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

Obama: We don't need ACORN's help

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/14/art.botalk1014.gi.jpg caption="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. Jerry Attrick

    Correction: That 1-866 VOTE number is not just for one state but for all of America. Call it if you have questions or if anyone challenges your eligibility!

    October 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. CJ

    This is how the Republicans have won the last elections; using incessant scare tactics to coerce people into thinking that the Democratic candidate is too inexperienced and is a risky choice. Unfortunately, a myraid of voters do not expound their knowledge of a candidate beyond their face, and vote on gossip, or prejudice.
    Obama does not have to utilize these negative tactics to win; Bush/Cheney have ruined our economy and national standing: we need a true leader and Renaissance man:
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. TheTruthHurts

    I support Obama. I don't like this tactic. They should agree to bipartisan monitoring. They should explain their distance from Acorn and they should pledge some amount of campaign resources to poll monitoring. They should send letter to Secretaries of State where problems are expected to occur to make sure they're on PUBLIC NOTICE that turnout will be high and they need to call for whatever help they need to facilitate voting.

    October 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. The Fab One

    Desperate people do desperate things. Not this time, Republicans. We were too stupid to realize what happened when Bush stole the election 8 years ago. Not this time.

    Your time is up. It's a new day and it's America's time now. Give up bravely, Republicans. You will not win. Not this time.

    GO OBAMA!!

    October 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. kcmookie

    Why do the Republican's have to act as though some type of voter fraud is going on, simply because Obama and the DNC have an excellent system in place to get the word out and get people registered, shouldn't that be the goal? Some fraud or false activity is bound to happen, can someone quantify it as a percentage of the total # of people registered? I mean seriously, if true ill intent is involved, do you really think they would be registering under the likes of 'Mickey Mouse'?

    No amount of voter registration fraud can out-do the damage caused by the past 8 years of the Bush administration. When the Republican party loses this election, it will not be because of registration fraud, it will be due to people having had enough after 8 years of Bush. Even Republican's should be disgusted by there party....

    October 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Noah

    OK, to all of the luny Lefties in here who claim McCain has "ties" to ACORN, the only "ties" he has is giving a speech in front of them. That can hardly be considered ties. It's not like McCain ever represented them in a legal case and defended their organization....but Obama did. NObama!

    October 14, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. C

    How do we know that the republicans weren't responsible for submitting fraudulent voter registration forms so they could then accuse ACORN and Obama of rigging votes!!!

    October 14, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Ace in VA

    Republicans committed fraud in 2004... remember anyone?

    October 14, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Ann

    Sure, all is just conspiracy against The One. Mr. Obama, you cheated to gain the nomination, you are trying to cheat now. When it doesn't work you cry the race card, the smear politics card, the 3rd Bush term card, and so on. Now its the intimidation card? ACORN is real Mr. Cheater.

    October 14, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. my friends yes my friends

    yes they are , they Limbaugh and Rove and Mcbush are still saying as of today 10/14/08 that
    he is an arab
    he is a terrorist
    that he is a danger to the country

    it is so despicable that mccain has to turn to such practices,
    not only racist
    but lying

    Obama is an AMerican and he loves our country

    mccain is the one that sounds unamerican to me

    October 14, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. RJ

    ACORN is accused of voter REGISTRATION fraud even though McCain and several Republican governors complimented ACORN recently and last year.

    What matters is VOTER FRAUD, not VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD. GOP is specialised in voter fraud committed on the voting day.

    October 14, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Gregg - Florida

    I am not sure how the McCaign campaign can try to intimidate voters, now that the truth about Palin is coming out, seems Sarah has ties to that AIG, ( Alaska Independent Party ), gee, this is the group that wants to be seperate from the United States, seems she even went to a AIG convention in 2006, isnt Todd still in this group of people? gee,,,and there campaign is Country First? WAKE UP AMERICA!! McCaign // Palin the lying campaign...

    October 14, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. C

    These fraudulent voter registration forms were sneaked in by Republicans!!

    October 14, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Karol

    I guess she has learned her lesson – OBAMA won't ask to do anything. He does not like her and he doesn't feel the love unless he needs her to campaign for him. Don't worry to much about Hillary maybe he will ask her to "iron his shirt".

    October 14, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. That one is Karl Marxs friend too

    Scott in Atlanta- I would be happy to read Rolling Stones article if you will read the article by Robert Meyer at renewamerica.us-
    It is very clear about Obama's policies. I understand people wanting change, but I do not believe it is prudent to spread the wealth. That policy has not worked for Russia, China, or any other Socialist Society. It doesn't work and Mr Far Left Obama believes in this-

    October 14, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |

    Lou Dobbs is also entertaining that the Obama camp has ties to ACRON. I think he is a Red neck hiding in an Independants skin. Just look how he tries to intimidate the Democratic Strategist when he has his discussion. His Independant perspective is really Independant BS.

    October 14, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. bill canada

    Here in Canada we have a large asian population and their presence is making our students study harder to get a place in university . seems to us the opposite is happening to american schools . you are letting the lazy and uninterested pull you down . prepare to SHARE YOUR WEALTH hollywood

    October 14, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Susie in oklahoma

    Because of what McCain is trying to do, alot of ppl in my town are listening except younger voters and the older generation. That's the funny thing. Which the younger voters are college going and are really for Obama as the future and see McCain just like Bush. The older generation said simply that Obama has the better plans for America and they're sick of the crap put out by McCain and Palin. They only want to hear about the issues at hand rather then slander a man. I asked them if Obama being of mixed race was an issue and they said they have lived a long enough life to not look or be scared at another nationality. Now that's intelligent!!

    October 14, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Larkins

    John McCain would be stupid to bring up ACORN at the debates seeing how there are pictures of him being a guest speaker. Also nice touch McCain for hiring a lobbyist that has ties to Saddam, real nice.

    October 14, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |

    Liar. Liar . Liar pants on fire

    October 14, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. Peggy

    So called Republicans began blogging a long time ago about ACORN which leads me to think, that they...................................!

    October 14, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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