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Obama: 'We're going to be here for the long haul'

President Barack Obama, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie meets with local residents at the Brigantine Beach Community Center in Brigantine, NJ., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Obama traveled to Atlantic Coast to see first-hand the relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy damage the Atlantic Coast. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie meets with local residents at the Brigantine Beach Community Center in Brigantine, NJ., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Obama traveled to Atlantic Coast to see first-hand the relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy damage the Atlantic Coast. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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Marine One, carrying President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, take an aerial tour of the Atlantic Coast in New Jersey in areas damaged by superstorm Sandy, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, Pool)

BRIGANTINE, N.J.— President Barack Obama inspected Sandy's devastation from high above Wednesday, viewing flooded neighborhoods, sand-strewn streets and a still-burning fire along the battered New Jersey coastline.

Offering presidential reassurance, Obama later promised residents at a shelter that the federal government was "here for the long haul."

With Election Day less than a week away, Obama's visit to view the aftermath of the rare autumn storm was layered with political implications. His tour guide was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and top supporter of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who joined Obama on a Marine One helicopter ride over the region.

After the aerial tour, Obama traveled to a community center in Brigantine, northeast of Atlantic City, where about 50 people had taken shelter and other residents were visiting for food, a hot shower or to power up their cellphones.

After both men doles out hugs and handshakes at the shelter, Christie said it's "really important to have the president of the United States" in New Jersey. To the chagrin of some Republicans, Christie has lavished praise on Obama for his efforts in helping states deal with the storm.

Obama was equally effusive about Christie, telling residents that "your governor is working overtime" to repair the damage from the storm.

"The entire country has been watching what's been happening. Everybody knows how hard Jersey has been hit," Obama said.

Even though politics infuse every moment in the final week before Election Day, the White House sought to focus attention on the storm, which has given Obama an opportunity to project presidential leadership in the final days of the tight contest.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said there were no political motivations behind Obama's decision to join his supporter's rival.

"This is not a time for politics," Carney said. "The president appreciates the efforts of governors, state and local officials across the various states that were affected by the storm, regardless of political party."

During the helicopter tour, Obama and Christie saw a carnival and a large pier that had been damaged, along with flattened houses and fragments of wood scattered throughout neighborhoods. Parts of the New Jersey shore's famed boardwalk were missing and, in one area, a fire was still burning and appeared to have taken out about eight homes.

As Obama and Christie flew over Point Pleasant Beach, sand and water could be seen covering several blocks of the community. But the president got a reminder of next week's election from someone who wrote "ROMNEY" in large letters in the sand at the north end of the beach.

Wednesday marked Obama's third straight day off the campaign trail. He canceled rallies across four battleground states and retreated to the White House to oversee the government's storm response. Obama stopped by FEMA headquarters in Washington before heading to New Jersey.

Obama planned to return to the campaign trail Thursday, with stops planned in Green Bay, Wis., Las Vegas and Boulder, Colo. He planned to be on the road campaigning every day through the Nov. 6 election.

Comments

kevin 2 years ago

"During the helicopter tour, Obama and Christie saw a carnival and a large pier that had been damaged." Same thing Bush did after Katrina.The Feds help isn't there yet. Not one media show is showing us any help going on. The (Liberal) media is purposely not showing us anything because there is no help yet. Is this going to be another Katrina! I don't see water, food, people being taken out of houses and off rooftops. How long will the NE wait for assistance? There is no reason why Federal trucks are not in there with food and water and shelter. No one got 10 feet of water in theri houses for 2 months. No pumps started yet either. Don't hold your breathe on your FEMA loans for a house. It took folks in Katrina up to 8 months to get their home loans. Talk is cheap. It is private businesses, citizens, and utility companies from many states going in first. Tip: never depend on the Feds in any disaster and stop complaining.

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Cleanupguy 2 years ago

May be time to back away from the crack pipe there buddy. Google the headline "Bush's FEMA Director During Katrina Criticizes Obama for Responding To Sandy Too Quickly" - might also want to see Obama and Christie's press coverage AT AN ACTIVE FUNCTIONING SHELTER. The world saw the Bush briefing video prior to Katrina, just before he left for a vacation, and the weeks of delay in responding - quite a difference there. You are, of course, free to believe what you wish, even a bald face lie.

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Cleanupguy 2 years ago

Follow-up to your pump complaint - until the storm water recedes, there is NOWHERE that water can be pumped TO, not to mention that it’s really tough to pump the ocean down several feet. I’m just sayin’. A little common sense can be very helpful. Almost forgot - hopefully you're doing something other than griping. Feel free to listen in on our Amateur Radio traffic, handling communications in and out of the stricken areas, for example.

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notblind 2 years ago

I can just imagine the joy at the DNC for the campaigning opportunities offered by this disaster. Can't change 4 years of painfully obvious incompetence.

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Cleanupguy 2 years ago

I'd love to vote for Romney, but I just don't know which one, and all I hear is how bad his opponent is rather than concrete positive specifics (where he's not made exactly the opposite claims from the day before) about Romney. In contrast, I just Googled "200 Obama Accomplishments" and saw real actual annotated definitely non-incompetent stuff. Never have been one for blind partisan politics.

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NewsReader 2 years ago

Hey Cleanupguy, enjoy your political rant. It will be meaningless in less than a weak...kinda like you!

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news2me 2 years ago

Notice how in all of his outbursts, regardless of who he pretends to be, he continues to be a liberal lunatic? Laughing my @$$ off at his mental state!

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Cleanupguy 2 years ago

Wow NR (although I doubt it) - and in less than a "weak" it'll be a brand new "week"! Hey, N2 - please look up "rant" (ummm - yes, I've been working with Gwinnett GOP campaigns for around three decades now), then give me a reason to vote for Romney! While I'm at it, hopefully y'all have done something constructive to aid Sandy victims? Catch us on 10 meters if you'd like - running telephone patches to the area again tonight........

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news2me 2 years ago

Wow! I see you skipped your Thursday afternoon psychotherapy appointment and went straight to the drugs........

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NewsReader 2 years ago

I'm impressed...you caught a typo! LOL, you are a real joke dude! Please don't ever go away. You provide serious entertainment for the rest of us reading your endless BS. And if you have been involved with Gwinnett GOP campaigns for around three decades now, then you are admittedly, in part at least, responsible for the likes of Lillian Webb, Kevin Kenerly, Shirley Lasiter...shall I go on? You're a legend in your own mind!.

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news2me 2 years ago

I'd love to vote for Romney, but I just don't know which one

You have GOT to be joking! What a hypocrite!!

Of all people, with your multiple identities and half dozen career fantasies, have the nerve to question Romney and his honesty and integrity?

Unf^@&ingbelievable that you can look yourselves in the mirror everyday.

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Cleanupguy 2 years ago

Hmmmm - no outbursts were made (nice pivot attempt though), just an ongoing question, and still not one concrete factual reason or well considered response as was requested - just toothless attacks. I think I see a pattern here. Have a nice day.

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news2me 2 years ago

  1. Which Cleanupguy would you like us to respond to?

  2. Please answer how you can legally / ethically work on political campaigns and be a poll worker at the same time? Or did you mean that you were a pole dancer (poll worker)?

  3. The pattern that you see are they ink blots with shapes? I thought that was just something they used on crazy people in the movies.

I wish ALL of your personalities a good evening.

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