October 17th, 2008
12:48 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin assails Obama's connections to ACORN

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/17/art.swainpalin.rally.jpg caption="Palin is now demanding that Obama disclose all communication between his campaign and ACORN."]
WEST CHESTER, Ohio (CNN) - Sarah Palin questioned Barack Obama’s ties to ACORN in her most forceful and comprehensive language to date, and demanded that the Democratic presidential nominee turn over all communication between the campaign and the progressive organization, which claims to have registered 1.3 million voters nationwide.

“As for ACORN and voter fraud, now they're under federal investigation, and John and are calling on the Obama campaign to release communications it has had with this group and to do so immediately,” Palin told an audience, with House Minority Leader John Boehner applauding on stage behind her.

The FBI confirmed Tuesday that they have begun preliminary a investigation of ACORN’s registration efforts. Palin accused the group of “rampant voter fraud,” although technically they are being accused of voter registration fraud.

“You deserve to know, Palin said. “You deserve to know because we do need to know more clearly about the choices that we have on Nov. 4. In this election, especially here in Ohio, you’re going to be asked to choose between a candidate who will not disavow a group committing voter fraud and a leader who will not tolerate it.”

Obama’s relationship with the community organizing group has been highlighted by Republicans ever since it was accused of submitting fraudulent voter applications in various states, including Ohio. Obama helped train ACORN organizers in Chicago after law school and later represented the group in a 1995 motor voter case that, in Obama’s words, “helped people get registered at DMVs.”

During the Democratic primaries, the campaign paid a group affiliated with ACORN $800,000 for canvassing efforts. ACORN endorsed Obama during the primaries but has not formally backed a candidate in the general election.

Palin said Obama is “fuzzing up his connections” to the group and that the Democrat would drag a lot of baggage” into the Oval Office if elected with ACORN’s help.

“These associations are important,” she said. “They go to the heart of someone's judgment and truthfulness. And it is not mean-spirited, it is not negative campaigning to ask someone about their record. It's in fairness to the electorate.”

The Obama campaign repudiated Palin's criticisms.

"We have not worked with ACORN at all in the general election," said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor. "Rather than make these false, desperate attacks, the McCain-Palin campaign should release an economic plan that actually helps the middle class instead of giving billions in tax cuts to big corporations."

Filed under: ACORN • Candidate Barack Obama • Sarah Palin • Voter Problems
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. AD


    Aren't we done with this crap yet? Move along. Nothing to see here.

    October 17, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Tired of Idiots

    First of all Acorn is required by law to turn in all completed voter registration forms to the election board "EVEN THE FRAUDULENT ONES" so your argument is tanked on that. Second, every facet of this years election has given them money in some form or the other. THE DNC, RNC, Obama's campaign, McCain's campaign AND the federal government so your argument is lost there. Third and most important ACORN is a not for profit organization who hires people within the various communities and pays them X amount of dollars for every completed registration forms. Some people are lazy and don't want to do the actual leg work so they sit out and fraudulently fill out hundreds of forms just to get paid. THE ORGANIZATION ITSELF DID NOT-I REPEAT-DID NOT COMMIT FRAUD.

    Now that that's settled


    October 17, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Getting tired of this

    Every once in a while I start to feel a little sorry for John McCain, for whom I had tremendous respect before this campaign (i.e. before he embraced a neo-conservative foreign policy agenda; hired people like Steve Schmidt to do to Obama what he had so dishonorably done to McCain back in 2000; retreated on his previous principles on immigration, cow-towing to the very people he once called "agents of intolerance" and even on his anti-torture stance; etc.).

    Then I hear more excerpts from Sarah Palin's speeches and I lose all sympathy for McCain. I will enjoy watching him not only lose the election, but a good deal of his integrity and respect along the way.

    October 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Bama4Obama

    This is getting old-why not talk about something the voters actually care about? Caribou Barbie is the biggest hypocrite and has no right to bring up anyone else's "questionable" activities unless she is ready to be open about her own, like troopergate and how her house got built.

    October 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |

    Good LAWD!! I have never seen a person so wrong on the facts and when give the truth still preach lies. The queen of unethics, how can you demand anything of anyone. DEMAND THEM FROM ACORN!!

    October 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Even the more intelligent conservatives are distancing themselves from the intolerant hate mongers that now make up the majority for the Republican party.

    Aren't these people ashamed of this stupidity? Anyone who continually harps on non-issues like ACORN or Bill Ayers has lost any respect for their intellect from me.

    October 17, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Ben - Portland, Or

    Imagine this- you're a 19 year old kid. You get a temp job signing people up to vote. Now, most of us would do the right thing, we'd earn our money. We'd really sign up voters, we'd stand on street corners or go door. But I bet you all know somebody from back when you were 19 or 20 who'd go to the nearest park bench, spend 15 minutes filling out bogus names, and then go hang out all day doing nothing. That's what the Acorn thing is. Slackers took advantage of a situation. It's unfortunate that it was on such an important issue, but slackers and cheaters find a way, and they tend to not care about the implications.

    Now, back in 2004, right here in Portland, Oregon, there was an investigation into voter fraud that benefited the republicans. It was a much more malicious situation, where "volunteers" were tossing all of the newly registered democratic voters' info... basically, people though they were registered to vote, then turned up on election day only to realize they were not. Pretty nasty stuff, that. The 2004 thing was an intentional effort to undermine the voting process, as opposed to this Acorn thing, that looks like some folks just decided to slack and pick up a check.

    What they're doing is laying the groundwork to contest any state that's got a narrow margin of victory that goes to Obama.

    October 17, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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