After Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey shoreline on Monday and Tuesday, President Barack Obama joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday to survey the damage and speak to those affected by the storm.
Obama and Christie toured New Jersey in the Marine One presidential helicopter, flying over devastated sections of the New Jersey shoreline. After the two took in views of the damaged areas near Atlantic City, they appeared alongside each other to promise relief for those left homeless or powerless by the storm.
"If your homes aren't too badly damaged we can hopefully get you back in," Obama told residents at an evacuation shelter in the town of Brigantine, according to Reuters. "The entire country's been watching. Everyone knows how hard Jersey has been hit."
"We're not going to tolerate any red tape. We're not going to tolerate any bureaucracy," Obama said.
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Christie has been an outspoken critic of Obama in the past, delivered the keynote address at the Republican National Convention, and has campaign with Mitt Romney and other Republicans. But the two have been working closely together to respond to devastation brought on by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, and were full of praise for each other.
“The federal government’s response has been great. I was on the phone at midnight again last night with the president, personally, he has expedited the designation of New Jersey as a major disaster area,” Christie said on NBC’s “Today” show, the Washington Post reported. “The President has been outstanding in this and so have the folks at FEMA.”
Christie added, "The devastation on the Jersey Shore is some of the worst we've ever seen. The cost of the storm is incalculable at this point. The idea that you see homes in the middle of route 35 southbound and northbound is just unfathomable.”
It remains to be seen how Hurricane Sandy will affect the presidential election, but at the moment, that seems to be the least concern for citizens and political officials.
“I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics, and I could care less about any of that stuff. I have a job to do. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power. I’ve got devastation on the Shore. I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me,” Christie told Fox News.
As for Obama, the president officially suspended his campaign efforts on Sunday in order to oversee federal relief efforts for those affected by the storm. While he was set to resume campaigning on Wednesday, his remarks to those affected by Sandy were free from political rhetoric, concentrating on providing power and shelter to those affected by the storm.