IOWA -- CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic**, traveling with the Obama campaign in Jefferson, IA, recorded this answer of Barack Obama's to a questioner who wanted to know why he should chose the senator from Illinois over the former senator from North Carolina:
"If you are then choosing between Edwards and myself, then I would say this. He is a fine person, with a beautiful family who's run a very good campaign. But I would say that if you look at the track records of who has really brought about change when then were in a position to do it, then I can make a claim that you can trust, that you can count on. When I was in the senate I fought and got the power of lobbyists reduced, that’s not something that John has invested in, even though he’s talking about it now."
"When I talk about getting troops out of Iraq, I was opposed to the war at the start when it was unpopular to be against the war.
"John was for it. When I talk about trade, and that we should have environmental agreements in out trade agreements, I didn’t support NAFTA, didn’t vote for permanent trade relations for China, John did."
"When I talk about the hardships of working families and some of them for no fault of their own because they got sick become bankrupt and there were laws passed pushed by the credit card companies that made it harder to get out of bankruptcy and John voted for that provision. I had rejected similar provisions."
"I am saying this only because you have to look at where somebody has been to know where they are going. He says now that those were mistakes and I have no reason to doubt that he believes that but I guess the point I am making is in my gut, there is a consistency of who I am fighting for, what I believe in, choices I have made in my life that can give you some assurance of when I get into the White House. I am going to be fighting for you and I am not going to be different as time goes on."
Read these remarks by CBS's Aaron Lewis, John Edwards's spokesman, Mark Kornblau, said:
""Barack Obama should stop lying to Iowans about John Edwards's record. Really."
** = Disclosure: I put CBS's reporters output on this blog because (a) I'm now a consultant to their news division and (b) they tend to have the best stuff, the fastest. But if you're cynical, you can just go with (a).