Miami, Fla. (CNN) – Mitt Romney resumed his normal campaign schedule but aimed to strike a "positive tone" Wednesday as people continued to recover from the aftereffects of Sandy, a senior adviser said.
But in a sign that softer tone only extended to a certain point, adviser Kevin Madden would not answer CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta's question about the president's handling of the weather disaster that has upended both candidates' schedules in the final days of the race.
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"I believe the response is still going on, so I'm not in a position to qualify the response by the federal government," Madden said after a question about whether Obama was effectively responding to Sandy.
In Tampa, at his first campaign event since the crisis, Romney did not mention President Obama or repeat any of his harshest criticisms of his opponent in a speech where he repeatedly encouraged his supporters to donate to relief efforts for storm victims.
"We come together in times like this and we want to make sure that they have a speedy and quick recovery from their financial and, in many cases, personal loss," Romney said. "Now, people coming together is what's also going to happen, I believe, on Nov. 7."
But hours later, at his second event in Coral Gables, the local politicians who spoke before Romney did not hold back.
After the four killings in Libya, Obama was "nowhere to be found" to answer questions about what happened, thundered Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who also accused Obama of apologizing for America abroad.
"Remember, and he went to Egypt to apologize, to tell the world that the United States was going to be humbler and mellower and that frankly, we are so sorry for the sacrifices of the Americans for generations," the congressman said.
Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a state representative, offered parents some Halloween advice for convincing their neighbors to support Romney.
"If you run into one of those Obama supporters on your block, go up to them and tell them you are going to redistribute the candy of their children. And see if they still support that policy then!" he joked.
And former Gov. Jeb Bush drew audible chuckles with his smiling jab at the president: "His entire strategy is to blame others, starting with my brother [George W. Bush] of course," he said, to laughter.