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Obama promises storm victims help for 'long haul'

November 01, 2012


US President Barack Obama speaks after visiting hurricane Sandy affeected neighborhood in Brigantine, New Jersey, on October 31, 2012. — Photo by AFP

BRIGANTINE: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised New Jersey residents reeling from superstorm Sandy that the government would support them “for the long haul.”

You guys are in my thoughts and prayers. We are going to be here for the long haul,” Obama said during a visit to an emergency shelter in Brigantine, not far from Atlantic City, with New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

“Obviously, the top priority right now is to get the power back on... then obviously there is going to be some clean-up and there are going to be some expenses,” said the Democratic incumbent, six days before the US election.

“We're going to not tolerate any red tape. We're not going to tolerate any bureaucracy. We're going to make sure that we get the help to you as quickly as we can.”

Obama, who was traveling with the federal government's emergency relief director Craig Fugate, linked up with Christie, New Jersey's Republican governor, for the tour of the hard-hit state.

Christie, an outspoken ally of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has been effusive in his praise of Obama's handling of the devastating storm, raising eyebrows in his own party.

He thanked Obama for his “important” visit on Wednesday.

“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 said.

“We're going to work together to make sure we get ourselves through this crisis and get everything back to normal. Thank you for coming, sir.”

Earlier, the governor greeted the president at the steps of Air Force One after his short flight from Washington and the two men boarded Obama's Marine One helicopter for an aerial tour of the disaster area.