CORAL GABLES, Fla. – President Bush and Sen. John Kerry complimented each other's families during Thursday's debate — a point punctuated by a warm embrace at the end of the forum.
Showing goodwill, President Bush, first lady Laura Bush (search) and their 22-year-old twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, smiled and shook hands with Kerry and wife Teresa Heinz Kerry (search) following the 90-minute debate.
As the audience cheered, the Kerrys stood beside Laura Bush, smiling and waving to supporters.
During the debate, when asked about his opponent's character, Bush said he admired Kerry's role as a "great dad" and said he appreciated "the fact that his daughters have been so kind to my daughters."
The Bush twins, known for their party-hopping ways, have campaigned actively for their father, while Kerry's daughters, Alexandra and Vanessa, have courted young voters this year.
Jenna Bush (search) made the GOP blush when she joked during the Republican National Convention that former first lady Barbara Bush (search), her grandmother, "thinks 'Sex and the City' is something married people do, but never talk about."
Kerry told Bush he appreciated his comments about his family "enormously," and said he'd followed the Bush twins progress.
"I've chuckled a few times at some of their comments," Kerry said.
Bush laughed, saying, "I'm trying to put a leash on them."