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.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
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.
This is what a real president looks like mitt
Romney this is what a leader does, He LEADS.
"Overnight, Obama signed disaster declarations for the states of New York and New Jersey," he should sign one for each state based upon what economic policies have done.
Now if Obama was like "W" he would have tried to control New Jersey for political gain just like "W" did in Lousiana after Katrina.
The Obama team can run the Chris Christie press conference in which Christie lavished praise on Obama's leadership as a final campaign add virtually untouched and unedited.
Believe me this sudden leadership action is all political. The muderder of 4 Americans in Libya, which could have been prevented if only this administration has took LEADERSHIP and answered the call for help. Storm Sandy could not have been prevented and Obama did what any President would have done, its a no brainer, Obamas sudden act of leadership shown on national television was all political. But then how can one answer the 3 am call when one doesn't have the skills needed to reespond to that call.
Obama will be back on the campaign trail today. No way does he care more about running the country, than getting reelected.
While Romney & Ryan continue yesterday with their campaign, our President cancelled his campaign from the time he heard that the storm was heading to the US. he remain in close contact with all officials through the night and from the begining of the storm. Our President cares about us,and hope and pray that the people elect again.
Obama is a great leader he cares about america.
I am voting for Obama
Our President provides calm, steady, compassionate leadership. That's what I want to see for four more years, not some Twit who thinks FEMA should be dismantled and who thinks hard times means having to sell some of your stock portfolio.
Yep Mittens, let the states handle these natural disaster. I bet Chris Christy is not thinking about that right now since his whole state is in ruins, no state budget could afford this rebuild. So people need to wake up, Mittens is a joke!!!!
this just might be the "October Surprise" that people are always talking about and perhaps Mother Nature is going to decide who she wants in office. It is awful that lives will me lost and people injried and property lost. This is when we as a nation like the president said need to pull together and get through this put bickering aside. Let's see if it happens.
The irony of this happening just before the election is that FEMA is one of the agencies that Romney would like to scale back. He's said that states should be able to handle these types of disasters on their own and should not rely on the the federal government.
I love how the Republicans try so desperately to spin this saying it's just for politics. GET OVER IT, while Obama was acting like a leader, Paul Ryan was getting more money from Floridians.
When American come together, there is no biggest challenge we can not overcome. That is the virture of American, in our DNA.
This is not the time for politics. Politics will take care of itself. People feel it in their heart, when storms hit, where is the mothergoose.
that is what a leader do.
Even a Republican Governor can recognize the effectiveness of our current President.
Christie earned some of my respect this morning as I heard him on Morning Joe praising the President's efforts and he was very sincere and appreciative. This is the way it should be!! President Obama is our Leader and can get the job done. One thing he has that Romney lacks is empathy and that is most important for any leader. Please vote to re-elect our President.
1 thing I can say about President Obama is that people matter first to him! Not the campaign! The campaign will be there but, we are not promised tomorrow! I appreciate him , the rest of the men & women who are sacrificing themselves for our families on the East Coast! God Bless!!!!
For once Obama is doing his job and we all praise him as "a great leader" really? Just because he signs a bunch of papers to speed up the federal assistance does not make him a great leader.
Where was he when his Ambassador was getting murdered? Not talking to anyone that is for sure, as a matter of fact he went to bed because he was leaving for Las Vegas on the campaign the next morning.
Hmmm, if Obama leads why didnt he take the lead on Liba and save our soldiers???
Your comments jpmichigan about Libya is non starter.Even Romney did not bother bringing it up in the foreign policy debate.We are all waiting for investigation to be completed.The issue has no legs anymore.Obama approval rating here in Canada is about 70% and only 26% of us think Romney win will be good.He is a steady,cool and level headed.
Pres. Obama provides supportive and steady leadership and respectfully recognized by Gov. Christie.
By contrast, I do not trust Romney's position to get rid of FEMA.
Seriously people, your comments are ignorant. Romney has been loading his campaign centers with donations and supplies to support the victoms and the City's affected by Sandy. You are praising a man for doing his job. What was Obama gonna do... Ignore it? You people seriously need to get a clue, you're truly pathetic!
All the comments this morning should be, "thank you Mr. President and all the other political officials in the Northeast for thinking of the people first".
Yet again, CNN campaigns for Obama while he is "acting presidential"...no one believes it or we would not be still hearing family of the Benghanzi incident asking for respect and answers.