If this isn't an outright lie, I don't know what is. As one of the commenters at Lucianne notes:
Just when you thought that this mans credibility could sink no further, he makes this incredibly stupid statement:
"I didn't even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money."
The Apollo Alliance wrote the darned Stimulus Bill that has $4.19 Billion earmarked for the ACORN umbrella. You know, Van Jones’ organization Apollo Alliance, he’s a good friend of Valerie Jarrett like the BFF kind. Come on man, that statement is an insult to every American's intelligence [spelling corrections appended].
The New York Times reports that Senate Democrats met with President-elect Obama in January to discuss "the proposed $800 billion economic recovery plan ... on track for passage by mid-February." The measure included funding for neighborhood stabilization and community development block grants. As House Minority Leader John Boehner noted in January, "ACORN Could Get Billions from Democrats' Trillion Dollar Spending Plan: 'Job Creation' Bill Offers Taxpayer-Funded Bonanza for Organization Reportedly Under Federal Investigation."
Plus, at the Washington Examiner, "Stimulus Bill Funds ACORN Despite its History of Corruption." And, Puma-Eyes, "ACORN Positioned for Billions of Obama Stimulus Scratch."
And this statement comes from the House conference committee bill itself:
The conference agreement provides $3,000,000,000, of which $1,000,000,000 is appropriated for the Community Development Block Grant program and $2,000,000,000 is available for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. This funding is provided instead of the $5,190,000,000 proposed by the House. Funding was not provided in the Senate. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding will assist states, local governments, and nonprofits in the purchase and rehabilitation of foreclosed, vacant properties in order to create more affordable housing and reduce neighborhood blight.ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis denied that her group was receiving neighborhood stabilization grants, but according to Eric Brown:
ACORN has basically denied that it has received or plans to seek the $2 billion in “neigborhood stabilization” funds provided for in the stimulus bill. The bill, however, also contains $1 billion for “community development block grants” and $2 billion for the “provision of emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes” (page 103 of the PDF). ACORN seems to be involved in this program. ACORN is hardly the stranger to public funds some have suggested; a search for ACORN-related information on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website alone yields over 500 hits, including clear indications that ACORN Housing Corp. receives public funds.Check the full text of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 here.
In February, the White House trumpeted the initial distribution of block grant funding from the bill, "Fighting Foreclosure and Homelessness":
Just a week after President Obama signed the Act into law, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today allocated 75% of its recovery funds -- $10 billion -- to create green jobs, to revive housing markets with high rates of foreclosure, and curb homelessness ....Here's a screecap of the White House page, just in case:
The money opened up today includes:
$3 billion to develop, finance, and modernize public housing; $255 million for Native American and Native Hawaiian Housing; nearly $100 million for lead hazard reduction; $2.25 billion to kick-start the production of stalled affordable rental housing projects under the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP); $2 billion to undertake much-needed project improvements to maintain the quality of critical affordable housing; $1 billion to rehabilitate affordable housing and improve key public facilities under the Community Development Block Grant Program; $1.5 billion to reduce homelessness, and prevent it among those facing a sudden economic crisis; and a temporary increase to the loan limits of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
All we're missing is a direct statement from the president showing that his comments today are blatantly dishonest. But for good measure, Fire Andrea Mitchell adds this:
ACORN of course received over $800,000 from Obama during his presidential campaign, has received over $54 from the government over the last 10 years or so, and was set to receive about $8.5 BILLION from the stimulus package this year. Obama also was an attorney for ACORN during the ’90s. Obama’s first big “community organizer” jobs involved ACORN in 1992. He has been working along side ACORN since before he became an elected official. Obama also trained ACORN employees. There's also a famous soundbite of him now telling Acorn how they “will have a seat at the table” once he got elected [spelling corrections appended].
The ABC report is here, "Obama on ACORN: 'Not Something I've Followed Closely' Won't Commit to Cut Federal Funds."
Are You Freaking Stupid? has more, "ACORN Latest Group Thrown Under Bus. But Obama is Not Really Aware of Them." Also, Gateway Pundit, "Obama On ACORN Scandal: 'Not Something I've Followed Closely'," and Hot Air Pundit, "Obama On ABC This Week Reacts To The ACORN Videos."
UPDATE: Linked at Patriot Room!