Romney v. McCain-Feingold

Apropos of today's Monitor story on Mitt Romney's criticism of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, here is a YouTube clip of Romney during his 1994 Senate campaign against Ted Kennedy.

In the clip Romney expresses concern about the associations between money and politics. He calls for federal campaign spending limits, saying that without them, money will play too big a role in elections. And he says he would abolish PACs.

This week Romney wrote: "Let's start with something basic: the American people should be free to advocate for their candidates and their positions without burdensome limitations. Indeed, such advocacy can play an important educational role in elections, helping to provide information to voters on a range of issues. Do we really want government telling us when we can engage in political speech, and what form it can take?"

Clearly, this is another issue where Romney has changed his thinking. Given that my own thinking on campaign finance reform has changed, I can't fault him for the conversion. I can ask, however, why he didn't immediately acknowledge the conversion. After all, he doesn't need some meeting with a researcher to explain this one. There's an actual law that's been on the books for five years. There's a record of the consequences, intended and otherwise.