Obama to view New Jersey storm damage

Speaking at Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington D.C., President Obama explains the details of the federal relief effort in New Jersey, New York and other areas of the country that were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Pool

Obama speaks at Red Cross on Sandy relief effort
Speaking at Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington D.C., President Obama explains the details of the federal relief effort in New Jersey, New York and other areas of the country that were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
Pool

Updated 3:45 p.m. ET

President Obama will head to New Jersey on Wednesday to meet up with Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., and tour areas affected by Sandy.

He will view the storm damage, talk with "citizens who are recovering from the storm" and thank "first responders who put their lives at risk to protect their communities," the White House announced today.

The announcement comes just hours after the president cancelled his campaign events in Ohio tomorrow.

Christie, who's an ardent supporter of the president's rival, Mitt Romney, was effusive about the federal government's response to the storm, telling "CBS This Morning": "The cooperation has been great with FEMA here on the ground and the cooperation from the president of the United States has been outstanding. He deserves great credit."

The president's storm tour with Christie won't be his first, incidentally; the two spent time together viewing storm damage after Hurricane Irene last year.

Mr. Obama also visited the headquarters of the American Red Cross today in Washington, D.C., stressing, "This storm is not yet over."

Describing the extraordinary "hardship" felt by those affected by Sandy, the president added, "Obviously this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation," but said, "America is with you. We are standing behind you, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet."

"My thoughts and prayers are with all the families who lost loved ones," he said. "It's not clear that we have counted up all of the fatalities at this point. Obviously this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation."

The president also praised the Red Cross saying it "knows what it's doing" when it comes to emergency response and this is the time to "show the kind of generosity that makes America the greatest nation on Earth."

For his part, Romney turned a campaign event in Kettering, Ohio, into a storm relief effort, helping load trucks with supplies destined for storm victims.

  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBSNews.com's Executive Editor, Washington.

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