The Campaign Spot

Thompson, Welcomed to the Race With Hard Questions on Supporting Issue Ad Restrictions

When Laura Ingraham asked Fred Thompson about his support for various provisions in McCain-Feingold, Thompson suggested that while he voted for the overall bill, he didn’t necessarily support every provision. The Club For Growth is unimpressed, and notes that Thompson filed an amicus brief  to the Supreme Court defending not only the original language banning groups from running issue ads, but a Wellstone amendment that made it more restrictive. Jen Rubin contends Thompson’s “first crack at the answer is not going to suffice.”

UPDATE: Fred, during the interview: “My main motivation for campaign finance reform — the issue ad thing wasn’t even being discussed as far as I remember when the first debates were had and the first bill was proposed — it was a matter of whether or not you wanted to get rid of soft money. Bill Clinton and Dick Morris showed that you could use soft money in ways that people thought you would get put in jail for a short time ago. So they poured it in, instead of having the agreed upon limitations that historically as Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, and everybody else had pretty much acknowledged were constitutional because they had to do with federal elections and the idea that you don’t want to give too much money to any individual member of Congress and then come and lobby him for a bill. That’s called bribery in the real world! But they came in with this soft money to do the same thing, and through the back door. We wanted to do away with that.”

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