The Washington Examiner recently obtained a lengthy video of presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in interviews seeking ACORN's endorsement in 2007. The one portion of this full video to be released previously treats of Obama's extensive ties to the now-defunct organization.
During the interview, Obama reminded the group that he believed in ACORN’s mission and been a loyal partner with the organization his entire career.
“I came out of an organizing grassroots background, that’s what I did three and a half years before I went to law school. That’s the reason I moved to Chicago, is to organize.” Obama stated. “This is something that I know personally.”
Obama continued to talk about the values of ACORN, reminding them that he was “trained” in the values of grassroots organizing while he was a community organizer.
“[T]hat’s been my bias throughout my career, that’s what I’ve always stood for and that’s what I’ve always believed in,” he said.
The president also reminded the group that ACORN was “smack dab in the middle” of “Project Vote,” a 1993 voter registration drive he ran in Illinois before he went to law school.
“I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on the issues you care about my entire career even before I was an elected official,” he said.
Obama continued, “Once I was elected there wasn’t a campaign that ACORN worked on down in Springfield that I wasn’t right there with you and since I’ve been in the United States Senate, I’ve always been a partner with ACORN as well.”
Obama explained that he met many of the ACORN leaders during a meeting in Washington D.C. after Hurricane Katrina.
“You know that you’ve got a friend in me, and I definitely welcome ACORN’s input, you don’t have to ask me about that,” Obama concluded. “I’m going to call you even if you didn’t ask me, because that’s how I’ve operated throughout my career.”
As Sean Higgins notes in his column today, Obama also expressed his willingness to create a program funded by the federal government to seek out and enroll all eligible Americans in the services they are entitled to.