September 20th, 2009
05:16 PM ET
12 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. Ryan

    ACORN has helped tens of thousands of low income people, it was obvious that some of their members would have been engaged in criminal activities but it is not fair to punish to whole organization .

    The republican tactics to tear ACORN down are successful , do they realize they are tearing down an organization that helped so many people just because they registered a lot of democrats ?

    Your current pres says;" this should be investigated !"

    Your PREVIOUS pres said; If you are against us, you must be a terrorist.
    If you are against us , we will change the law so that we can detain you as long as possible .
    If you are against the gov we will expose you , even if you work for the CIA.

    The tea party's are against spending and new policy , where the hell where they 8 years ago ?

    September 20, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Carol in Pa

    ACORN should really be defunded and the Head ACORN (Prez OBama) should do it..He really knows how corrupt they are as an acorn does not fall far from the tree..

    September 20, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. MatthewDetroit

    You are a liar Barack.
    These people at ACORN are corrupt lying thieves.
    They registered voters falsely.
    You have supported them and were THEIR ATTORNEY that taught them how to run an illegal operation....
    You are a dirty corrupt man from Chicago.

    They should be dismanteled. NO TAX DOLLARS should be sent to them. CUT THEIR BUDGET COMPLETELY.

    THEY ARE WRONG AND all you can say is HMMMM thats curious... what they did was inappropriate..

    You people voted in a liar and a thief.

    September 20, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Carol in Pa

    CNN is not real news anymore ..They are all in corrupt politicians pockets and would not know real news if it slapped them in the face..The whole line up is totally corrupt except maybe Larry King and he is senile!

    September 20, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. jodynnc

    Insiders on the hill have reported a new bill coming down the pipe. It is a measure that would require all school buses to be refitted with American made over sized rims and all American made tires. When asked, " Is this in response to China's new trade policies or could it be considered a 'bailout' for the struggling tire companies?" They responded "No,No,No, it's just the only way to fit all those people Obama is throwin' under there."

    September 20, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Death Panel Sarah

    If you get bad advice from any business, the employees, not the company are to blame! It is not the policy of ACORN to advocate these practices, it is a few EMPLOYEES making errors of judgement.

    September 20, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Follow the money........

    if the Justice Dept. will just follow the money, ACORN will be permanently shut down and its executives imprisoned. Does anyone have any doubt that ACORN's leaders have fattened their personal bank accounts with taxpayer money????

    September 20, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. John in Utah

    One other thing that Obama did say was that he wasn't spending much time looking at the ACORN controversy, basically because he has bigger fish to fry - like health care reform, Afghanistan, etc. But he was at least aware of it and didn't like what he saw.

    A prediction: the conservative talk shows will pick up on that "not spending much time looking at it" portion and make it a big thing.

    September 20, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Julia

    C'mon, Obama. Investigated? Close it down. You have an incidence on tape that's probably not an isolated event. Close ACORN and move on.

    September 20, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. ketrout

    Now that Obama is in office, he will speak out about ACORN! How come he did not do it when he was running for office?


    September 20, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Eli

    I still don't get the outrage the guy who did the video is a crook there are police reports that state that ACORN called the police right after. George W put 13 million into ACORN and they get less than 10% of their funding from the FED .

    What I find more outrageous is that our Congressman still allow crooked Military contractors who have been tried for killing innocent civilians/contractors/troops . We give them TRILLIONS of dollars 13 Million is a grain of sand on the beach compared to that. Where's all the outrage there? Oh right..ACORN helps Black people.. Gotcha.

    And on that note I think I'll give another 50 dollars to help ACORN out.

    September 20, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. S Callahan

    I watched This Week ...and I agree....he can not do all things, all the time...that is why he, like former Presdients, have advisers.....the ACORN issue has been around LONG BEFORE President Obama....and when digging dirt on it...eventually you'll find you are in deep mud..the sinking's so emessed in politics, local, state and federal and many different names before's enough to give a reporter fresh oxygen with Advil daily just to stay afloat...........

    I, at this point, would prefer he focus on the international issues which in itself is very viotale from many winds......

    September 20, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. JJ in NY

    As usual, Obama failed to answer the question !

    Even an ideologue would have agreed that ACORN employees acted illegally. The question was whether he agreed with cutting off their funding. So again, Obama remembered to recite the rehearsed response to the question, but failed to actually answer the question.

    September 20, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Wisdom

    We're convinced that Obama did not win the election. ACORN won it for him!

    September 20, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Deborah L. Irizarry

    ACORN must be investigated and if there was voter fraud the organization must NOT receive money from the government. The question I have is: was Barack Obama elected by fraudulent votes and the misuse of public funds.

    September 20, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. George J

    Obama and the Liberal media are cowards, so he has multiple interviews firing shots like a shotgun in the liberal media. This way he can then script the answers he wants, then he can watch and see what will stick to the wall to see what will fly. Obama's ignorance is very convenient when he is questioned about ACORN, since he has more connection than he will ever admit, including the money he has given them.

    September 20, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Fred

    "Asked if he supported cutting off government grants that ACORN applies for, Obama avoided a direct answer." Why not a Yes or No answer?

    September 20, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Debby

    Well maybe if Obama shut down Acorn he would have that extra government money that goes to them for his healthcare bill. So maybe he should be paying more attention to them.

    September 20, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. guest

    Acorn or any non profit organization for that matter should not recieve federal dollars. All it does is entice corruption like this, and this country already has enough of that. They should get money by donations through supporters. If they are doing things for the community then the community should support them not washington and federal tax dollars. If people care enough non profit groups will survive.

    September 20, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. red33,cedar rapids, ia

    Well, you expect him to castigate them when he previously made his living working for them, and reaping some of their profits? I will be awaiting an answer on this email, (if mine makes it th rough, since I've had no luck so far)

    September 20, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Bridgette-PA

    Yes....they should be investigated and until it is fully completed and by bi-partisan investigators, haters (Fox news) should stop trying to add their own retarded analysis in order to keep the "right wing" conservatives even more racist than what they already are. Is that possible?

    September 20, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  22. The Weatherman

    Obama fears offfending the liberal base.....spineless leadership is not the change or is it?

    The Weatherman

    September 20, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Willa

    What was in the news on ACORN was very inappropriate to say the least and warrents investigation. However, what does Glenn Beck, Shaun Hannity and the likes of Rush Limbaugh do for the low income people of this country....other then bad mouth and digging up dirt to whipe out organizations or people that care about this country, or telling lies to kill healthcare reform that would benefit our country. Their "values" party was a joke...what values, what a stupid bunch of people. What ACORN does for this country out weighs what a few bad apples have done to tarnish the good ACORN is doing.

    September 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Deuce

    Only now? After they helped you get elected?

    September 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Joe M

    Obama is one of their thives...

    September 20, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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