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. nitro

    The McCain camp needs to stop crying because Obama doesn't work for ACORN. If you want something released call there main office.

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Martha

    Let it go man let it go.

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Linda32

    McCain really stepped in it this time. The FBI is looking into their email. hehe

    Throw dirty and it will fly back in your face.

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. James, ID

    McCain is a pistol. His mother never dissaplined him and now he's just and old geezer with a bad attitude. We need good ideas and smarter brains in the White House. That leave McCain out.

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Frank

    Once again McCain is beating a dead horse. Acorn has nothing to do with Obama. Acorn is the one who alerted authorities of the false voter registration forms. By law, Acorn can not throw out obvious false forms, they must turn in all forms. Again, Acorn alerted the authorities, not the other way around as McCain would have you think. It's just another false and misleading statement by McCain, which he knows all too well is a lie when he says it. McCain has given great praise to Acorn and even stated that there is no greater organization than Acorn, when you ask, just last year at a diner for Acorn. Just Goolge it, you don't have to believe me, check for yourself. If you just listen to McCain, you'll never get the real truth, check things people, if you're reading this, you know how to use a computer, so do some homework on your own!

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Linda32

    McCain really stepped in it this time. The FBI is looking into their email. hehe

    Throw dirty and it will fly back in your face.

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Brian

    Voter registration fraud is NOT voter fraud, perpetrated in 2000 in FLA. People get a clue. Colonel Sanders may be registered to vote, but a vote from him won't be counted come election day, and I doubt that he will show up at any polling place.

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Nimi from NY

    As reported by AP McCain has ties with the Iran contra, the head of his transition team has ties with Saddam Hussein and today it's all over the news that McCain is tied with someone who is benefiting from the war in Iraq. They also that he got free cell towers installed on his property by both Verizon and AT&T. There is so much to hit him with and the Democrats are not taking advantage of it.

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Times Are You Watching....

    Man of the Year–Barack Obama.

    October 16, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  10. cecil

    Release more information about ACORN?

    Wait And Get It From The Gov. Sen. McCain

    October 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. Annie, Atlanta

    ACORN isn't run by Obama, it doesn't relate to the issues. Just heard on the Situation Room that the McCain campaign and the RNC are doing automated phone calls in battleground states on the Bill Ayers is a terrorist theme. Good God McCain, stop it. Desperation doesn't look good on you. It's disgraceful.

    October 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. Rob tellerman

    Any of you mental giants work for a company that makes more than $250,000 ? Repeat the Obama speak at work and you will probably be the first brainwashed morons to get laid off !!!!!

    October 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. Gene

    I've worked for voter registration groups before. They gather up a bunch of people (mostly teenagers), tell them that they get paid a certain amount for every viable signature they get, give them the criteria, and send them out. You wouldn't believe how many of these people came back with tons of signatures that could not be used due to them not falling into legal criteria.. whether being homeless, or living outside a certain city limit.. or even obvious attempts to just put fake signatures together just to be able to get paid a little extra.

    And this was not for any election, it was to put a proposition on the ballot. McCain is making a big deal out of nothing. This happens EVERY time there's a drive to register voters or get a petition. He's just mad because ACORN works with the poor.. and the poor vote democratic.

    October 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. Mikey

    NOW October 16th, 2008 6:23 pm ET
    Stay tuned as new info becomes available. This is HOT.
    Yeah, right. Just like all the other psudo scandals that have been aledged about Obama.

    A bad incentive pay structure, insufficient supervision and poor communication with registration offices does not equal a conspiracy.

    October 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. SHELLI1313

    Please Senator McNasty, Give up on this Acorn mess. Talk about the Economy and Why you lied about Joe the Plumber. The Facts have been checked says that he is not licensed to be a Plumber let alone buy the company that the owner is not selling. He is working on houses and he is not a licensed Plumber, also, The Facts have been checked and they say that Joe the Plumber only makes $40,000.00 a year and cannot afford to purchase the company that he works for and this info is found as a result of Joe the Plumber's divorce. Stop the lies McSame/McNasty/McLier!

    October 16, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  16. Michelle, Florida

    Why doesn't McCain explain his relationship with ACORN? Obama was given a task by his employer: represent ACORN at trial; that was some 13 years ago. McCain gave many accolades to ACORN in a speech he delivered at a conference sponsored by ACORN; that was 2006. I guess this McCain guy believes all Americans are as unread and unaware as his running mate. NOT!

    October 16, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. Californian4Obama

    OH My Gosh! How much more are they going to beat this poor dead horse? Do you really think anybody cares ? Move on to something else, PLEASE!!!!

    October 16, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. milo

    Dear Barack,

    Please constantly talk about the petty things nobody cares about, as it will distract people from the economy and other things that matter. Thanks.


    October 16, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Denise OKC

    This is Stupid...and so are the folks falling for it i.e. bobbleheads for Mclame and his pit bull. Do they NOT know that by law ALL registration forms must be turned in – regardless whether Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck signed it. AND the voter will have to show ID when they go to vote??? How really stupid to continue to harp on a non-issue.

    October 16, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. Jan in CA

    Geez this is just tearing this country appart. McCain says he wants to run an honorable campaign and the RNC is dilling voters with Automated messages saying Obama is tightly tied to Ayers and his abortion vote again. This is just getting to be too much and is so divisive. I wish the election was today...

    October 16, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. Independent White Woman for Obama

    John McCain, you are pathetic. If you can't win fair and square, can't you at least lose with honor?

    October 16, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. Liz

    OMG! He HAS disclosed everything! There is no great conspiracy!!!
    What do you righties have against charitable organizations? Is it that because you know that if poor people actually took part in the process you would be out of it?
    How about you talk about keating?!?

    October 16, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. Republicans= Me First Country Last

    This is so stupid. This boils down to a lazy person who wanted to get paid without actually registering voters. ACORN was the one who brought the problem to their attention.

    If and when Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter shows up at the polls to vote then we've got more to worry about than voter REGISTRATION fraud.

    October 16, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  24. Sue in MI

    Obama's campaign did not give $800,000 to ACORN. They gave the ,oney to another group, who contracted with ACORN for a few services. If you're going to go nuclear, at least look up the facts. And from what their president says, they have been firing people that signed up people fraudulently. Think about this. It is really hard to vote fraudulently...I don't care how many voter cards you have-with your first registration, you go on the roles for ONE precinct. The county clerks check names and addresses constantly. You can only vote once, where you live. McCain thinks he has a bone here, when he has a twig. Get back on the issues!

    October 16, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  25. the other jd

    McCain is like a squirrel with a nut...or wait is it a nut with a squirrel?

    October 16, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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