Tuesday 12 November 2019

President Obama continues campaign suspension as he visits areas worst hit by Sandy

President Barack Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Photo: PA
President Barack Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Photo: PA

Mark Felsenthal

PRESIDENT Barack Obama and Republican Governor Chris Christie put aside partisan differences on Wednesday to visit storm-swamped parts of New Jersey together and oversee relief efforts after the devastation of the storm Sandy.

Obama and Christie lifted off by helicopter under cloudy skies for an hour-long aerial tour of affected areas. With them was Federal Emergency Management Administration director Craig Fugate.

Despite being a top surrogate for Obama's election rival Mitt Romney, Christie has lavished praise on Obama for organizing federal government support during the storm.

Christie was Obama's only greeter on the tarmac when Air Force One landed in Atlantic City.

After suspending campaign events since Sunday, the president has been in charge of federal relief efforts for Sandy, monitoring the path of the storm and keeping abreast of post-storm assistance. He is to resume campaigning with a visit to the western battleground state of Nevada on Thursday.

With an extremely close election looming Tuesday, Obama has remained in the public spotlight, while Romney has had to suspend campaign appearances to avoid coming across as overly political while millions of people were affected by the storm.

The storm and the government's relief efforts have prompted a U-turn in the tone of Christie's rhetoric about the president. The New Jersey governor leveled harsh criticism at Obama during a keynote speech at the Republican convention in August.

But all that has changed with the damage wrought by Sandy, which bashed the mid-Atlantic Coast on Monday and Tuesday.

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