Update 11:24 a.m. ET: Obama's campaign events for Wednesday in Ohio have been canceled, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. Obama will "remain in Washington, DC on Wednesday to monitor the response to Hurricane Sandy and ensure that all available federal resources continue to be provided to support ongoing state and local recovery efforts," Carney said in a statement.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama, who canceled a number of campaign stops in critical battlegrounds this week, received updates through the night Monday into Tuesday on the massive storm that devastated many parts of the East Coast.
A White House official said Obama spoke with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as well as mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Jerramiah Healy of Jersey City and Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey.
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Later Tuesday Obama will hold a phone call with governors and mayors of all affected regions, the White House official said.
Overnight, Obama signed disaster declarations for the states of New York and New Jersey, allowing federal grants be used for repairing damage to homes, loans to cover property losses and other programs designed to help individuals and businesses recover from the storm.
Romney on storm aftermath: 'People are hurting this morning'
In New York, Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, and Queens counties were declared disaster areas. In New Jersey, disasters were declared in Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties.
Speaking Tuesday morning, Christie praised the response from the federal government, saying Obama had worked swiftly to ensure the disaster relief process wasn't held up. The New Jersey governor, a Republican and top surrogate for Romney, said the upcoming presidential election was not a topic of discussion when he was speaking with the president.
"I spoke to the president three times yesterday," Christie said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien." "He has been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state and not once did he bring up the election. If he's not bringing it up, you can be sure that people in New Jersey are not worried about that primarily if one of the guys running isn't."
The logistics of voting, Christie said, would be sorted out by Election Day.
"Right now I'm much more concerned about preventing any other loss of life, getting people to safe places. Then we'll worry about the election. The election will take care of itself," Christie said.
CNN's Jessica Yellin and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
Well, it is the first time I feel respect for Christie.
As someone who wants to be president, he should come from the hiding and meet the press. Because he
does not want to face press. Let him come out and say something about the situation and through
press releases, Newt and others promoting his lies.
you notice where this storm is hitting......states on the east coast with Republican govenors that hate big goverment so they say and are critics of the president, Atlantic City where Donald Trump has some of his biggest casinos, Wall Street closed for 2 days. Be careful what you wish for when you try to spread right or left wing hate all the time.
Why all the anger coming from the right? Listen, no one is asking you to change your mind. You will vote for who you want to vote for. The President did his job as he always does. If he didn't and acted like GWBush then you'd have more to say. But you can't find anything bad to say so you make up stories. Relax. Woosah. Go vote. Good luck.
Good thing its an election year, otherwise Obama would be trying to figure out who the government should sue rather than who the government can help.
Obama12. Nation needs to FORWARD. Period.
Gotta give it to Christie though, stand up guy on this issue. He actually put his people first rather than his politics. Credit where credit is due. Hats off to you sir.
Obama has shown great leadership.. wake up Americans. Remember Katrina...
Did Obama get briefings during the night of the Benghazi attack?
Obama is a politician NOT a leader. A true leader makes tough decisions for the right reasons not just when it is politically beneficial for himself. Obama has NOT lead this country everything he has done is for his own self interest. The most important job of the presidency is to protect the American people and all who serve it. What did he do when a really difficult decision needed to be made he faltered. It was more important for him not to look like we had taken military action in Libya. Ty Woods did not think of himself, he thought of others first, that is what a TRUE LEADER does! God Bless the men and women who serve our country unselfishly. Remember them on election day.
Wishing everybody in the path of this storm all the best, hope you all come out safe and sound, for those that have lost loved one, my condolences on your loss. As for the topic of the election, if you can't see that this president has led you out of the worst depression in 80 years, then your not realist. Be safe America, god bless.
President is concerned about 100% , while Mitt is concerned about 1 % . He wants to get rid off FEMA and leave upto state and private sector . He ( Mitt ) does not have clue ,no morals ,interested in making money ,shipping job overseas . He has been lying to people. He will say anything ( changing positions multiple time )to become president
@mecambridge – The armed assault on the Benghazi Consulate was over and done within 40 minutes, look at the time stamps on those emails... Benghazi is over 400 miles from Tripoli, scrambled jet fighters would not have gotten there in time to help the falllen. As for these CIA people who heard "gun shots", well you'll have to ask the CIA not the President what was going through their minds at the time, but don't expect and answer, the CIA doesn't like telling any one their business not even Congress.
Why are we even discussing Benghazi?
Any one on here know what we the unaffected by Sandy can do to help those who are affected?
@MNAnonymous-True, our beloved soliders die everyday but they die fighting at each others back...in honor! Your President turned his back on his Seals when they cried for help, our two Seals tried to go into a storm of gun fire to try and save our Ambassador, who happens to be one of your Presidents staff because your President wouldnt send soliders in to help! Denied three times! Tell me, besides helping one state, in the auto bail out what has Obama done in the four years he has been in office?? Please tell me!!!
Cheri, they all are politicians. The only difference is that some folks can do both. And if you don't think this isn't being politicized, then you haven't been paying attention very long.
This is excellent news!! For Romney!!!
Look people, our military doesn't even want Obama in office...because he has done nothing for this country!!!!!
Even Governor Christie likes big government the day after a natural disaster.
Seems that Gov. Christie is a respectable human and cares far more about the safety of the residents of his state than some other folks in his party. Hey Mitt, how's that "hurricane safety" tour of Ohio coming along?
As a New Jerseyan, I think Governor Christie is praising Obama so that the president can win re-election. Since the latter is limited to two terms, Governor Christie would be in a good position to run for President in 2016 after winning re-election as governor in NJ (where he is leading in a potential matchup with popular Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker). If Romney wins, though, Christie's dream of becoming President is over forever.
Big deal – we're supposed to praise him for doing his job??
Yeah, he is doing EXACTLY what Dubya did when Hurricane Katrina hit... oh wait.
Obama has done plenty, but if he had not done but the one thing (hunting down bin ladin and having the SEALS kill him and bury him in the sea) that would be enough for me to vote for him. Remember, bin ladin had two planes flown through the WTC buildings, and two others: one into the Pentagon and the other one, no doubt headed for the White House, but for all the heroes aboard who forced it to crash land in a field. This resulted in the deaths of over 3,000, and two wars later, over 6,000 of our milirary lost. I think only that, in itself, would be worth having this president serve a second term. Think aboout it!
This is bipartisanship and America at its best.