May 28th, 2013
09:41 AM ET
2 years ago

Christie, Obama set to meet again on the Jersey Shore

(CNN) - Call it the bromance, part two.

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie team up Tuesday to survey recovery efforts along the Jersey shore, seven months after Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Garden State and neighboring New York, causing billions in damage.

The destructive storm hit the northeast just over a week before last November's presidential election, forcing both Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney to put their campaigns on hold briefly while the heavily-populated region recovered.

The president traveled to New Jersey a few days after Sandy hit to observe federal recovery efforts, touring the damage with Christie, who at the time was a top Romney surrogate.

Standing next to the president, Christie praised Obama, saying "I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state."

Some political pundits say that the storm, which put the campaign on hold, and the federal government's response to the storm, were a couple of the many contributing factors that helped the president win re-election just a few days later. While Christie's own approval rating in New Jersey soared after Sandy, and has remained high to date as he runs for re-election this year, some commentators in his own party blasted him for his praise of Obama.

“He’s fat and a fool. Don’t listen to Governor Christie. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” said conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Christie himself dismissed the critics, saying his actions after the storm weren't in any way motivated by politics – including a potential bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He reiterated that mindset last week, saying on NBC's "Today" he wasn't worried about how Obama's visit might affect his political future.

"If the president wants to come back here and see the progress himself, I never worry about that stuff," Christie said Friday morning." "I worry about doing my job."

"The bottom line is you can't experience the way you're experiencing it right now unless you're here and you see it for yourself," Christie added. "The fact of the matter is he's president of the United States and if he wants to see the people of New Jersey, I'm the governor and I'll be here to welcome him."

Christie political adviser Mike DuHaime said the governor was putting his constituents' needs ahead of partisan politics.

"Governor Christie has always put the best interests of the people who elected him first, well ahead of any political calculations," DuHaime said. "If some people do not agree with putting your constituents first in a time of crisis and natural disaster, then so be it. He will always put the people who elected him first."

In New Jersey, Obama and Christie will tour areas hit hard by last year's storm, which caused an estimated $38 billion in damage to the Garden State. Hundreds of thousands of homes were either damaged or destroyed, with many ocean-front businesses also sustaining significant harm from the high winds and storm surge.

Those businesses on the Jersey Shore are still working to recover at the beginning of the busy summer tourist season, which in years past has brought billions of dollars in revenue to the state.

Millions have been spent rebuilding boardwalks and restoring destroyed businesses, but thinner crowds are expected this summer as towns continue to work toward getting back to normal.

In Asbury Park, the iconic hometown of Bruce Springsteen, Obama will deliver remarks and "highlight the extensive rebuilding efforts to date," the White House said.

They added Obama will "underscore his administration's ongoing commitment to stand with the impacted communities as the important work of recovery continues."

"It's a pretty vivid illustration about the president's commitment to seeing these things through," deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Sunday.

"The president made a promise, in the aftermath of that storm, that he would continue to focus on that recovery effort and that the federal government would continue to focus on that recovery effort long after the nation's attention, or at least the media's attention had turned elsewhere," Earnest added.

Even as Christie enjoys a healthy lead over his Democratic rival in this year's governor's race, many wonder how his public embrace of Obama - both last fall and now - will affect his presidential chances in 2016. Christie, who has said he's not interested in running for president, is nonetheless widely speculated to be a potential candidate.

Rich Galen, a GOP political analyst who advised Fred Thompson during his 2008 presidential bid, said Christie has a number of "institutional problems" aside from his relationship with Obama. He hails from the East Coast, and doesn't particularly align with the GOP's major factions.

"That being said, if it looks, two years down the road, like he can win and no one else can, all else will be forgiven," Galen said. "Obama's not running again, but Christie is so I suspect that other than the ideologues, he'll be fine."

"Republicans are still furious at Governor Christie, but not as mad as they are at President Obama," noted GOP strategist Alex Castellanos. "If Christie demonstrates that he can wrest the White House back for Republicans and reverse the leftward shift of Obama's 8 years, many Republicans will forgive his sins."

Tuesday's trip will mark the second time in just three days Obama has traveled to the site of a natural disaster – he toured tornado-inflicted damage in Moore, Oklahoma on Sunday and encouraged further Congressional support for programs that bolster emergency management systems for municipalities.

"Training, education, both for citizenry but also for first responders, is absolutely critical," Obama said. "And we've got to make sure that those resources remain in place. So I know everybody in Congress cares deeply about what's happening, and I'm confident that resources will be forthcoming when it comes to rebuilding."

