All eyes are on Minneapolis today as the images of the horrific Interstate 35W bridge collapse play on an endless loop on cable networks.
The rescue effort has shifted to a recovery effort there while here in Washington the political fingers are in the air and pointing, ABC News' Zach Wolf reports.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that the bridge tragedy should be a wakeup call and the White House is in the "Twilight Zone" when President Bush complains about appropriations bills. LINK
President Bush said Thursday in the Rose Garden that the federal government must respond "robustly" to help people recover and get the bridge built "as quickly as possible." But Democrats note that the White House has threatened to veto this year's transportation appropriations bill for being too expensive.
As Minneapolis continues to cope with the tragedy, the Republican National Committee's summer meeting gets underway there with a full schedule of speakers lined up for Friday.
First Lady Laura Bush was scheduled to be in town for the RNC meeting and education events but instead will make a visit to the bridge collapse site and an emergency operation command center at 11:25 am ET. The First Lady will meet with volunteers and first responders at the scene.
Mrs. Bush's remarks at the RNC meeting Friday have been scaled back to just a drop-by at 12:05 pm ET.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a John McCain supporter, is scheduled to deliver remarks at a 1:30 pm ET luncheon Friday.
After that, the gathering of Republicans hears from representatives of the GOP presidential campaigns including Ann Romney representing Mitt Romney at 4:10 pm ET.
Mike DuHaime, representing Rudy Giuliani at 4:30 pm ET, will speak about the Mayor's 12 Commitments to the American people and why Giuliani is the fiscal conservative candidate in the race.
Also on the schedule -- Van Hipper, representing Duncan Hunter at 4:45 pm ET and Ari Storch representing Sam Brownback at 5:00 pm ET.
The White House announced late Thursday that President Bush will travel to Minneapolis on Saturday.
Barack Obama continued to make headlines on foreign policy Thursday when he ruled out using nuclear weapons in Afghanistan or Pakistan involving civilians, but then seemed to think twice about his response and said "Let me scratch that. There's been no discussion of nuclear weapons. That's not on the table."
ABC News' Jake Tapper writes that the response from Hillary Clinton indicates the rising stakes at play in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Clinton implied that the comments made by Obama were careless and unpresidential and said his comments earlier this week on military force in Pakistan were was inappropriate, further evidence that she is painting her challenger as unprepared for the job of commander-in-chief, Tapper reports. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3441342&page=1"target="external">LINK
This latest round in the Clinton/Obama foreign policy slugfest would probably get bigger play on television if not for the bridge collapse.
Mitt Romney told a New Hampshire radio station this week that the United States will be able to "pull back" troops from Iraq if the surge of troops proves successful, ABC News' Teddy Davis and Leigh Hartman report.