Rudy in Iowa

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Speaking of Iowa, I spent a day there this week with America’s Mayor (who won’t be around for the straw poll this weekend) and found out what happens when you take the boy out of the city.

After dead-tree TIME went to press, Rudy made real news in Ohio, with this statement:

“I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. … I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I’m one of them.”

First responders, with whom he has had a contentious relationship, were not amused. John Edwards’ campaign manager, former Congressman David Bonior, says Rudy has taken a “break from reality.”

UPDATE: Giuliani’s campaign strikes back, with this statement from Communications Director Katie Levinson:

“For John Edwards to lecture Rudy Giuliani about September 11th is laughable at best. This is, after all, the same guy who thinks the War on Terror is simply a ‘bumper sticker.’”