9/30/04 9:00 AM EST
Bush Visits Hurricane-Stricken Area, Touts Federal Aid
With Floridians still recovering from their fourth major hurricane in two months, both campaigns have treaded gingerly in the state, wary of triggering a backlash. President Bush avoided overt campaign events upon arriving in Florida for the debate yesterday. Instead, he toured areas hard-hit by the hurricanes, touting his efforts to secure Federal relief funding for residents. ABC World News Tonight's Peter Jennings reported in the broadcast's lead story that Bush aides "knew exactly where to take him today." They "put him right smack in the middle of two of the major media markets today, before he came to Miami. And he arrived with his team, just oozing confidence. Even cockiness." Bush was "making full use of the advantages of incumbency" as he "pointedly reminded Floridians that he has asked Congress for more than $12 billion in emergency assistance." The NBC Nightly News reported the storms "created huge election-year opportunities for the President, who, seeking to overshadow his opponent, has gone out of his way to visit the state and deliver for storm victims of this political battleground."