From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
CHICAGO -- John Kerry defended Barack Obama's Vice Presidential vetter James Johnson today.
"Jim Johnson is a very experienced, very discrete, very capable individual who is performing a voluntary function without pay, without any interest," Kerry said on a conference call. "He's not seeking a job and he is acting completely independently to gather information about somebody."
Johnson served on Kerry's vice presidential search committee in 2004.
Johnson has come under fire in recent days for obtaining low interest rate mortgage loans from Countrywide Financial. Kerry repeated Obama's defense of Johnson, saying that said his sole function is to gather information. "He's not at a position to do anything except provide information to somebody who wants information and he's proven himself somebody who has a great skill at gathering that information," Kerry said. "I have no complaint about what he did for me."
Obama continued his economy tour today, hosting a roundtable on predatory lending and credit cards. He was supposed to be campaigning in Iowa, but the trip was cancelled due to floods.
"We didn't want to divert state resources from going directly to flood relief, that's why we're here today," Obama explained, "My heart goes out to the families that are struggling with having to flee their homes, leaving their businesses and communities behind."