In a respite from election-year partisanship, President Obama and Republican Gov. Chris Christie spent Wednesday afternoon touring parts of hurricane-ravaged New Jersey, praising each other’s leadership and pledging continuing cooperation on disaster relief.
“I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. And I heard it on the phone conversations with him, and I was able to witness it today, personally,” Christie said during joint remarks at the Brigantine marina. The two leaders have spoken by phone six times, he said.
Obama, for his part, praised Christie’s “extraordinary leadership and partnership.” He thanked the state’s congressional delegation for making sure financing for the Federal Emergency Management Agency was in place, thanked first responders for their efforts and praised local resilience. To those affected by Hurricane Sandy, Obama said: “We are here for you. And we will not forget. We will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you've rebuilt.”
Before delivering their remarks, the president and the governor surveyed the coastline from Marine One and visited a community center.