early, then work at the polls all day Nov. 4. I turned mine in today.

    October 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Anna PA

    They do not know who put those poor people up to filling out the voter registration forms. How much you want to bet it was a repulican.
    John McCain has ties to ACORN, if you have a problem believing that goggle it. That is exactly what I did.

    Think about the plan the repugs could put together. Just throw some money at some people who need. Of course the people who filled out these forms wouldn't care who these people are they need money!
    Repugs wait for the right time then scream voter fraud to confuse the American people. It's just how Karl Rove works!

    October 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. rm

    Sylvia, Dallas, GA:

    I thought I was the only one who does not like Lou Dobbs. He is a smug and arrogant jerk.

    October 14, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Lorna, NY

    Voter registration fraud is a lot different than voter fraud. Mickey mouse can register to vote. Fraud is when you prevent people from voting. The GOP has a long history of voter fraud and stealing elections. The Obama/Biden campaign is fully prepared for these tactics. The Obama/Biden campaign is the most organized in American history and is always two steps ahead of these stupid GOP's. This election will be won by intelligence, not scare tactics and dishonesty.

    October 14, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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