HELENA, Mont. (AP) — One of U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg's talking points on the campaign trail has been to blame the federal government for the housing crash — even though the Republican himself once supported federal down payment assistance for low-income borrowers.

During the Bush administration, Rehberg supported the 2003 American Dream Downpayment Initiative that made it easier for people to get homes with less money down.

The Rehberg campaign says that initiative differs from the congressman's criticism of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The congressman argues that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae wrongly forced lenders to make risky loans.

The Tester campaign says Rehberg's past support of down-payment assistance demonstrates the Republican is flip-flopping on the role government should play in helping with mortgages.