September 20th, 2009
05:16 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: Taped ACORN misdeeds should be investigated

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The videos have sparked controversy over ACORN, already under fire amid election fraud claims."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama says ACORN misdeeds captured on secretly taped videos should be investigated, but that the controversy over the community service group was not occupying much of his time.

In an interview broadcast Sunday on the ABC program "This Week," Obama was asked if he supported cutting off all federal funding for ACORN - an acronym for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - due to the incriminating videotapes.

"What I saw on that video was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated," Obama said.

The videos were secretly taped by two individuals posing as a prostitute and a pimp. They show ACORN employees in four of the agency's offices suggesting or condoning a series of illicit actions as the couple seek advice on setting up a brothel with underage women from El Salvador.

On Wednesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller signaled a potential federal investigation of the organization. At least 11 states already had been investigating ACORN for alleged voter registration fraud stemming from the general election in 2008.

In addition, both the Senate and House have called for halting government funding to the group.

Asked if he supported cutting off government grants that ACORN applies for, Obama avoided a direct answer.

"This is not the biggest issue facing the country," he said. "It's not something I'm paying a lot of attention to."

In response to the controversy, ACORN's chief executive officer, Bertha Lewis, told FOX News Sunday she has fired anyone shown on videotape to have acted improperly, launched an independent internal review and will announce on Monday an independent audit of the organization.

Critics contend that ACORN is a left-leaning political organization involved in questionable activities while receiving federal and state government money.

On the ACORN Web site, the group founded in 1970 describes itself as "the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities."

Filed under: ACORN • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Mark

    The same group Obama tried to give stimulus funds to

    September 20, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Mark

    Acorn will go right back to their fraudulent ways for the next election and CNN will disregard it then too.

    September 20, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Buckeye

    Shame on you Obama. Want something really criminal to investigate? Try investigating the Israeli war crimes in Gaza and beyond.

    September 20, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. Tim

    I wonder if that is Obama's black pragmatic side or his white racist side talking. Someone ask Dowd, she should know.

    September 20, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Larry

    So the Republican set up entrapment managed to get 4 out of thousands to act inappropriately

    I can name that many Republican Senators and Congressman who were caught in the past 6 months cheating on their wives and lying to the people of this country

    And they haven't lost their jobs yet ... ?????

    Yet we are talking about ACORN ???????

    GET A LIFE ...

    September 20, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. rorsharch

    right, they did help get him elected... I do want to say that BO is dong some stuff right, like continuing the warrantless wiretaps that you libbies were so up in arms about. Guess they helped to catch the guy from Denver, right?

    September 20, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Chipster

    If there were any real journalists left, perhaps a real investigation would have been more meaningful. Practically any organization, including religious organizations, could result in some pretty ugly stuff – especially if it is edited to present the desired results. But does it suggest the organization has a few bad apples, that it is a corrupt organization, or something more about the non-reporters than ACORN?

    It turns out that these two non-professionals failed to show the numerous tapes that revealed ACORN workers who did not encourage fraud, nor did they bother to complete an investigation by verifying the facts before presenting them to the media. To be fair, Fox News recently did the same thing when reporting the Coast Guard training exercise as an attack. They never confirmed their story either. Unprofessional? Sloppy? Sensationalism? Well, yeah.

    We really, really miss you, Walter!

    September 20, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Bertin Evina-Ze

    I agree with Barack Obama that the whole episode should be investigated. As far as I am concerned, no person in his or her own mind should have been fooled by the people who secretely taped the interviews. My feeling is that this was either staged or motivated by corruption. We need to know how kong these people have worked for ACORN, who hired them, etc.. we must check their phone conversations, their whereabouts,etc.

    September 20, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    Obama is ACORN.

    September 20, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Kurt

    The church age has come to an end.

    September 20, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  11. New Yorker

    Just shut them down.

    September 20, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. Obama's Acorn

    Anyone who criticizes Acorn for aiding underage prostitution is obviously a racist.

    September 20, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Dina Levine

    Come on Obama – aren't you their lawyer, I bet you're dying to get in there and fight for them again. You sure owe them alot don't you. You wouldn't be where you are today if it weren't for ACORN. You come from the same dishonest cloth. But then again, you always use people and when they get caught or are no longer part of them. You discard them like trash.

    September 20, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  14. JoeC

    No more government funding for these crooks period!

    September 20, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. Truth Teller

    Oh no, who's going to canvass the cemetary, the illegals, the felons, etc. for the 2012 votes? Who's going to storm the primary caucuses taking them over? With his healthcare reform joke, cap and trade, stimulus (porkulus) bill, government motors, bank takeover, worldwide apology tour, bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia, taking the wrong side on the Honduran crisis, ACORN, socialist czars, he's toast in 2012. Senior citizens and independents will bolt from the democrats.

    September 20, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    I saw the interview on "This Wee" and he was very disingenous. Of course there are major issues facing this nation but he could have been really clear that if he supported cutting off all federal funding for Acorn. This is not something he should really have to take a lot of time to dwell on.

    September 20, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. Johnny

    George Stephanoplis was so tabloid in that interview. He acted like a wimp who wanted to show he was tough. He kept interupting the president in mid-speech. But the president appropriately put him in his place. George did a horrible job today.

    September 20, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  18. Gerald Huber

    It seems that the more Pres. Obama speaks - the less he says. He repeatedly fails to answer interview questions with pre-determined rhetoric and campaign diatribe. One begins to question if this man is a fool or does he think that of the American people? Now that would be foolish!!!

    September 20, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. Kent in CA

    If laws are broken the judicial hammer must fall. What is true for ACORN is also true for the CIA. There should be uniformal justice across the land.

    September 20, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
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