Obama praised the Federal Emergency Management Agency for its quick response to the Moore tornado, just as he did last fall when Sandy struck the East Coast. Long the object of scorn for its missteps in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, FEMA has been commended by localities for responding quickly to disasters and reducing some of the bureaucratic hurdles of the past.


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey • President Obama
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Wake up People!

    @Dean.....
    There's always Fox........

    May 28, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Sarah

    I like Gov. Christie... He is actually reasonable and isn't a tea party FREAK... I will be watching this guy over time and if he sticks to his plans and doesn't turn into a G.O.P puppet and tea-tard, If he runs for office, I'll vote him in. He is the happy medium between a TRUE republican and TRUE democrat. Not a fake republican or Dem who has the mentailty of "Lets sit around and do nothing and let everyone rot away while we collect their money"... We need CHANGE... and if this guy keeps his head on straight and doesn't get wrapped up in the money game, he will do good for this country.

    May 28, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. just asking

    Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer
    And so far, the Obama administration has already created 10.3 million jobs in the private sector
    --

    then why are so many people unemployed? answer, because while 10 million jobs sounds like a lot, it is a paltry amount given the size of our economy. after 4.5 years we would needed nearly 16.5 million jobs just to maintain, let alone drop the unemployment rate. the rate is dropping for one reason, people are giving up looking for jobs that are not there. the real unemployment rate is far, far higher than 7.5%.

    and saved 4 million in the public sector, all with NO support from the party of NO and all while inheriting two wars along with the economic crisis!
    --
    too funny.... government jobs are overhead. taxes that are taken from others pays for them. saving public sector jobs takes zero effort. just take or borrow or print more money and say, here you have a job. now sit down and pretend to do something.

    btw, bush signed the agreement that ended the iraq war, not obama. obama botched the agreement at the end which is now causing a lot of problems in iraq. also, did you know the recession ended 6 months after obama took office (right on schedule with almost all other recessions) and before anything he did took affect? you are soo so cluless.

    May 28, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    ThinkAgain
    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes: "Eat your hearts out GOP. I'm no Christie fan by any means, but I respect him for being non partisan in a crisis situation."

    Tom Cole (R-OK) has also recently shown decency by graciously acknowledging President Obama's support and help after the recent tornadoes in his state. Cole also voted FOR the Hurricane Sandy aid, prophetically saying that he and his state were just one tornado away from being in the same position as the states after Sandy.

    There are a couple folks in the GOP who don't insist on being jerks all the time ... they are, however, in the minority and run the risk of having their decency used in an attack ad against them by their own party during election season.

    Pretty pathetic ...!
    -------------------------------------
    Yeah, that is PATHETIC!!!

    May 28, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Joe A

    Go home mr. obama! We don't want you here

    May 28, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. jonp

    Rush Limbaugh is calling somebody else fat?

    May 28, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    While Christie gets a whole lot of credit for doing nothing, our economy is the worst in 32 years under Christie. He has stripped the middle class of its collective bargaining rights, implemented furlough days without pay, initiated forced retirements, and forced state workeers to pay a large percentage of their pension towards their health care. Subsequently, he has cut many important domestic programs while continuing tax breaks for the rich. Yes, most of the state's revenue come not from corporate taxes but rather from the middle class. let's face it, Christie is a classless act and a one term governor.

    May 28, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    has it worked out well for the millions and milions that remain unemployed after nearly 5 years and a trillion dollars wasted? so you are admitting the new normal for unemployment is now aroubd 7.5%? that is not working out well for people that want to work.
    ----------

    You might want to take you concern's to Wall Street and the CEO's who manage the corporations who hire (or not) people who want to work. It is they who hold the purse strings (not Obama) and they who are sitting on billions of profits at a time when people who want to work are begging for jobs but for whatever reason aren't being heard (or hired).

    May 28, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    "You might want to take you concern's to Wall Street and the CEO's who manage the corporations who hire (or not) people who want to work. It is they who hold the purse strings (not Obama) and they who are sitting on billions of profits at a time when people who want to work are begging for jobs but for whatever reason aren't being heard (or hired)."
    ---------
    That's a very curious statement. IF corporations are making billions in profits, it would seem to me that they are succeeding and they have the correct level of labor that they need, no?

    May 28, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. m123

    Now you have the two phoniest people in the US together.
    If they could add Hillary and SOD Hagel, it would be a quartet of phoney ignoramuses.
    Please note one major accomplishment of Hillary, or any major 2008 campaign promise Obama has actually kept.
    Only the brain dead Obama drones will rush to his defense, and fawn over Hillary whose greatest accomplishment at SOS was the Behghazi debacle.

