UNDATED (CBS) - The U.S. has never experienced such a wide-scale natural disaster this close to Election Day. Both candidates have had to temper their message in the wake of the storm. But that could change today.
With just five days left, President Obama goes back on the campaign trail with events in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado. Governor Romney, meanwhile, arrives in Virginia, just a day after an event in another battleground state.
Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida Wednesday, but during his three rallies, he never once mentioned President Obama by name. Romney says, "I understand what it takes to get this country going again, and bring the kind of greatness that we depend upon."
He refrained from an all-attack on the president, who was visiting with disaster victims in New Jersey. Instead, Romney made his own pitch to help those affected by the storm. Romney says, "If you have the ability to help out, please provide some resources to people there, give calls to your loved ones and keep these people in your thoughts and prayers. It is a big part of what America is."
But the Romney campaign ended up backpedaling Wednesday over remarks he made about disaster relief funding.
At a Republican primary debate last year, Romney seemed to downplay the federal government's role in disaster response. Romney says, "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction, And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better."
With the campaign in its final days, and superstorm sandy dominating the headlines, political experts say the president's supporters could pounce. Politix editor-in-chief David Mark says, "I think this is tailor-made... Obama campaign itself."
On Wednesday Romney issued a statement in which he said federal emergency management agency plays a key role during times of disaster: "As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters."
While the rhetoric between the two candidates has been toned down, that wasn't the case for their running mates. Vice President Biden accused the Romney campaign of lying in a new ad that implies the auto bailout is sending U.S. jobs overseas. At a campaign stop, Paul Ryan said the ad was accurate.