Full Text Political Buzz October 31, 2012: President Barack Obama and Governor Chris Christie’s Speeches After Surveying Damage from Hurricane Sandy at the Brigantine Marina in Brigantine, New Jersey

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Tours Storm Damage in New Jersey

Source: WH, 11-1-12
President Obama and Gov. Christie Survey Storm DamagePresident Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talk with citizens who are recovering from Hurricane Sandy, while surveying storm damage in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Yesterday, the President was in New Jersey to witness first-hand the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and comfort the Americans affected by the storm. With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, he surveyed the damage from Marine One, walked the streets of Brigantine, and visited a community center now serving as shelter for displaced residents.

After speaking with residents and hearing their stories, the President spoke, alongside Governor Chris Christie, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and other officials, to reassure those affected by the storm of recovery, and pledge the full support of the federal government every step of the way. He reminded the American people of our remarkable ability to come together as a country when we go through tough times, and the importance of never leaving anybody behind:

And when you see folks like that respond with strength and resilience, when you see neighbors helping neighbors, then you’re reminded about what America is all about.  We go through tough times, but we bounce back.  And the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another and we don’t leave anybody behind. And so my commitment to the people on this block, the people in this community, and the people of this state is that that same spirit will carry over all the way through until our work is done.

Remarks by the President and Governor Christie After Surveying Damage from Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-31-12 

Brigantine Marina
Brigantine, New Jersey

4:38 P.M. EDT

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE:  Good afternoon, everybody.  And thank you all for coming today.  I want to thank the members who are here as well.  And obviously, I want to thank the President.

We spent a significant afternoon together surveying the damage up and down the New Jersey coastline; we were on Marine One together to be able to show the President that personally.  I had an opportunity to see it, and we had an opportunity to discuss it at length.  And then, going over to the shelter here, being able to meet with folks to have them see the President and his concern, and the concern that all of us have for making sure that things get back to normal as quickly as possible.

We have lots of challenges.  One of our challenges now is to get back to normalcy.  And so the things we need to do is to make sure that we get power restored as quickly as possible; make sure that people have clean drinking water, and waste water treatment plants are working; hospitals are taken care of the way they need to; and that we get kids back to school.

And so, I discussed all those issues today with the President, and I’m pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together.  So I want to thank him for that.  He has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit.  I think this is our sixth conversation since the weekend, and it’s been a great working relationship to make sure that we’re doing the jobs that people elected us to do.  And I cannot thank the President enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state.  And I heard it on the phone conversations with him, and I was able to witness it today personally.

And so we’re going to continue to work.  The state government is here.  We’re doing what we need to do.  We’re coordinating with FEMA, and I want to thank Administrator Fugate for being here and for the input he’s already had in helping to make our operation even better.  And we will move on from here.

What I said yesterday I really mean.  I know there has got to be sorrow, and you see that and the President has seen that today in the eyes — the faces of a lot of the folks he’s met.  And that sorrow is appropriate; we’ve suffered some loss.  Luckily, we haven’t suffered that much loss of life and we thank God for that.  But we have suffered losses, and this is the worst storm that I’ve seen in my lifetime in this state.  But we cannot permit that sorrow to replace the resilience that I know all New Jerseyans have.  And so we will get up and we’ll get this thing rebuilt, and we’ll put things back together, because that’s what this state is all about and always has been all about.

And so for all of you who are here — and I met a bunch of you today at Brigantine who disregarded my admonition — (laughter) — to get the hell out of here — you’re forgiven this time.  You are forgiven this time, but not for much longer.  We’ve got to make sure when all of you look around and you see all this destruction, that’s fine — but you know what, all that stuff can be replaced.  You look to your right and to your left, to your husband or wife, your son or your daughter — those are the things that can’t be replaced.  So I’m glad that we don’t have that kind of loss of life to have to deal with.

So I want to thank him for being here today, for bringing his personal attention to it.  And it’s my honor to introduce to all of you the President of the United States.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Let me just make sure that I acknowledge the folks who are here, because they’ve played an important role in this.

