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. Fed Up

    This is the organization he was part of, and defended during his campaign (when they had false names such as Mickey Mouse being added to the voter registration roles). I wonder why he isn't saying more? Could it be that it will come back to bite him?

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

    Shocking; Obama doesn't want to comment on ACORN. Regardless,, ACORN has already served its purpose for the left.

    Funny how the libs are dead silent on the issue, lol.

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

    This is the same guy who represented ACORN as a lawyer...

    September 20, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. lovable liberal

    Republicans are trying to kill off ACORN for these misdeeds. Did they ever try to kill off mortgage brokers for their much larger frauds? Why not?

    September 20, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. David from WI

    A special investigator is needed NOW.

    That would take real courage Mr Holder.

    September 20, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Jeremiah

    Funny, this is the same group Obama promised in a speech that would be part of his policy making. I still remember his speech to this group, the same one that did the grassroots movement for him. Interesting how when they become unpopular politically he distances himself from them, much like his entire career as a Chicago politician. Disgusting.

    September 20, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. God n' Country

    Anyone else notice how every time Obama gets himself into a predicament involving someone else, (for example, William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright) Obama always says he doesn't know about it? He is a great liar.

    September 20, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Black Anvil

    Sure it doesn't occupy much of President Obamas time he's President now, why should it bother him he's is inn the highest office in the land raising taxes instead of lowering them creating jobs...

    Why not in-act the Fair tax!!

    Because like truly denouncing ACORN it would be more like doing something right.

    when you are in control. Didn't Alexander Haig say that too.??

    September 20, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. jazz in mich.

    Call me crazy but I think they should do everything to find those people making these videos and question who gave them the authority to do so. Nine times out of ten it was a republican, four steps away from Karl Rove. Not only that, I'll bet the ACORN workers were probed into making some of those statements. JUST SAYING!

    September 20, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    The low paying workers who were tapped will be investigated but the big bosses will be protected because of who they know. The foundeer of Acorn embezzels 1 million dollars and is not in the same prison as Bernie Maddoff, instead he has his hands in other non-profits and the SEIU where his brother works.

    September 20, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. No Hillary = No Obama

    Notice how Obama always waits to see which way the wind is blowing before he pledges allegiance. The wind is blowing against ACORN and so now he is too.

    September 20, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Mike in NYC

    “ ‘This is not the biggest issue facing the country,’ he said."

    Billion dollar racial extortion rackets that fund social engineering experiments rank pretty high up on my "issues" list.

    You can't make this stuff up. Folks that would be ordinarily be running over with indignation over the exploitation of women through prostitution are actually offering to enable it. And underage girls at that.

    The criticism directed at ACORN during the campaign was apparently off base. It was way, way too lenient. Let's hope this sorry outfit dies a slow and painful death.

    September 20, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Carol

    I think ACORN should lose funding just on sheer stupidity. These two people looked like they were out trick or treating early or rehearsing for a skit for SNL. I can't believe they were taken seriously.

    September 20, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. John

    Now why wouldn't the president agree as many in congress have to cut funding? He dances off the subject and refuses to answer. He truly is the master of caring for those who care for him. The connection to Acorn has and will be very alarming.

    September 20, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. Max

    Way to dodge the question...this man is pitiful.

    September 20, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Enough

    NO more Tax payer money should be given to this corrupt organization............period! They are corrupt, this isn't the only corruption. What about ACORN with the address of an abandoned Funeral home in New Orleans and the refusal to open their books for review........Willing to bet most people don't know anything about any of that, since the news is selectively reported by the so called main stream media.

    September 20, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Rusty Shackleford, Houston TX

    It is a certainty that Obama is a friend of ACORN and is it league with them.

    September 20, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. FGD

    obama said "not occupying much of his time" Why would he spend anytime thinking about his former thugs and theives buddies. They already stole one election for him. I doubt he spends much time thinking about anything, puppets don't have to think just jump when their master pulls the strings.

    September 20, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Dana from Tulsa

    Obama can't say anything against ACORN. They helped get him elected.

    September 20, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. John

    Now that's "sounding off". You're a real hammer Barrak

    September 20, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Jon

    Clinton would have equivocated. Obama calls it like it is. I'm not the POTUS' biggest fan, but I give credit where credit is due.

    September 20, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Brian

    Obama can't just answer a question!!! Of course, all funding from every source should be cut from these criminals, but how would he get re-elected if he did?

    September 20, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. pt

    He said ACORN should be investigated and not biggest issue/not paying a lot of attention to. Nice sleight of hand in down playing the situation. Based on his past, he definitely would have his people at least waist deep in the issue.

    September 20, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Outraged

    Of course Obama is not giving much thought to the crooks at ACORN.
    They are close friends of his and he would not want to bring attention to the corruption he should have know about before he and the Democrats gave them billions of tax payer dollars as payback for helping him get elected. They are already being investigated for voter fraud that probably gave him the votes to get elected.

    Obama and the Democrats are becoming more obvious by the day as his "friends" and Czars are being exposed. Communist, crooks, mobs..

    September 20, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. Vyker

    Let me get this straight...if a cop arrests a suspect we need a 'learning moment' from Obama 'The messiah' and have a beer.

    If ACORN does this (and I have seen examples personally...but because I am white I guess it does not count), it needs to be investigated...but he did not say 'Yes' or 'No' to cutting funds for them.

    Why is stimulus money going to these groups? Why is government money going to bail out the union controlled GM plants??

    The Neo-lib's have been in control of the senate/house seince 2006....and now the white house. Why do we still have these problems?

    I know Obama has said the jobs will come back at the end of 2010...funny...that is near election time....I suppose it is just a coincidence.

    September 20, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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