[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/20/art.mccainiowa.ap.jpg caption="McCain visited the flood-stricken town of Columbus Junction, Iowa Thursday."] (CNN) - John McCain's campaign is striking back after a top staffer for Iowa Governor Chet Culver said Thursday that the Democratic governor had unsuccessfully asked the Arizona senator to avoid making a scheduled campaign trip to the flood-ravaged state.
Patrick Dillon, Culver’s chief of staff, said in a statement there had been worries McCain's arrival would put a strain on already-overtaxed area law enforcement. The presumptive Republican nominee visited several hard-hit towns in the state Thursday.
President Bush also visited Iowa Thursday.
A McCain aide said the campaign took steps to avoid burdening any flood recovery efforts. “We worked with the local authorities to make certain we weren’t getting in the way. We’d be happy to put you in touch with the local mayor and sheriff who were part of our tour,” a McCain aide told CNN and pointed to an AP-reported comment from the mayor of the town of Columbus Junction, Iowa that McCain’s Thursday visit had not posed any difficulties.
“The governor never called the campaign to express this concern,” the McCain aide added.
“We understand and share the governor’s concern - that’s why we worked closely with the local officials - and clearly stand ready to do anything to help the governor and the people of Iowa in any way we can.”
This week, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama visited the flood-threatened town of Quincy, Illinois. Iowa Governor Culver endorsed the Illinois senator during the Democratic primary season.
Although the Secret Service provides security for presidents and likely presidential nominees, the trips also call on the resources and manpower of local law enforcement.