October 16th, 2008
08:55 PM ET
13 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. MG

    Obama to McCain – You release more information about ACORN, since you were their keynote speaker.

    Oh, and what's up with trying to restrict voters in Ohio?

    October 16, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Wait til all the poop comes out about how the repukes are trying to cage votes in southern states – ha ha ha ha ha

    October 16, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Abby

    The final ramblings of a failed campaign…so sad to watch.

    Obama 08! Nothing to hide!

    October 16, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. Chi4Obama

    Yawn. Old news. Barack has already addressed this.

    Sounds as if the McCain camp is grasping for straws once again. They are sinking faster than the Titanic.

    October 16, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Obamalism

    riiiiight... just like you say you're not partisan.

    thousands of "Acorn for Obama" t-shirts say otherwise.

    First hand reports of citizens saying that Acorn told them who they should vote for also says otherwise.


    And please tell me which congressman TRIED to get them even more funding in the first bailout package? Please name names.

    October 16, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |


    October 16, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Preco, NY

    The McCain campaign is proving us right, that the campaign is run by LUNATICS!!!!

    October 16, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. JoelWhy

    It's clear what happened with ACORN - they used lousy criteria for deciding who to hire to do these voter registration drives. But, I have yet to hear of a single credible piece of evidence that would indicate ANY voter fraud (or conspiracy.)

    The fact that Mccain is bringing this up just further demonstrates his desperation. I'm genuinely surprised by his downward spiral into Rove-like tactics.

    October 16, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    When are we gonna get info about the G. Gordon Liddy/McCain very close relationship? Liddy – as in subverting the constitution, etc., watergate fame?

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

    Its official. From all the news I have been reading about the stuff the RNC is carrying on and going on with...dirty politics..its offical now to me that the "R" now stand for "Racist" "Radical" "Repulsive".
    Now tell me America. Why should we reward this party by making Mr.
    Erratic McCain to POTUS???

    October 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Moose in hiding, scared of john

    Whatever. John no one cares.

    October 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Bonnie

    Oh, boy. Is this the prelude to getting the Supreme Court to install McCain/Palin after his crushing defeat on November 4th?

    October 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Bill in Indy

    He absolutely should disclose that information. And John McCain should explain why he got free cell towers installed on his property by both Verizon and AT&T. There is a definite conflict of interest here, seeing as how McCain is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the telecom industry, and McCain has deep lobbying ties to the industry.

    Connections in Washington run deep, on both sides of the aisle.

    October 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. nyc

    That's not a surprise. She just doesn't get it! This is not a pageant. People need a real leader and her winks and folksy dargonits are not going to solve the fundamental problems we have today.

    October 16, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Why????

    I have seen the tape where McCain was proud of the work that Acorn was doing. So, where do McCain get off questioning Obama. Step up to the plate McCain and explain your tied to Acorn.

    October 16, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. suzyku

    Mccain has so many skeletons in his closet that he definitely should be careful. Why doesn't somebody expose his ties to Acorn and other groups that he is disclaiming? Including the head of his transition team who lobbied for Sadam Hussein!

    October 16, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. cheryl

    McCain will try anything to attack Obama's character. Acorn is not the cause of the ecnomic problems. There are many facets to the failures. McCain is just continuing is failed attempts of winning the American public's confidence. Obama is the leader this country needs.

    October 16, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. Red, Red WHINE!!

    McCain: I have absolutely no questions left about Acorn...he did address them. However, I would like to know:

    1) Why did you make 32 propoganda films for the enemy when you were a POW?

    2) Why did you turn over sensitive information to the enemy?

    3) Why did you say that americans 'deserved what we got" when they were killed in battle?

    4) Why did you vote against my veterans benefits?

    5) Why did you make a known lobbyist for Saddam Hussein a major figure in your campaign staff?

    October 16, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. sabuc for Obama and voting early!

    McCain: Please throw us a bone here!

    Alright people. Vote early or show up early to vote on Nov 4. Nobody is ahead or behind until the last ballot is counted on Nov 4th!! Make sure all your friends and family members get out and vote!!

    October 16, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. joyce

    in the spirit of transparency, release more info on palin and all the other skeletons in your closet mccain.

    seriously, the dems were cheated in the last 2 presidential elections. i can't believe the gut of the republicans throwing mud. face it, obama had energized the country and there are record number of registration because of him. no matter how the repubs try to gear up for complaints or question this election, it won't matter because it won't even be close.
    after bush's regime, the repubs might as well kiss their party goodbye as it will slowly desintegrate.

    October 16, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Joshua from Vandenberg AFB, CA

    McGrumpy and the Beauty Queen won't give up. Good for them. Thanks for losing your military bearing last night McGrumpy. You showed the country you are no longer the disciplined military man you claim to be.

    October 16, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. Desmond Sequeira

    What do you hope to get from this bickering? A turn around in the polls?
    The only way you can start being impressive, though it is probably too late, is by focusing on SUBSTANCE. The fact that you do not understand that shows how bankrupt this campaign is

    October 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. rumpusgoopus

    Does anyone but Republicans care about this?

    October 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. Terry B.

    America to McCain camp. SHUT UP ALREADY about ACORN, Ayers, and whomever else you are talking about. Try talking about some issues. IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID!!!!!!

    October 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. nyc

    Obama is the change we need!

    October 16, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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