As evidence of that, McCain's top challengers for the nomination this year, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee appeared with McCain and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin at O'Fallon today:
"I'm proud to share th stage with two great governors and two great competitors," McCain said.
He then spoke about the need to keep the people of the Gulf Coast in their thoughts, trying to erase the memory many have of the Bush administration's response to Katrina three years ago.
"This natural emergency is the first concern of all Americans," McCain said. "I'm encouraged by the level of preparedness."
Earlier today, McCain toured a hurricane response center in Pearl, Mississippi, an area that was devastated by Katrina.
Palin also spoke about the government's reaction to Katrina, saying that the suffering there was a "harsh reminder" of what happens when the government fails to fulfill its obligations.
"They need to know that government at every level is ready for the worst," she said about the residents in Hurricane Gustav's path. "A crisis on this scale can bring out the best of our country."