Maybe Fred was too lazy to do his homework on McCain...
From the Brody File:
We'll get to the wishy washy comment in a moment but first...If and When Fred Thompson gets in this race, he’s going to have to make an articulate argument about why he’s a supporter of campaign finance reform. Conservative groups don’t like it. The Brody File discovered this gem from 2000 when Fred Thompson appeared on CNN Late Edition. He was talking about campaign finance reform as it relates to how it might affect Christians:
"I wouldn't be too concerned about Christians and conservatives…Christianity has to do with saving souls and uplifting people, and not raising large amounts of soft money to run attack campaigns on folks."
Huh? Rewind the tape. Oh, wait, can’t do that here. Is he saying in a broad sense that Christians should stick to the pews and not try and influence the political process? Probably not but he’s going to need to explain himself on this topic. I’m told by someone who has met with Thompson that he has said in private that the intent of campaign finance reform is no to go after Christian groups and that will be something he’ll make clear when the time comes.
Speaking about making these clings, I’m sure he’ll have to revisit some past statements he made about John McCain. Remember, Thompson was one of McCain’s national co-chairman when McCain ran for President back in 2000. Here’s another little tidbit The Brody File found from back in 2000. Once again, from CNN’s Late Edition:
CALLER: Yes, hello. Senator Thompson, my question is for you, sir. How could a hard-core conservative like yourself support such a wishy-washy conservative like Senator McCain?
THOMPSON: He's not a wishy-washy conservative. If you look at his voting record over his entire career, whether you look at the conservative's rating or the liberal's ratings, John McCain is a conservative by any measure. He's been right there on all the conservative core issues his entire career. They're misrepresenting the effect of campaign finance reform. What John McCain recognizes is that it takes money in politics, but he thinks there should be some reasonable limit on it.
You see, for Thompson the last thing he needs is to be compared to John McCain. McCain’s conservative credentials are not the issue here. The issue for FDT is that some rank and file conservatives don’t trust McCain (immigration, judges, campaign finance reform, taxes) so to be seen as a “supporter” of John McCain could damage him.