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Obama tours damage; Romney mutes rhetoric



Published: Thu, November 1, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

BRIGANTINE, N.J.

President Barack Obama soberly toured the destruction wrought by superstorm Sandy on Wednesday in the company of New Jersey’s Republican governor and assured victims “we will not quit” until cleanup and recovery are complete. Six days before their hard-fought election, rival Mitt Romney muted criticism of Obama as he barnstormed battleground Florida.

Forsaking partisan politics for the third day in a row, the president helicoptered with Gov. Chris Christie over washed-out roads, flooded homes, boardwalks bobbing in the ocean and, in Seaside Heights, a fire still burning after ruining about eight structures.

Back on the ground, the president introduced one local woman to “my guy Craig Fugate.” In a plainspoken demonstration of the power of the presidency, Obama instructed the man at the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a 7,500-employee federal agency, to “make sure she gets the help she needs” immediately.

Despite the tour and Romney’s own expressions of sympathy for storm victims — a break on the surface from heated campaigning — a controversy as heated as any in the long, intense struggle for the White House flared over the Republican challenger’s new television and radio ads in Ohio.

“Desperation,” Vice President Joe Biden said of the broadcast claims that suggested automakers General Motors and Chrysler are adding jobs in China at the expense of workers in the bellwether state.

Republicans were unrepentant as Romney struggled for a breakthrough in the Midwest.

“American taxpayers are on track to lose $25 billion as a result of President Obama’s handling of the auto bailout, and GM and Chrysler are expanding their production overseas,” said an emailed statement issued in the name of Republican running mate Paul Ryan.

The two storms — one inflicted by nature, the other whipped up by rival campaigns — were at opposite ends of a race nearing its end in a flurry of early balloting by millions of voters, unrelenting advertising and so many divergent polls that the result was confusion, not clarity.

National surveys make the race a tight one for the popular vote, with Romney ahead by a statistically insignificant point or two in some, and Obama in others.

The storm added yet another element of uncertainty, as Obama spent a third-straight day embracing his role as incumbent and Romney tried to tread lightly during a major East Coast disaster.


Comments

1Friendo(8 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Well, it isn't exactly true that negative campaigning stopped during the storm. Bill Clinton and Joe Biden blustered around everywhere, including here, saying pretty nasty things about Gov. Romney and barely stopped short of blaming the storm on him because of global warming (which the President actually said he was going to solve.) If there was a high road taken, Romney took it by doing what he could to raise money for Red Cross and to help send food/water.

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2DwightK(1300 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Romney looks impotent while Obama shows how a disaster should be managed.

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3jojuggie(1471 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey Dwight, Obama is the Pres of the US. Romney doesn't hold any office.

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4VindyPost(436 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

(interesting)
President Obama is WORKING while former Gov. Romney is PARADING around looking for photo-ops., making up LIES.
(we see a clear different picture identifying each)

Obama= Right on Track, Focused, Good Decision-Making. Attentive.
The Citizens on the East Coast are so Thankful for Obama. All eyes on Obama!

Romney=Out of Touch. No Regard. No Respect. An Act. He thinks his show must go on. Pathetic. Curtain Closed!

Now, Considering tv time, which is REAL and which is PHONY...you be the judge. We see the Real Deal of Obama at WORK and the Stage Play Skits and Props of Romney.

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5Friendo(8 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

To the last two commenters, I think you're proving my point. Criticizing a guy for collecting donations for storm victims? Desperate.

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6redeye1(4687 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

friendo These D party people are so blinded by their so-called leader that they are plain dumb. First off its BO ( Blame Others) job to be there not Romney's. But once again these fools will play it out for all its worth.

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7Jerry(517 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

What exactly was Obama's tour of New Jersey wreckage except a huge taxpayer funded photo-op???

Was he going to pick-up a jackhammer or fire up a bulldozer to start clearing debris? Was he going to give engineering advice regarding reconstruction? Was he going to put on a pair of latex gloves and start providing medical assistance to the injured?

Or was he getting in the way, sucking up scant resources, and taking up the time of the people who were really doing these things; so he could get his picture on the news looking presidential????

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8IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

@Jerry,
He was there to see that Governor Christie and the state's mayors receiveved the federal support they needed. It doesn't matter with you though, you would CRY about Obama if he was in New Jersey aiding the leaders as he did, or you would CRY like a little girl if he didn't go to New Jersey. Go to your room and CRY all you want, he's the President and will be for another four years. Chris Christie just told you that Obama is a leader and he didn't care if Mitt-Flopper showed up at all. Mitt wants to do away with FEMA and leave the power to the state's, does Mitt know that it would be impossible for that to happen right now in Jersey? Many local leaders have no phone service, no water and no power.

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9IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

@hunter21,

This coming from a comedian that laid off half his staff.

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10AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

jerry,

Would you rather have Hurricane Sandy handled like Katrina was mishandled.

You are doing great Brownie, Keep up the good work. Oh by the way Brownie, You're fired!

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11oldskool(97 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Only 4 more days to gloat! Enjoy it while you can! Donate to Red Cross!

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12VindyPost(436 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

**********************************************************************

+++A Surprise Announcement+++

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/nyr...

******************************************************************

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13Jerry(517 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

@DwightK
@VindyPost
@IslandMike
@AnotherAverageCitizen

First, it was absolutely NOT necessary for President Obama to visit New Jersey. We have phones, e-mail, video-conferencing, radios, etc. etc. While it is necessary for the president and his staff to be accessible to the governors and local officials for communication; it is not necessary for him to be present on the ground. FEMA has an entire staff of incident managers and function specific experts that can be on-the-scene coordinating efforts with local officials; and doing this much more effectively. The President’s presence was nothing more than a political photo-op, and did distract the resources from the main task.

That said, I recognize that this is a presidential prerogative, and that presidents do this type of thing all the time. I would not have commented or been critical of President Obama; until I saw the hypocritical attempts here to disparage Mitt Romney for his actions.

Mitt Romney’s charitable efforts did provide him with a photo-op; but his efforts did not interfere with activity on the ground in the disaster zone, and they cost us no tax money.

President Obama’s photo-op did interfere with activity on the ground in the disaster zone, and the taxpayers paid for every minute.

If we swallow the fanciful storyline coming from your side of the aisle, you would have us believe that Mitt Romney is an evil ogre abhorrently capitalizing on a tragedy for a photo-op to gain political advantage; while President Obama is pure and righteous, with motivations above reproach, exercising divinely inspired leadership. The absurd one-sided slant and hypocritical double standard presented in your commentary required response.

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14AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Jerry.

You are correct. President Obama did not NEED to go to NY/NJ.

Gov Christie did not need to be on TV and be intervied either.

Pres. Bush did not NEED to go to New Orleans after Katrina either.

Mayor Giuliani was on TV Numerous times on and right after 9/11. I assume you think that was not needed either.

People look for leadership when crises hit. Thats why Christie has gained a lot of respect these last couple of days. Even from myself.

It was very honorable for Willard to buy $5,000 of donations for people to hand him. I am very impressed by his move.(right).

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