First of all, your congressional delegation — Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, and Brigantine Mayor Philip Guenther.

Obviously, this is a federal, state, and local effort.  And the first thing I want to do is just to thank everybody who has been involved in the entire rescue and recovery process.  At the top of my list, I have to say that Governor Christie throughout this process has been responsive; he has 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.  So I just want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership and partnership.

I want to thank the congressional delegation because part of the reason we’re going to be able to respond quickly to all this is because they helped to make sure that FEMA financing was in place, and we’re very appreciative of those efforts.  And I want to thank Craig Fugate; sometimes people just think FEMA and they don’t think the people behind them, but Craig lives and breathes this stuff, making sure that we’re providing the help that people so desperately need in these situations.

I want to thank all the first responders who have been involved in this process — the linesmen, the firefighters, the folks who were in here shuttling out people who were supposed to “get the hell out” and didn’t.  You’ve helped to save a lot of lives and a lot of property.  And one of the things that you learn in these tragedies is, the first responders — keep in mind their homes usually are underwater too, or their families have been affected in some way, and yet they make those personal sacrifices to help other people.  So we really appreciate them.

I’m just going to make a couple of comments.  Number one, and most important, our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones.  It’s true that because of some good preparation, the loss of life was kept lower than it might have been, but for those individual families, obviously their world has been torn apart.  And we need to make sure that everybody who has lost a loved one knows they’re in our thoughts and prayers — and I speak for the whole country there.

For those like the people I just had the chance to meet on this block and throughout New Jersey and throughout the region whose lives have been upended, my second message is we are here for you, and we will not forget; we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you’ve rebuilt.

At this point, our main focus is on the states of New Jersey, which got hit harder than anybody; the state of New York, particularly lower Manhattan and Long Island.  We are very concerned about some situations in Connecticut as well, and we’re still monitoring West Virginia where there are heavy snows in some inaccessible areas.  But for the most part, those four states are really bearing the brunt of this incredible storm.

What we’ve been able to do is to pre-position and stage commodities — water, power generators, ambulances in some cases, food, medical supplies, emergency supplies — and we have over 2,000 FEMA personnel that are on the ground right now.  Their job, now that we’re moving out of the search-and-rescue phase, is to make sure that they are going out and talking to individual communities so that people know exactly how they can get the help that they need.

We expedited our emergency declarations for the state of New Jersey and local counties that have been affected.  What that means is, is that people can immediately start registering for emergency assistance.  And one of the things I want to emphasize to the people of New Jersey and throughout the region:  Now that you’re safe, your family is safe, but you’re trying to figure out where you’re going to stay for the next couple of days, et cetera, it’s very important that you know that there is help available to you right now, for example, to find rental housing or to be able to pay for some groceries.  Over at the community center we saw a young woman who had a newborn, or I guess probably an eight-month old, still needs diapers and formula, and has run out.  Those are the kinds of basic supplies and help that we can provide.

If you call 800-621-FEMA — 800-621-FEMA — or DisasterAssistance.gov — if you’ve got access to the Internet, you can go to DisasterAssistance.gov.  What that allows you to do is to register right now so that you can immediately start receiving help.  We want to make sure that you get everything that you need.

Just a couple of final points.  Obviously, our biggest priority right now is getting power turned back on.  We were very pleased that Newark got power yesterday; Jersey City is getting power we believe today.  But there are still big chunks of the community, including this community right here, that don’t have power.  And so it’s hard enough cleaning up debris and dealing with boats that have been upended and roads that are blocked; when people don’t have power, though, obviously they’re disabled in all sorts of ways and it’s hard to get back to normal.

So yesterday, I had a chance to speak to the CEOs of the utilities from all across the country.  And a lot of the states that were spared, that were not hard hit, or some states as far away as California, they have pledged to start getting equipment crews, et cetera, here into New Jersey and New York and Connecticut as quickly as possible.

And one of the things that we’ve been able to do — just to give you a sense of how this is an all-hands-deck approach — we’re able to get C-17s and C-130s, military transport planes, potentially, to move assets, personnel to speed up the process of getting power up and running as soon as possible.

Our first priority is water filtration plants and some other critical infrastructure in the state; for that, we’ve got emergency generators.  We’ve got a Navy ship that has some helicopters that can help to move assets around the state as well.  And so we’re going to be working with Governor Christie’s office and local officials to identify what are those critical infrastructure, how can we get what’s needed as quickly as possible.

Just a couple of other things that we’re concerned about — one is, as power starts coming back on, we want to make sure that people can also get to work.  Obviously, there are a lot of folks in Jersey who work in New York, in the city, and in other places where transportation may be hobbled.  One of the things I mentioned to the Governor is the possibility of us using federal assets, military assets, as well as taking inventory of assets from around the country that can be brought in so that we can help people get to their work.

And Governor Christie also mentioned the importance of schools.  The sooner we can get our kids back into school, the sooner they’re back into a routine; that obviously helps the families and helps the kids as well.

So 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.  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.  And the directive that I have given — and I said this yesterday, but I will repeat; and I think Craig and others who are working with me right now know I mean it — we are not going to tolerate red tape.  We’re not going to tolerate bureaucracy.  And I’ve instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my team:  You return everybody’s phone calls in 15 minutes, whether it’s the mayors’, the governors’, county officials’.  If they need something, we figure out a way to say yes.

As I was just gathering around, I had a chance to talk to some of the young people here who have been volunteering, going up and down the block cleaning up debris.  And when we were over at the community center, there was a restaurant owner who, for the last 18 hours, had been cooking meals, just as his contribution to the recovery process.  And some of the folks were saying the food was better than they got at home.  (Laughter.)  You had a 15-year-old young man whose mother was disabled, and he was making sure that she was okay, and taking on extraordinary responsibilities for himself but also for his mom.

And when you see folks like that respond with strength and resilience, when you see neighbors helping neighbors, then you’re reminded about what America is all about.  We go through tough times, but we bounce back.  And the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another and we don’t leave anybody behind.

And so my commitment to the people on this block, the people in this community, and the people of this state is that that same spirit will carry over all the way through until our work is done.  All right?

Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

END
4:51 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 31, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at a Campaign Event in Coral Gables, Florida — Romney Trades Barbs for Optimism in First Speech Since Sandy

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Trades Barbs for Optimism in First Speech Since Sandy

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-31-12

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As President Obama headed to storm-ravaged New Jersey for a tour with Gov. Chris Christie, Mitt Romney was back on the stump in Florida Wednesday for his first full day of campaigning since Hurricane Sandy devastated areas of the East Coast.

Romney maintained a more subdued tone in Tampa, Fla., trading harsh attacks on Obama’s tenure for a more positive set of remarks then one might be expect just days before election day.

“We come together in times like this and we want to make sure that they have a speedy and quick recovery from their financial and in many cases, personal loss,” said Romney, opening his remarks in Tampa by encouraging Red Cross donations for storm relief efforts.  Romney was joined by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, who also made mention of Sandy and encouraged donations…..READ MORE

Mitt Romney: “It’s Time To Take A New Path Of Bold, Aggressive Change”

Location

Boston, MA

United States

Remarks
Coral Gables, Florida

October 31, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “We also have other challenges. We have some 23 million Americans that are struggling to get a good job. We also have 1 out of 6 Americans living in poverty. We have 47 million Americans on food stamps. That’s what’s happening here at home. Then around the world, we face challenges as well, as Iran speeds along its course to become nuclear, as we also face competition for jobs from China and other nations. We face some real challenges. And as a result of that, it is my view that we should not continue along the same path but it’s time to take a new path of bold, aggressive change because the road we’re on is not doing so well. Now, you probably know, as I think about what we need to do, I actually have a plan with five key steps to get this economy going and to make sure that when you graduate there’ll be a job there and to get those 23 million people working and to make sure that we help people get off of food stamps because they got good jobs and good incomes. And for that to happen these five steps will create 12 million jobs. And because of those jobs, you’ll see more take-home pay.”

