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. Shane


    October 16, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Len in Washington

    GIVE IT UP!!!

    For cryin' out loud, McCain, your puking out what little honor you have left. You can't win on the issues so this is all you've got? Sad.........

    October 16, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. values


    October 16, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Aww politics of distraction. We have become a nation of idiots. Rome is burning. We will get what we vote for. Ready for another 4 years of Bush?

    October 16, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Bama4Obama

    This is getting ridiculous! The McCain campaign is trying to make it sound like Obama runs ACORN, which he doesn't. The facts CNN uncovered show nothing but innocuous involvement on Obama's part. Wise up, McCain- this is another Ayers issue- NO ONE REALLY CARES! It isn't going to fix the economic mess we are in, and that is the issue the voters care about.

    October 16, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Carl

    I dont' care if you are a liberal or conservative.

    ACORN is dirty and about 90% of us already know this.

    There are groups on both sides exploiting the good nature of volunteers through bribery and scams.

    They are willing to destroy democracy just so the person that they want to win gets extra votes.

    I can't tolerate it... and I'm a big Obama supporter.

    We all have skeletons in our closet, and he has done many things for ACORN.

    October 16, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Steve

    McCain Camp to Obama Camp: "Release More Information on ACORN"

    American People to McCain Camp: "Give it a rest. The FBI is looking into it. You were endorsing ACORN two years ago, and gave a keynote address to them. Now tell us what YOU are going to do for US, other than to try to create fear and doubt."

    October 16, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Rob S.C.

    ACORN is for nuts. Get over it, there is no "there" there.

    October 16, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Casey, NY

    Ha ha ha

    I am giddy. I'm so happy I can't see straight.

    Yes folks, it will be an OBAMA NATION–Peace out.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 16, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. theo

    Do the republican party really think this is a real issue? If so, then I need to call and find out how to get rid for the bridge I have for sale in New York? It connects New York and Alaska... Not even one toll road.

    October 16, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |

    McBush thinks american are only the 5% rich, in that case he is right Obama will rase tax on them.
    Who is American is 95% of us that Obama cut the tax on .
    We want to see how much your wife paying tax?
    Obama is for Joe and me and 95% of American. McBush is for 5% the rich and yes we want to be rich so we can pay tax this is what make the America , America not just 5% rich to be richer and make decision for us 95%

    October 16, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Adam

    Ask Sen. McCain about his freakin' ties to ACORN. He did speak for them! Also, it would be nice if you would actually publish my remarks.

    October 16, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Nancy, CA

    I will be glad when this election is over and Barack Obama becomes our president-elect. I am so sick of seeing the angry face of John McCain along with his sidekick, Sarah Palin, darkening the picture on my television set every day. McCain and Palin's constant string of lies has worn thin. John McCain please go back to the senate and try to find the honor you once had and now have lost. Sarah Palin please take the nearest road to nowhere back to Alaska and stay there for once and for all.

    October 16, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Robert in Virginia

    CNN needs to ask McCain what information they have. CNN is behaving as if they are guilty of insufficient investigation. Clearly, the alternative is that there is no other information and CNN and voters are being manipulated. The insinuations are not sufficient.

    October 16, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. McCain/Palin = Shameful, hateful behaviour

    Grasp all you want at straws, McCain-Palin; you're continuing to slither off the cliff – into the slime where you belong.

    October 16, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  16. Ms. RDS

    @NOW...please read something ...anything! He only used them for canvasing and in the states Pen. and Ohio which are both states that Hillary won in the primaries. So obviously it couldn't have had an effect on the outcome.

    October 16, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    I wonder if Mccain and friends will release thier own ties to ACORN theis is a false flag on the american voter. claim frad while comitting it... The Obama campaign had to file court papers on MI GOP because they were trying to illegaly purge voters. Something else they are doing in IA and if they aren't doing that then they are caging voters. ACORN is not participating in voter fraud. They have to turn in all their registration forms regardeless and they already flagged the forms with the incorrect names hence the reason they are being looked at. willfull ignorance is never bliss learn how this all works first before you claim voter fraud. Even if I filled out a form with Mikey Mouse on it unless someone shows up with ID with Mikey Mouse on it...it will not turn into a vote

    October 16, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. David for obama

    We just need a person that will take the white house with a cool head in order to solve the problems that are hammering this country, not someone that can't even maintain a dignifying composture in a debate, I don't believe necesary to mention names if who ever read this witnessed the final presidential debate you know what I mean.

    Go! No drama Obama

    October 16, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. David S.

    How can Obama say he has nothing to do with ACORN when his capaign gave them over $800,000! Its a group fostered by the Democrats to steal elections. To them, the end justifies the means and all the Democrats care about is winning and ensnaring more Americans on their socialist agendas. Its their avenue to power and getting rich, no way I would vote for Obama now, hes a crook and Clintonesque liar!

    October 16, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. Nevel, IN

    We will personally send Palin back to Alaska with some lower 48 advice–your candidate is losing.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 16, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule and Winky Half-baked Alaska

    I smell desperation as the McCain't/Flailin' Palin ticket slowly slides into the muck where they belong. Distractions from the real issues anyone? Oh that's right! If they talk about them, they lose.

    October 16, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. No McCain

    McCain is so quick with his finger pointing.... totally erratic, desparate.

    Joe the Plumber = Another hired McCain's puppet . just stay tuned.

    Obama/Biden = the change we need.

    October 16, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. Margie

    If McCain spent as much time thinking about his own campaign plans as he does thinking of ways to question Obama, he might actually make it somewhere. If McCain is worried about Ayers, why doesn't he demand that Ayers resign from the college is teaching at. Does he want a terrorist teaching students? The ACORN or Ayers issues are not going to win this election for him. He has to connect to the American people...and he yet to do that. That is not something you can fake. He had a chance last night. All he has shown is that he is a an old grumpy man.

    October 16, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. Taylor Adams

    To all of those who say that should we not be worried about this issue should be worried about McCain and his involvments with ACORN also. At a campaign rally of McCain's, the ACORN organization was present. It was back in either 06 or 07, but McCain said that the reason why his campaign is flourishing so well is because of the ACORN organization. Hello McCain? Are you just trying to ignore the fact that you did pawl around with the ACORNS or are you just having one of your alzheimic episodes? Man, people should look at both candidates and find out if either each of them had any kind of involvment with something drastic, then start making comments about them if they are ACTUALLY TRUE!!! Palin is just as crazy and out of touch with anything as McCain. She don't know jack and it definitely showed when she didn't even have a specific newspaper that she read. All she said was, "I read a little bit of everything." OKAY! What is that? She annoys the hell out of me, and so does McCain with his lame character tactics. Get to the real issues! Stop focusing on your experience because your experience=past. It does not =future. Change=future, which is what Obama has been standing by since the start of his campaign. Now McCain wants to try to take it. So lame!!

    October 16, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Tim

    I'm sure there are thousands of fradulant registrations....just as I know that the Obama campaign donated 800K to an agency tied into Acorn.

    Other things I know :

    1) just because you donate to an orginaztion doesn't mean you're culpible for their actions. This is just a fear tactic by the RNC and McCain campaign to discourage people from actually voting.

    2) Fraudulant *REGISTRATIONS* can't vote. Period. Is Mickey Mouse going to show up at the polls with a valid ID card? Is Donald Duck going to get his ballot to 123 Fake Street in the mail to send back in? No and No.

    Intelligent people know, the RNC is trying to play on peoples ignorance, when in fact, they're more ignorant and culpible for this nations problems than anyone else.

    This is a non-issue.

    October 16, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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