    May 28, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Dean

    Nothing is Obama's fault it is all everyone elses fault the only decision is who can we blame it on. CNN is a a waste of time.
    -------------------------
    I, for one, blame Pres, Obama for so many Republicans hating Gov. Christie. It's all the President's fault.

    May 28, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. Nik without a C

    Hey I am from the East Coast, I now live out West. So Yes I have been to Asbury Park. I am glad FEMA worked Quickly with Moore Oklahoma, help residents and volunteers get up to speed, and Food Supplies have gone out to those effected by this massive tornardo.

    Gov. Christie, with the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. I am glad hid did the right thing for once. Now why can't gov's be more like that. You at least comfort them. Knowing that you are assuring them to get back on there feet.

    May 28, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    "That's a very curious statement. IF corporations are making billions in profits, it would seem to me that they are succeeding and they have the correct level of labor that they need, no?"

    Are you questioning that they are NOT making billions in profit?

    May 28, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Dave

    It's funny how some people are saying that Obama created 10 million jobs, but don't give the statistic of how many jobs were lost during his administration and going to be lost due Obamacare.

    May 28, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Fair

    Yes, the same corporations making billions, got a trillion dollar bailout from the Bush administration, then their CEO's used that bailout to give lucrative bonuses to their colleagues who parties in the Hamptons, the French Riviera and Monte Carlo after tanking the middle class and the economy.

    May 28, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. Wake up People!

    Actually Fair, it seems as if the Corporations know people are desperate to work and they are taking advantage of that fact. That's what I'm seeing everywhere I look. I do think that's what Lynda was trying to convey.

    I know companies that 10 years ago, starting pay was $15 per hour then, but the same job now starts off at $10.

    It's greed plain and simple.

    May 28, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. ToldUSo

    How about a Chris Christie-Elizabeth Warren Independent Party ticket in 2016? Tired of the Tea party-hijacked Repubs and the chaotic left of the Dems.

    May 28, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    That's a very curious statement. IF corporations are making billions in profits, it would seem to me that they are succeeding and they have the correct level of labor that they need, no?
    -------------
    My, my, my. What short, hypocritical memories we have. What ever happened to corporations sitting on a trillion dollars, by now it's two trillion, all ready to invest, but were too "uncertain" about the economy to risk investing in new businesses.

    May 28, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Dave

    Many jobs were lost during the Obama administration but they were the result of the economic crisis which occured under the Bush administration. When President Obama took office in 2009, the economy was losing 800,000 jobs a months and sadly, republicans blocked every job initiative because their goal was for the President and country to fail.

    May 28, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Another photo op for Obama........to put a positive spin on a bad month for him, and his corrupt dictatorship.

    May 28, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Mak

    Sarah

    I like Gov. Christie... He is actually reasonable and isn't a tea party FREAK... I will be watching this guy over time and if he sticks to his plans and doesn't turn into a G.O.P puppet and tea-tard

    ---------------------------------------------

    Christie is also one of the few that could come very close to Hillary in 2016, but the current conservative mood seems to reject him which may prove a major strategic error. Too bad, a lot of the very independents that the GOP needs would very possibly move to Christie – and without them they might as well close shop for 2016. Cant win a general election without the swing vote. They have not grasped that yet. You cant win unless you get that middle and even shift some of the Dems over. Its pure math.

    May 28, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "That's a very curious statement. IF corporations are making billions in profits, it would seem to me that they are succeeding and they have the correct level of labor that they need, no?"

    Very good, junior. Now, let's see if you can get the second half of the analysis correct: Do you know what that means happens to the additional "profits" when we give them more tax cuts? Guess where that increase in "profits" goes. GUESS.

    May 28, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    You know Fair I'm going to end my comment to you thus:

    My husband and I are at a point in life where we are content with what we have. We don't look to our 401K as a golden parachute ready to drop us into a land of luxury or extravagance in our golden years. Certainly NOT at the expense of those who are just starting out in life and I suspect struggling more than we did at their age. And all because of why ... that there so many who expect so much from their "investments" that those same folks are willing to see others lose what they themselves had the opportunity to make a profit from?

    So, to answer your question ... no, I doun't think the CEO's or Wall Street are succeeding quite in the same way you apparently think they are.

    May 28, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Wake up People!

    Oh Rick, I wish President Obama was a dictator.......

    May 28, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    I know companies that 10 years ago, starting pay was $15 per hour then, but the same job now starts off at $10.

    It's greed plain and simple.
    -------
    No, it's supply and demand. The basic tenet of capitalism. If the supply (in this case labor) is greater than the demand, the price goes down.

    May 28, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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