Thompson Hits Romney on Campaign Finance Reform

From CBS News' John Bentley:

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA -- Attacking Mitt Romney over campaign finance reform this morning, Fred Thompson accused the governor of flip-flopping on the issue.

"Governor Romney supported McCain-Feingold," Thompson said. "He's changed his position on that just like he has so many other things."

Romney criticized McCain-Feingold back in April, saying that it impinges on free speech.

"The original intent of McCain-Feingold was to reduce the role of money and special interests in our political system," he said. "But on this too it has been a failure."

But back in 1994 during an unsuccessful Senate run, Romney said he supported restricting spending during campaigns.

"For that reason, I would like to have campaign spending limits, and to say, 'We're not going to spend more than this in certain campaigns,' in a campaign for Senate or U.S. representative and so forth," Romney said. "Because otherwise, I think you have money playing far too important a role."

Thompson was one of the architects of McCain-Feingold, but has since said he disagrees with the provision that limits political advertisements close to an election. He would also like to talk it over with the governor.

"Mitt Romney was not only for campaign finance reform and McCain-Feingold, he supported public financing, so I'd love to have a little discussion with him on it."

Update: The Romney campaign responds, saying Romney never supported McCain-Feingold: "Governor Romney has supported transparency and accountability, but he wholeheartedly agrees with conservative activists across the country that the McCain-Feingold-Thompson campaign finance legislation authored by Fred Thompson was an abomination that restricted the First Amendment rights of conservative advocacy groups who wanted their voice heard in the political process Governor Romney will not relent in his disagreement with Fred Thompson and John McCain on their support of that legislation that hindered the conservative movement's role in the political process."