On Tuesday, Barack Obama spoke out for the first time about the ACORN controversy that the GOP has tried to use against his campaign, citing it as another example of Obama’s questionable affiliations and his incapacity to lead this nation.
Obama stressed that ACORN is not advising his campaign and is no way affiliated with the Obama camp.
“We’ve got the best voter registration and turnout and volunteer operation in politics right now, and we don’t need ACORN’s help,” he told reporters in Toledo, where he will be until tonight’s debate at Hofstra University.
The controversy began when the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) allegedly falsified voter registrations. The group is responsible for registering low-income, minority voters. Because many of the voters are Democrats, Republicans are seeking to link Obama to these allegations.
In fact, Obama’s association with ACORN began in the 90s when he represented them in a lawsuit and he has had interactions with the Chicago branch. Obama insisted that, “they are not advising our campaign.”
The McCain campaign has called for an investigation of Obama’s ties to ACORN.
“Obama has a responsibility to rein in ACORN,” said VP nominee Sarah Palin, during an interview with Rush Limbaugh.
Obama suggested that the alleged fraud was likely a result of a few bad eggs and that it shouldn’t be used as a ploy to deter voters from casting ballots on Election Day.
“My understanding in terms of the voter fraud – because having run a voter registration drive, I know how problems arise – this is typically a situation where ACORN probably paid people to get registrations, and these folks, not wanting to actually register people because that’s actually hard work, just went into a phone book or made up names and submitted false registrations to get paid,” he said.
Obama minimized the import of such controversy as “one of these distractions that gets stirred up in the course of a campaign.”
“But, what I want to make sure of is that this is not used as an excuse for the kind of voter suppression strategies and tactics that we’ve seen in the past. Let’s just make sure everybody is voting, everybody’s registered. Let’s make sure that everybody’s doing it in a lawful way,” he concluded.