Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson
(CNN)–Former Senator Fred Thompson says he still stands by his support of campaign finance reform when he was in the Senate..sort of.
Speaking to local reporters in Michigan on Saturday, Thompson said he was proud of his efforts to curb soft money donations, the large, unregulated amounts of money that flooded into the coffers of campaigns and political parties. "I came from the real world where it was a bad idea to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone who had decision making power over you," the GOP presidential hopeful said.
"The part that has not worked out and really was a mistake were the attempts to place limitations on campaign ads in certain parts of the process," the former 'Law & Order' actor said. "The Supreme Court has got better things to do then to hear a hundred different cases on a hundred different kinds of ads," he said of a process he feels has spawned a large amount of bureaucracy, diverted resources, and put "unfair limitations" on people. "I don't think that part of it was a good idea."
Thompson has come under criticism and suspicion from some conservative activists for his role as a supporter in the senate of legislation sponsored by Senators John McCain of Arizona, and Russell Feingold of Wisconsin, that sought to regulate soft money donations. Many activists equated the legislation as an assault on political free speech.
Thompson was in Michigan to address a GOP conference on Mackinac Island.
- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford