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. rin

    dont mccain get it nobody cares about Acorn!!! that is the last thing on peoples mind..... for those that understand how voter registration works dont give a rats tail about acorn...

    October 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Kate in NC

    When is McCain going to acknowledge HIS TIES to acorn. After all, he was a keynote speaker for them in 2006.

    October 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. liza

    Note to the McCain campaign...WHO CARES!!!!!! Your new campaign slogan should be changed to "We just don't get it.." Just what does Obama have to do with idiot people filling out fake registrations forms for money??? FURTHERMORE, how would this "scandal" help ANYBODY (rep or dems) in the polls, when these "fake people"-(mickey mouse, dallas cowboy cheerleaders, joe public, etc) will NOT show up to vote???!!!?? It is now confirmed, the Reps are now grasping for air to last and will grab onto anything and run with it.... Too bad his campaign are the only people who really care....They are really starting to look pathetic..

    Additional note to the McCain campaign– If you want to see what a REAL campaign ad looks like with ZERO negativity, but positve confirmation of their party views, check out the latest one by Barack Obama... (No voice-over's....It's MCCAIN's face and words that are echoing-I VOTED FOR BUSH 90% OF THE TIME )
    So much for your "infamous" tag line from the debate...Barack just blew it out of the water with his ad.....

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!!!!!!

    October 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. dj

    Most of us are sick of hearing about ACORN.. Lets talk more about how much my Medical charges have gone up. Let's talk about how much it's going to cost me to send my daughter to College. MCCain. Let's talk about the real issues.. Let's talk about how your running mate loves to get the crowds to be very rude and ready to fight..
    let's talk about how Palen don't talk about anything of substance at all.
    Obama is on the right track.. Keep it up..
    Obama/Biden all the way.

    October 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. Jay

    Shut Up McCAin!!!!
    Obama's campaign has nothing to do with ACORN!!!

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

    Evidence is being turned over to the Attorney General that ACORN voter fraud was the reason Hillary Clinton lost the primary to Obama.

    And it is believed that the $800,000 Obama paid to ACORN around that time had something to do with it.

    Stay tuned as new info becomes available. This is HOT.

    October 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. Yes Obama

    ACORN is not getting as much play as the Ayers did, which is now a dead issue... ACORN is only getting play amongst crazy conservatives.

    You lose Mccrazy.

    October 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. ines

    McCain release the negativity and lies...

    October 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. Simmy

    Obama supporter to McCain Camp: Stop the hate!

    October 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    Now that the infamous " RICK" has started showing up on the talk shows I can see why John McCain is always looking so angry.. "RICK" also looks angry. He has that same scowl look on his face as McCain has.. He has those same angry eyes that McCain has. He has that same hatefull voice that McCain has.. I can imagine how their office staff must work under a ton of hostility..

    October 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. chris

    MAn HOW SILLY .......wait will i have enough money for gas next week....oh dont worry Mccain wants use to hear about accorn....that will solve things....

    October 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. Moose in hiding, scared of john

    better story for cnn, joe does not have a plumber license and he will not be taxed at all. he's a phony.

    October 16, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. Sheri Caroll

    Obama made it very clear that he had no involvement with ACORN. Lets move on. It is very pathetic that the Republicans do this every voting time. I for one am tired of it!

    October 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. FL4OB

    Why doesn't McCain release more information about his ties to ACORN? Distractive nonsense right out of the Rovian playbook. Sad.

    Please vote for the candidates addressing the issues: Obama/Biden.

    October 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Rene in PA

    This tactic is absurd. Anyone can send in 50 registration forms listing themself as Mickey Mouse if they so desire. It matters not one whit because it is nothing more than a piece of paper, a FORM. It is REGISTRATION fraud.

    What matters is VOTER fraud. See if you can follow up on those 50 registrations listed as Mickey Mouse at the voter booth. You wouldn't get past the gate.

    October 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Carl

    Registration fraud is not the same as voter fraud, let's first understand that!! Do we really care if some poor people signed some fake names to get paid? Those fake names are of fake people who are NOT going to vote in the general election. McCain is trying to paint this picture of Obama having people vote for him under fake registrations – which is absurd.

    These false allegations will not work this time.

    October 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. The Republican Conscience


    October 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. Diana Ewing NJ

    Obama has so many supporters who work for free, why would he need this organization? I say that as one who worked getting people to update their registrations.. People who never worked on a campaign have joined together to work for him.

    I believe I heard that Acorn itself turned over registrations forms they were not sure were okay.

    Another thing that does not make sence to me is that why wait and collect 5 thousand before turning them in?? and where did Acorn think they were going to get these 5000 people to go and vote.

    Don't get me wrong I believe there are jerky people who would do this thinking they could fool someone into thinking they were working.. but does Obama look like he is stupid.... does his campaign look like it is run by stupid people??? don't think so.

    October 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. vanessa


    October 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. Megan, IL

    Yes, landslide day is coming on November 4th. If he doesn't win by a landslide, who cares, he will still WIN.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Karen

    Go read Factcheck.org for the info

    October 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. Gene

    Obama should release more information on ACORN.. like the video of John McCain at an ACORN conference commending them for their great work.

    October 16, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. Chris

    Ok, then release information about:

    Keating 5
    Sealed Military Records
    Proof Palin paid taxes on her Per Diem
    Your VP Vetting process

    October 16, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  24. anne

    McCain loved Acorn in 2006. He has nothing on Obama and is just a pathetic angry old man who lies!

    October 16, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  25. Georgia for Obama

    McCain is a dirty politician ,,,,,,who cares about ACORN I care if i am going to have a job and health care,,,,,,,,,,McCain and Palin are corrupted

    October 16, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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