GOP Candidates Swing by Auto Show

From CBS News' Dante Higgins and Nancy Cordes:

DETROIT -- The North American International Auto Show was candidate central today as three Republican presidential candidates stopped by to check it out.

John McCain adjusted his campaign schedule in Michigan today to make room for a visit, leaving the trail and his traveling press after an event in Silver Lake to tour the Auto Show.

"He's going to see first-hand the future of Michigan and the U.S. The green technology revolution of the auto industry begins here in Michigan," McCain campaign advisor Mark Salter told CBS News.

McCain has offered the idea of using new technologies in the automotive industry to help bring Michigan's economy back. Many of those technologies including hydrogen, ethanol, and battery powered vehicles will be on display at the auto show. His opponents Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee will also be in attendance.

His wife Cindy McCain and Republican South Dakota Senator John Thune will appear at McCain's last campaign event he will miss due to the change in plans.

CBS News Correspondent Nancy Cordes reports that Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney also visited the Auto Show and came within 20 yards of each other.

"Just one car and two phalanxes of cameras separated them. They both knew the other was nearby, and their aides kept running back and forth nervously to see what the other camp was doing," reports Cordes.

"Huckabee's people were mischeviously trying to engineer an encounter between the two, but Romney's folks did not seem nearly as interested. Now the two men have gone their separate ways, to the great disappointment of all us reporters who were hoping for some fireworks or at the very least a tense handshake."

  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.