Tuesday may be the only day until Election Day that Americans don't have to witness presidential candidates' mudslinging on television.
In honor of the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are both suspending negative ads. Neither candidate is planning to appear at overtly political events, and both are steering away from political talk during their public appearances.
Obama has scheduled a moment of silence at the White House, and will visit the Pentagon, the site of one of the four planes al-Qaida hijacked 11 years ago.
“He certainly hopes and knows that Americans across the country will take a moment to reflect upon the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and all that our country has been through together since then,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Romney is scheduled to address the National Guard, who deployed members as part of the United States' response to the attacks.
“On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world,” Romney said in a statement released before his speech in Nevada.
“Today we again extend our most profound gratitude to our brave troops who have gone into battle, some never to return, so that we may live in peace,” he added.
Vice President Joe Biden plans to attend a memorial service in Shanksville, Pa., where a hijacked airliner crashed after passengers revolted against the terrorists.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconin, Romney's running mate, will remain in his home state for the day, and has not scheduled any public events. He said in a statement that Sept. 11 is a time to pay tribute to those who quietly prevent attacks and to those in the military “who have sacrificed so much, including their lives, for the same end.”
The attacks on 9/11 killed nearly 3,000 in the U.S. and was followed by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the Pentagon, at least 1,987 troops have died in the Afghanistan war, and 4,475 in Iraq.
Obama is leading Romney on terrorism and national security issues, polls show, but both are a low priority for voters. A July poll conducted by CBS News/New York Times shows that 37 percent of voters said terrorism and security are extremely important to their vote; 54 percent said the economy and jobs were that important.
The Associated Press reports that through the end of August, Obama and his allies have spend $188 million in TV commercials; Romney and independent groups backing him have spend $245 million on ads.