McCain says hurricane defense OK, could be better

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Just hours before the start of the scaled-back Republican convention, John McCain is suggesting that defenses against Hurricane Gustav are better than three years ago when Katrina blasted New Orleans. But he notes, they are "not perfect."

In an interview taped yesterday and broadcast this morning on NBC's "Today" show, McCain said the situation is "dramatically different than it was in response to Katrina."

Gustav has prompted the GOP to call off tonight's convention festivities in favor of a truncated business meeting this afternoon.

President Bush, whose administration was widely accused of a botched handling of the Katrina disaster, was scheduled to address the convention tonight. He canceled when Gustav turned threatening, and is going to Texas to visit staging grounds for emergency response efforts.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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