October 16th, 2008
08:55 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain camp to Obama: Release more information about ACORN

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/16/art.macpt1016.gi.jpg caption="At the final presidential debate, Sen. McCain said ACORN might be destroying the fabric of democracy."]
(CNN) – In the wake of an Associated Press report that the FBI is reviewing the results of several state inquiries into the conduct of ACORN, Sen. John McCain’s campaign called Thursday for Sen. Barack Obama to release additional information about the relationship between the embattled community organizing group and the Obama campaign.

“Barack Obama’s campaign must fully disclose the nature of his association with ACORN,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement Thursday.

The Obama campaign took issue with the McCain campaign's request. "ACORN never performed any voter registration work for the Obama campaign and Senator McCain’s campaign knows this," the Obama campaign said in an e-mail to CNN. "The real question is why they continue to assert something that isn’t true, and why they believe that attacking a group that Senator McCain himself praised as 'what makes America special' helps their campaign."

Related: 'We don't need ACORN's help,' says Obama

CNN has been unable to confirm a report by the Associated Press that the FBI is investigating whether ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud across the country as the presidential election approaches. Instead, several government sources have told CNN that the FBI and the Justice Department are reviewing documents provided by state investigations into ACORN to determine whether there is a basis to open a federal criminal investigation.

These developments at the federal level come nearly a week after six Republicans in the House of Representatives sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey requesting a federal investigation into ACORN’s voter registration activities. All of the House members who signed the letter to Mukasey had previously administered elections as Secretaries of States.

In a statement Thursday, ACORN said that it has not been contacted by any federal law enforcement agencies. "Should any investigation be forthcoming, we are confident that we would be exonerated," the group said. "We have always, and will continue to, work with any inquiry."

Watch: ACORN counters fraud charges

At the final presidential debate, Sen. McCain challenged Sen. Obama to explain his relationship with ACORN, saying the group “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." In response, Obama said his only involvement with the group was representing it in a lawsuit against the State of Illinois regarding a motor voter law.  A CNN Fact Check found Obama's claim to be false.

Earlier this week, Obama and senior officials from his campaign both said that the Obama campaign has its own voter registration efforts that are not related to ACORN’s recently completed voter registration drive.

Since the registration drive was recently completed, there have been several press reports of questionable or fraudulent voter registration forms submitted as a result of the drive.

Updated 8:55 pm to add comment from the Obama campaign.

–CNN Justice Department Producer Terry Frieden contributed to this report

Filed under: ACORN • Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Voter Problems
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Chapman

    You know ACORN works year after year day after day tirelessly on behalf of the poor & disenfranchised in an effort to engage these people in their own well being & in order to get them to vote (hopefully in their own self interest) for candidates who can & will make a difference for issues that can make a difference in their lives. Why is it that these raids & accusations of fraud are only made weeks before a General election??? Same thing happened in 2004. After the media blowing it up as some sort of effort on behalf of the Democratic party to commit voter fraud it turned out to be a couple of goof ball employees who were trying to pad their registration numbers in order to make more money. There have never been any cases of "Vote fraud" prosecuted

    October 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Ron from Baltimore

    Leave it up to the FBI and those we pay and hire to do these things. Stop wasting your supporters' time and money. This works both ways, by the way, so have your own papers ready.

    October 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Betty777

    Whly don't you, Mr. McCain, answer questions about:

    Connection to radical and subversive group you served as a board member.
    Why don't you talk about the keynote speech you gave at the ACORN event two years ago
    The Keating Five involvement

    When you answer your questions with honesty and clarity (even thought CNN does not cover your affiliations), I will email Obama personally and ask him to clarify his involvement to you for the 3 or 4th time. Straight talker, you can do better than this.

    October 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Amy

    Good grief! Now McCain has to publicize a federal investigation? In a similar story on another news site it is noted that they say they don't discuss investigations especially this close to an election. McCain, you are coming off as very desperate...or maybe it is just Republicans in general since it was the 6 Republican House members who whined...

    October 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Sue in MI

    Why don't you tell the folks about Joe the Plumber who is related to Charles Keating, yes THAT Keating.

    October 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. CG

    OBAMA has no idea what he is up against. With no practical experience of any kind and he's just a made for TV leader. What I can't believe is that you're going to put another attorney in office.

    Let's see what can Obama can promise me, how inspired will you be when Obama mega church "the Democratic Party" is not there when you think they should be.

    It's time to find a leader that knows how to run the business of a country, not make promises he can't keep. We can't keep pretending that there will be anyhting left for our children if 80% of the country if truely broke.

    October 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. Gene

    To the people who are saying that Obama is putting out just as many attack ads as McCain.. or more... This may be true. But as to who is putting out a higher percentage of negative ads.. McCain is way up.

    There is a difference between the two of them though. Obama's negative or attack ads are aimed at McCain's policies.. McCain's attack ads are all aimed at Obama himself. That's a big difference... and the reason why most people feel that McCain is running a dirty campaign. If McCain just attacked Obama on the issues.. no one would have a problem with that.. but since McCain has no ground to stand on.. all he can do is attack Obama personally and hope it sticks.

    October 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. David

    Didn't McCain attend an ACORN event in 2006?

    October 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Matt

    Carl: Stop lying.

    October 16, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. NickNas

    McCain will NEVER be happy with ANYTHING that is said about ACORN. It is a GREAT way to fool the weak minded.

    Obama has disclosed 100% of the information and it has been CONFIRMED But weak hate filled minds will still go along with McCain and he knows it. All he has to do it keep CLAIMING there is more and make it up as he goes along.

    I am so glad he is going to lose horribly. The US is better than this.

    October 16, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. M. WINNERS

    Hey Karl Rove – Look in your rear view mirror...

    It's Tucker Bounds and he's about to take over your slot as the "Slime King of the GOP!"

    Remember you read it here first – Tucker Bounds soon to be the new "fear, smear, mock and LIE" all time leader of the McCain/Palin so-called campaign...

    As for the trumped up ACORN diversion – Another Rovian style smear only this time from Tucker "The Smucker" Bounds. See what I mean about becoming the new poster boy for the neocon fascists...

    October 16, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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