Obama skips Fla. stop, heads home to deal with Hurricane Sandy

President Obama waves to supporters on the tarmac before getting into his limousine after arriving at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Updated 9:55 a.m. ET

The balancing act between campaigning and dealing with a natural disaster the week before a presidential election is a vexing one, considering there's no precedent for it.  In the latest example of juggling both, President Obama made a last-minute decision this morning to fly back to the White House and forgo the one campaign stop he kept on his schedule for today.

After initially announcing that he would skip his Ohio stop later today but still attend a campaign event in Orlando, Fla., a key spot in an important battleground state, the president flew to Orlando Sunday night to be in place for this morning's event.

There was a change of heart this morning: "Due to deteriorating weather in the Washington area, the President will no longer attend today's campaign event in Orlando," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "The President will return to Washington to monitor the preparations for and response to Hurricane Sandy."

The White House also announced this morning that Mr. Obama will skip his scheduled campaign event in Green Bay, Wis., tomorrow night, completely clearing his entire campaign schedule Monday and Tuesday.

"The President will no longer travel to Green Bay, WI tomorrow for a campaign event, so that he can stay in Washington, DC on Tuesday and closely monitor the impact of and response to Hurricane Sandy," the White House said in a statement. "As he said at FEMA HQ yesterday, the President has instructed his team to make sure that needed federal resources are in place to support state and local recovery efforts."

Meantime, Vice President Joe Biden will step in for the president today at his previously scheduled Youngstown, Ohio rally with former President Bill Clinton.  Mitt Romney will keep his campaign schedule, visiting Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin today.  His running mate Paul Ryan is in Florida for the day.

CBS News' Chloe Arensberg contributed to this report
  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.