Campaign Headlines October 31, 2012: Mitt Romney Chooses New Hampshire for Site of Final Rally Before Election Day

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Chooses NH for Site of Final Rally Before Election Day

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-31-12

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Mitt Romney will hold his final campaign rally in New Hampshire, the very state in which he launched his bid for the White House 16 months ago.

The “Victory Rally” will be held in Manchester, N.H., at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night, Election Day eve.  Campaign-theme song artist Kid Rock will be the special guest….READ MORE

Political Headlines October 31, 2012: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Lauded for Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

NJ Gov. Chris Christie Lauded for Storm Efforts

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-31-12

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has earned high marks for his handling of the unprecedented disaster his state has witnessed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, assuring his constituents with his trademark bluntness and aplomb.

The governor has been praised for appearing in control of the situation, rattling off numbers about customers without power and the status of search and rescue operations, and lauded for his willingness to put aside politics just a week before Election Day….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 30, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the American Red Cross — Update on Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Update on Hurricane Sandy

 

President Obama delivers remarks during his visit to the Disaster Operation Center at the Red CrossPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks during his visit to the Disaster Operation Center at the Red Cross national headquarters in Washington, D.C., Oct. 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Remarks by the President at the American Red Cross

Source: WH, 10-30-12 

Washington, D.C.

2:18 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  First of all, I want to thank Gail and Charlie who are on the scene doing work every time we have a disaster here in the United States of America.  But obviously, the Red Cross is doing outstanding work internationally, so we want to thank them for their outstanding work.

A few things that I want to emphasize to the public at the top.  This storm is not yet over.  We’ve gotten briefings from the National Hurricane Center.  It is still moving north.  There are still communities that could be affected.  And so I want to emphasize there are still risks of flooding, there are still risks of down power lines, risks of high winds.  And so it is very important for the public to continue to monitor the situation in your local community, listen to your state and local officials, follow instructions.  The more you follow instructions, the easier it is for our first responders to make sure that they are dealing with true emergency situations.  So the better prepared individual families are for the situation, the easier it is going to be for us to deal with it.

Next, obviously, I want to talk about the extraordinary hardship that we’ve seen over the last 48 hours.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost loved ones.  Unfortunately, there have been fatalities as a consequence of Hurricane Sandy, and it’s not clear that we’ve counted up all the fatalities at this point.  And obviously, this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation.  And we certainly feel profoundly for all the families whose lives have been upended and are going to be going through some very tough times over the next several days and perhaps several weeks and months.

The most important message I have for them is that 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.

Earlier today I had a conversation with the governors and many of the mayors in the affected areas, including Governor Christie, Governor Cuomo, and Mayor Bloomberg.  I want to praise them for the extraordinary work that they have done.  Sadly, we are getting more experience with these kinds of big impact storms along the East Coast, and the preparation shows.  Were it not for the outstanding work that they and their teams have already done and will continue to do in the affected regions, we could have seen more deaths and more property damage.  So they have done extraordinary work working around the clock.  The coordination between the state, local, and federal governments has been outstanding.

Obviously, we’re now moving into the recovery phase in a lot of the most severely affected areas.  New Jersey, New York in particular have been pounded by this storm.  Connecticut has taken a big hit.  Because of some of the work that had been done ahead of time, we’ve been able to get over a thousand FEMA officials in place, pre-positioned.  We’ve been able to get supplies, food, medicine, water, emergency generators to ensure that hospitals and law enforcement offices are able to stay up and running as they are out there responding.

We are going to continue to push as hard as we can to make sure that power is up throughout the region.  And obviously, this is mostly a local responsibility, and the private utilities are going to have to lean forward, but we are doing everything we can to provide them additional resources so that we can expedite getting power up and running in many of these communities.

There are places like Newark, New Jersey, for example, where you’ve got 80, 90 percent of the people without power.  We can’t have a situation where that lasts for days on end.  And so my instructions to the federal agency has been, do not figure out why we can’t do something; I want you to figure out how we do something.  I want you to cut through red tape.  I want you to cut through bureaucracy.  There’s no excuse for inaction at this point.  I want every agency to lean forward and to make sure that we are getting the resources where they need — where they’re needed as quickly as possible.

