-By Jon Ward

January 25, 2012- WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was supposed to do a conference call with reporters Wednesday hitting Newt Gingrich on behalf of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

Things didn't exactly go as planned.

McCain did talk about the announced topic, how the number of earmarks in Congress increased when Gingrich was House Speaker from 1994 to 1998. But his attacks on Gingrich (R-Ga.) were vague and listless.

"I can't remember any specifics," McCain said at one point.

But when a reporter asked McCain about the increasingly "negative tone" of the Republican primary, that got the "maverick" off in a direction he was interested in going: campaign finance.

"I dislike it, and the fact is that we all decry negative ads and negative tones but it does move voters and as long as it moves voters it's going to happen," McCain said.

"As you know, I think the outside super PACs and others is so disgraceful that I'm ashamed of the United States Supreme Court in their decision on United," McCain said, referring to the 2010 Citizens United decision that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in political elections.

The decision by the nation's highest court gutted rules put in place by legislation sponsored by McCain and then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) in 2002.



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