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.
@FL Independent – well said friend (from a fellow Floridian – south Florida).
Prayers and thoughts to the families of those who lost their lives and best of luck as these good folks struggle to put their lives and cities back together.
OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012!!!!
To the people mentioning Libya... Get a grip... we need a president for this country, not Libya or the Mid-East! These are the right priorities for a president. People that work in dangerous areas of the world they know they are. What about the soldiers that have died in the Iraq war? Weren't they Americans?
@ Barbara – Thank the President for what? Doing his job finally?
Ok so Mr Romney has no more privilege to get "regular updates from Fema and the Center for Hurrican Control" than I do...he isnt a governor of a state nor a mayor of an affected city and he sure isnt president.....I am sure they were busy enough connecting with all those who have a right to take up their time....total politics...I am sorry that the agencies cooperated with his grandiose expectations. It's grandstanding at its worst...and now he is going to have a news conference in OHIO to talk about the devastation....but he has never supported the government actually helping those dammaged by disaster.... "let them fend for themselves..." yeah right.
Big deal – we're supposed to praise him for doing his job?? We're so used to seeing him screaming from a microphone at a podium, that this is something new. We all do our jobs every day and are called out if we don't. It's no different with the president.
I love "THIS" president. My blessings, god's blessings.
Gov. Christie will soon get a call from McCain warning him of his constant praise of Obama's leadership. He will soon be reminded that this is all about the election.
A leader is the one that have the best interest of the people he/she lead t heart,a leader is one that we can trust to say what he/she mean and mean what he/she said.Trust is everything,if we cannot trust you about small things,how do we trust you about bigger issues.This is the greatest country on earth and Americans need somene that will not change hi/her mind just to suit the current events,we need a man/woman for all season,a truly and genuine leader that will not talk one thing in primary and saying something else in the general election.FEMA the Mitts said he wil reduce funding to had now become the beautiful bride that Mitts is talking to,That is why i am voting to re-elect Barack Obama for president.
Mitt's bus is delivering supplies to Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Can you see the pattern? Well, if you can't I'll tell you. Swing states. What about the states that were hit that are NOT swing states? Are they any less deserving of aid? In Mitt's world ... YES. I would applaud his efforts if it wasn't so obviously self-serving.
How to stay in the public eye 101: Hold a campaign rally and call it a relief effort. Since the donations are going to swing states and not the others, I truly believe this to be the case. Shame on Romney.
He only called republican governors. If you can't be president to all, you can't be my president.
I keep waiting for a reason to vote for this man. He keeps giving me reasons to NOT vote for him.
I keep hearing about benghanzi. Get over it, its a tragedy that we lost those 4 Americans and we continue to loose Americans everyday. That's wat happens when you are at war and when there are terrorists out there. The only people he really needs to answer to are the 4 Americans family. Let the investigation figure it out and when they are done its not us he needs to explain it to, its the families. So get over it the storm is hitting us here at home and 16 million peoples lives are in its path. We need to come together as a nation and get ready to pick up the aftermath when it's done.
I am not an American but I can tell you from the outside looking in you need to do the right thing and vote for President Obama. He is a good man!! Romney is a compulsive liar.. Please America open your eyes.. I have never in my life ever seen or heard a person lie as much as Mitt Romney , it is embarassing for you all. Obama and you are all so much samrter that tha!! Obama 2012..
God Bless those effected by the storm. Once again, our President is on the job and his steady leadership will guide us out of another crisis. It's time that we come together and not politicize this moment.
hey there talk is cheap. Your talk is cheap seeing as how CNN chose to place the "headline" of Romney meets with FEMA while burying the article about the person, Obama, who has a real function in this natural disaster.
So, I say, thank you Mr. President and thank you Governors O'malley, Christie, Cuomo, et al for putting 100% of the people first.
What did you expect him to do in Libya? Parachutte in and single handly take out all the protestors? Unfortunately, when you chose to live in that area, you also accept the risks. Where was Reagan when the marines were killed on his watch? This is about MILLiONS of Americans and their lives. THIS IS ABOUT TAKING CARE OF OUR NEIGHBORS! And all your concern is about Libya?
Obama has his priorities straight–Romney does not. Pretty simple and easy to make
the decision! Ohio for Obama!
Is it possible to have a law that if a running president keeps on lying, he should be disqualified altogether.
How will people respect you when you do lie so MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sitting POTUS with authority to deal with the storm and enacting the actual measures that will be taken to deal with it: de-prioritized 2nd article on Ticker.
Candidate for POTUS who has zero authority to deal with the aftermath of the storm: prioritized at the top article on Ticker.
If only Obama had shown the same concern for the Americans in Benghazi, we would not have lost 4 fine men. Apology and Appeasemnt is not foreign policy.
"Obama has his priorities straight"
CNN apparently does too...they're prioritizing on the Ticker the articles about what Mittens is doing about the storm (i.e., nothing) while de-prioritizing what the actual POTUS is doing about the storm. Guess who CNN wants to win the election?
Nice move by the President, nice comments by Governor Christie. True leaders fighting for the people.
"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."
A grateful Republican Governor praising President Obama's leadership is well received by a grateful nation during a time of national disaster. And, yes, Michael ... I agree. Talk at CNN is very cheap indeed.
Obama did a terrific job, and proved once again that we need a true leader to run a country!
""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."
And Mitt the stupid calls FEMA and the National Weather Service in the middle of this crisis and demands an update as a private citizen. Who looks more presidential now? Who do you want for the next four years? Compare this to Katrina? Remember Bush pushed the states to handle their own disaster response. That caused the mess in Katrina. Same idea as Romney. The end result is Romney is not ready to be President. It is a shame that a real crisis that shook all of us into reality.
Republican in AZ. Thank you for your insightful comments. Also, I heard this morning that the Republican Governors of Wisconsin and Indiana are sending aid to New Jersey. Funny, how they choose only to help a state with a Republican governor (Christie). But this is another story you won't hear or read about at CNN.
Christie praising Obama swift response, unlike the response like Dubya and Orleans. Funny that the man he endorse wants to cut FEMA. I feel sorry if this type of disaster happens under a Romney Administration.