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. J Slater

    What about the VIDEO we saw on the tv that featured JOHN MCBUSH himself praising ACORN??????????????

    October 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. Big Blue

    Who are they to tell the Obama camp what to do? I'd tell them where to look!!!

    October 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |

    I want to talk a little bit about this Joe "the plumber" guy. Has anyone heard this ...

    Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher is the son-in-law of Charles Keating of "The Keating Five!"

    You see, Robert Wurzelbacher was an executive of American Continental Corporation, the parent company of Charles Keating's Lincoln Savings. That's the bank which caused citizens to lose their life savings and cost U.S. taxpayers $3.4 billion. As part of that scandal, Robert Wurzelbacher pleaded guilty to three counts of misapplying $14 million and served 40 months in prison. And now, Lincoln Savings, Robert Wurzelbacher and Joe the Plumber are back with John McCain.

    GROUP HUG EVERYONE! Feel the love!

    October 16, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. Robin

    Even if ACRON managed to register Micky Mouse I seriously doubt Micky Mouse will show up at the polls to vote. Overall I think this was the work of a few lazy employees than a larger conspiracy to subvert the voting process.

    October 16, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Peggy

    This will come to nothing. Barack has Hillary t thank for warning him about the Republicans and their ugliness.

    October 16, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |

    Hey Rick... Why don't you fully disclose your relationship with Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae?

    October 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. chuks

    mccain keeps grasping at straws

    October 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |


    October 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Greg

    This is absurd. People are acting like actual voter fraud has ocured, which is alot different than registration fraud. It's not like Tony Romo or Mickey Mouse is actually going to show up and vote in Ohio.

    I wish the media would spend half as much time looking into reports of voter suppression that the Republicans try every 4 years. Right-wing partisan hacks have been illegally removing people from state voting rolls all across the country.

    October 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. Matt

    McCain's campaign strateegery: The Accusation = The Conviction.

    Nobody's buying it buddy. You're just trying to kill two birds with one stone by smearing Obama and setting up the effort to suppress votes in key states.


    October 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. Lauren in California

    Independent voter to mccain camp, stop raising phony issues, mccain himself was involved with acorn and I'm sure the republicans are not trying make us believe everyone else is as low and desperate as they are.

    The republicans are truly shameful. The only reason why Bush won was because he was able to scare everyone, and he stole florida. Gore should have been our president for the last 4 years, not that crook Bush. So now here we are 4 years later with the republicans trying that same crap, fear, smear and try to run the other guy into the ground. It won't work this time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Amy

    Wow, we can't see through this statement!

    Now that the Ayers thing was blown out of the water, McCain and his attack dogs are going to try to trick people into believing that Obama is responsible for ACORN.

    Not gonna work this time, Rick! We've had a president who has lied to us for 8 years, and we won't stand for 4 more.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Steve

    Now we finally, belatedly find out what Obama was doing during his "community organizing" days. It turned out he was working with groups like ACORN and communists agitators in the street of Chicago. So what else are there in Obama's background that he tried to hide or minimize besides ACORN? What about his claim of "just being in the same neighborhood" as a domestic terrorist? What about his claim of not knowing the anti-semitic, anti-American views of his spiritual mentor of 20 years?

    October 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Latina for Obama (nj)

    I saw a video last night where mcain was the speaker in one of Acorns meetings or whatever they're called.


    October 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. UCLAdy04

    TYPICAL of Republicans...start a witch hunt filing all these frivilous lawsuits in an effort to suppress voter registration gains by the Dems, then when these claims get investigated they point to the investigation as PROOF that something foul is happening. The GOP is engaging in the most blatant attempts to disenfranchise people around and it is a disgrace.

    Since McCain wants Obama to release records about his alleged relationship with ACORN, I want to see records of any correspondence between the McCain campaign and the Montana GOP, the Ohio GOP, and the Michigan GOP for starters who have all engaged in attempts to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.

    October 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Miles


    October 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. the Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    I think the FBI should investigate and throw the guilty parties in Jail. In jail for a long stretch. These hooligans and animals don't deserve an American jail either. Put them in GitMo.

    October 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. mk

    Will McCain release information about HIS ties to ACORN?
    Oh yes, they exisit.

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

    You republicans are really something. Give it up. He stated during the debate with mcasame he relationship with acorn. it was back in the 90's along with the state department. acorn is a voter registration community orginazation. What are you trying to say. Just like we have been sayng all along, you republicans don't have a glue what to do with the economy, jobs or health care so you continue to harp on stupid mess. You have fooled the people over the last 8 years and you have nothing else. mcsame and caribou barbie are toast.


    October 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC @ 4 & 6pm eastern

    BREAKING NEWS!!! Can you believe this crap??? I guess it's no wonder John McCain was so happy to use "Joe the Plumber" as a debate prop last night - he's a partisan Republican who also happens to be a member of McCain's old friends, the Keating family.

    From Martin Eisenstadt:

    Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years.

    Now I guess we know why Joe is telling the press that Obama is a "socialist" and that the Obama tax plan "infuriated" him. After all, it would hit families like the Keatings and their minions the hardest.

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

    Y A W N

    McCain is just mad because he was spanked–yet again–at the debate last night. What an old idiot he is.

    October 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  22. Allen

    Hey McBush. Release more information about the phony 'Joe the Plumber' who is not a licensed plumber and has not paid his back taxes. You planted him in the crowd at Obama's speech and once again you failed to vette your puppets. As for acorn. Obama articulated very clearly in the debate that he is not acorn and they are not his.

    October 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  23. Shame Shame I Know your name GOP

    Please McCain/Palin stop beating a dead horse. It is only a problem if these false people make it to the polls and vote. The truth is the GOP screwed up the economy so bad the people working for ACORN were willing to do any and everything to keep their jobs. Also, the folks who registered several times needed the money the ACORN employees were offering.

    October 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. Papasan in Arizona

    Mccain is babbling again! Warm prune juice and a nappy poo is in order. While you are napping grampa, dream up a message that says something anyone cares about.

    October 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    ACORN by law HAS to turn in every application, and the ones where they found mistakes, or may be suspicious of, they attach a cover letter to those. But they cannot throw them away. That would be illegal.


    October 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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