So I want to repeat — my message to the federal government:  No bureaucracy, no red tape.  Get resources where they’re needed as fast as possible, as hard as possible, and for the duration, because the recovery process obviously in a place like New Jersey is going to take a significant amount of time.  The recovery process in a lower Manhattan is going to take a lot of time.

And part of what we’re trying to do here is also to see where are some resources that can be brought to bear that maybe traditionally are not used in these kind of disaster situations.  For example, there may be military assets that allow us to help move equipment to ensure that pumping and getting the flooding out of New York subway systems can proceed more quickly.  There may be resources that we can bring to bear to help some of the private utilities get their personnel and their equipment in place more swiftly so that we can get power up and running as soon as possible.

So my message to the governors and the mayors and, through them, to the communities that have been hit so hard is that we are going to do everything we can to get resources to you and make sure that any unmet need that is identified, we are responding to it as quickly as possible.  And I told the mayors and the governors if they’re getting no for an answer somewhere in the federal government, they can call me personally at the White House.

Now, obviously, the state, local, federal response is important, but what we do as a community, what we do as neighbors and as fellow citizens is equally important.  So a couple of things that I want the public to know they can do.

First of all, because our local law enforcement, our first responders are being swamped, to the extent that everybody can be out there looking out for their neighbors, especially older folks, I think that’s really important.  If you’ve got a neighbor nearby, you’re not sure how they’re handling a power outage, flooding, et cetera, go over, visit them, knock on their door, make sure that they’re doing okay.  That can make a big difference.  The public can be the eyes and ears in terms of identifying unmet needs.

Second thing, the reason we’re here is because the Red Cross knows what it’s doing when it comes to emergency response.  And so for people all across the country who have not been affected, now is the time to show the kind of generosity that makes America the greatest nation on Earth.  And a good place to express that generosity is by contributing to the Red Cross.

Obviously, you can go on their website.  The Red Cross knows what they’re doing.  They’re in close contact with federal, state, and local officials.  They will make sure that we get the resources to those families as swiftly as possible.  And again, I want to thank everybody here who is doing such a great job when it comes to the disaster response.

The final message I’d just say is during the darkness of the storm, I think we also saw what’s brightest in America.  I think all of us obviously have been shocked by the force of Mother Nature as we watch it on television.  At the same time, we’ve also seen nurses at NYU Hospital carrying fragile newborns to safety.  We’ve seen incredibly brave firefighters in Queens, waist-deep in water, battling infernos and rescuing people in boats.

One of my favorite stories is down in North Carolina, the Coast Guard going out to save a sinking ship.  They sent a rescue swimmer out, and the rescue swimmer said, “Hi, I’m Dan.  I understand you guys need a ride.”  That kind of spirit of resilience and strength, but most importantly looking out for one another, that’s why we always bounce back from these kinds of disasters.

This is a tough time for a lot of people — millions of folks all across the Eastern Seaboard.  But America is tougher, and we’re tougher because we pull together.  We leave nobody behind.  We make sure that we respond as a nation and remind ourselves that whenever an American is in need, all of us stand together to make sure that we’re providing the help that’s necessary.

So I just want to thank the incredible response that we’ve already seen, but I do want to remind people this is going to take some time.  It is not going to be easy for a lot of these communities to recovery swiftly, and so it’s going to be important that we sustain that spirit of resilience, that we continue to be good neighbors for the duration until everybody is back on their feet.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you, Red Cross.  (Applause.)

END
2:28 P.M. EDT

Campaign Headlines October 30, 2012: President Barack Obama Pauses Campaign in Hurricane Sandy’s Wake

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Pauses Campaign in Sandy’s Wake

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-30-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Exactly one week to Election Day, President Obama has benched Candidate Obama, hunkering down at the White House for a second straight day to monitor superstorm Sandy and the federal government response to the storm.

