President Obama, accompanied with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie surveyed Storm Sandy’s wreckage in Atlantic City, on Wednesday.
President Obama surveyed a city which was hit particularly hard by the storm, leaving millions of residents without power and their homes flooded. Governor Christie anticipates the destruction’s toll will be billions of dollars, The Wall Street Journalreports.
Days before the election, the president has put his campaign on hold in order to direct his attention and federal response to the storm’s devastation. More than six million businesses and homes are without power in the northeast of the United States and at least 50 people have died from the storm, BBCreports.
President Obama has not traveled to New York to survey the damages because the White House thought it wasn’t suitable for him to go because of the damages. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed.
However, Mitt Romney has made no plans whatsoever to travel to the devastated regions in order to survey the damages. He spoke at a rally in Tampa Bay, Florida, which he called a “storm relief event”:
“I will bring real change and real reform and a presidency that brings us together. Now, I don’t just talk about change; I actually have a plan to execute change and to make it happen.”
Republican Governor Chris Christie has been a longtime supporter of Romney and an outspoken critic of Obama, but in regards to Obama’s response to the storm, Christie has praised President Obama for his leadership during the storm:
“The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit … 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.”
Mitt Romney was questioned yesterday by numerous reporters concerning statements he made last year during a GOP presidential debate in which he said Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding should be cut.
Romney responded to a question about disaster relief spending and said it too should be cut and that it was jeopardizing the future, during last year’s debate. Yesterday, he did not answer any reporters when asked what he would do during a natural disaster if he were president and did not have FEMA to help.
But yesterday, even before President Obama went to New Jersey to survey the damage, Governor Christie said the cooperation between FEMA, the president, and the state of New Jersey had been excellent:
“I was on the phone for the third time yesterday, last night, with the president of the United States. He called me at midnight last night as he was seeing reports. The cooperation has been great with FEMA here on the ground and the cooperation from the president of the United States has been outstanding. He deserves great credit.”
Before surveying the damages, President Obama signed “major disaster” declarations for New Jersey and New York which will appropriate money from federal resources to help rebuild after the storm.