Showcasing their budding political bromance, President Obama and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pledged today to work together to repair the damage done by Hurricane Sandy.
“We are here for you, and we will not forget,” the president said after touring the devastation caused by the storm. “We will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you’ve rebuilt.”
Obama and Christie, one of Mitt Romney’s most prominent backers and the keynote speaker at the Republican convention, spent the afternoon together getting a firsthand look at the damage and meeting with victims of the storm.
“I just want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership,” Obama told reporters. “He’s been aggressive in making sure that the state got out in front of this incredible storm. And I think the people of New Jersey recognize that he has put his heart and soul into making sure that the people of New Jersey bounce back even stronger than before.
“We’re going to have a lot of work to do. I don’t want anybody to feel that somehow this is all going to get cleaned up overnight,” the president added. “We want to make sure that people have realistic expectations. But what I can promise you is that the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials, and we will not quit until this is done.”
Christie continued to heap praise on the president for his handling of the storm.
“He has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit,” Christie said. “It’s been a great working relationship to make sure that we’re doing the jobs that people elected us to do.”
Christie thanked Obama for his “personal concern and compassion” for the state.
“I heard it on the phone conversations with him, and I was able to witness it today personally,” Christie said.
The political odd couple also complimented each other during a visit with victims of the storm in Brigantine, N.J., a small community northeast of Atlantic City, N.J.
“I want to just let you know that your governor is working overtime to make sure that, as soon as possible, everybody can get back to normal,” Obama told displaced residents taking shelter at a local community center.
“It’s really important to have the president of the United States acknowledge all the suffering that’s going on here in New Jersey and I appreciate it very much,” Christie told his constituents. “We’re going to work together to make sure we get ourselves through this crisis.”
–Mary Bruce and Jake Tapper