The Obama campaign canceled two campaign rallies that had been planned on Tuesday in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Green Bay, Wisc. The president will remain in Washington on Tuesday with no planned political events, an unprecedented step off the campaign trail days before voters head to the polls in a race that many polls say is tied….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 30, 2012: Readout of the President Barack Obama’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Readout of the President’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-30-12

This morning, the President convened a video-teleconference in the White House Situation Room with his team to receive the latest update on Hurricane Sandy, and federal efforts underway to support response activities in several states. Overnight, at the requests of the Governors, the President approved major disaster declarations for the states of New Jersey and New York, making additional federal support for state and local efforts available, as well as direct federal assistance to affected individuals in declared counties. On the video-teleconference the President was joined by Vice President Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Fugate, Secretary of Energy Chu, Transportation Secretary Lahood, Defense Secretary Panetta, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Winnefeld, USNORTHCOM Commander General Jacoby, Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, and National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Knabb. Treasury Secretary Geithner joined the briefing by phone. The President was joined in the Situation Room by Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security John Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security Richard Reed, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs David Agnew, National Security Advisor to the Vice President Tony Blinken, and other senior members of the President’s team.

During the briefing the President expressed his concern for those impacted by the storm, as well as the heroic first responders who are selflessly putting themselves in harm’s way to protect members of their communities. He also noted his sadness over the loss of life associated with the storm so far.  The President was updated on Sandy’s track and impacts, and heard from Administrator Fugate on the federal coordination and resources being brought to bear to support state and local responders, including the extensive deployment of resources, such as generators that were pre-staged ahead of the storm, as well as National Guard units which have been activated in a number of states. Through FEMA, the federal government is leveraging assets from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Human Services. The President also received an update from Secretary Geithner on conditions in financial markets and the operations of the financial system.

The President told his team that their top priority is to make sure all available resources are being provided to state and local responders as quickly as possible and directed them to identify and resolve any potential bottlenecks or shortfalls should they arise. The President made clear that beyond the immediate lifesaving and life sustaining activities, which remain the primary focus, he wanted his team to continue to focus on what they can do to support state, local, and private sector efforts to restore power and asked the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to continue to work in support of FEMA towards this goal.  The President made clear that he expects his team to remain focused as the immediate impacts of Hurricane Sandy continue and lean forward in their response. The President urges Americans to continue to follow the direction and advice of local officials, Governors, and Mayors, many of whom the President will speak with later today.

Campaign Headlines October 30, 2012: Gallup Poll Still Has Mitt Romney Running Strong

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Gallup Still Has Romney Running Strong

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-30-12

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Not even a powerful East Coast storm can stave off the momentum of Mitt Romney in Gallup’s daily tracking poll of likely voters.

On Monday, as the large portion of the country was battered by Hurricane Sandy, Romney picked up a point nationally on President Obama, leading 51 percent to 46 percent.

Since Gallup’s tracking poll averages seven days of statistics, it includes the entirety of the October 29 debate on foreign affairs, suggesting that the incumbent got no bounce from his last meeting with Romney, which many pundits said Obama won….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 29, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Hurricane Sandy — Urges Caution for Those in the Path of Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Urges Caution for Those in the Path of Hurricane Sandy

President Obama talks to employees at FEMA

President Barack Obama delivers a statement after receiving an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy, in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Oct. 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Remarks by the President on Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-29-12 

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

12:46 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  I just received a full briefing from our emergency response teams, including FEMA, and agencies that are going to be helpful in the response and recovery efforts — the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Obviously, everybody is aware at this point that this is going to be a big and powerful storm.  And all across the Eastern seaboard, I think everybody is taking the appropriate preparations.

I’ve spoken to all the governors in all these states.  They have issues emergency declarations.  Those have been turned around quickly here in the White House.  We have prepositioned assets so that FEMA personnel are working closely with state and local governments.  We’re making sure that food and water and emergency generation is available for those communities that are going to be hardest hit.

We anticipate that the center of the storm is going to land fall sometime this evening.  But because of the nature of this storm, we are certain that this is going to be a slow-moving process through a wide swath of the country, and millions of people are going to be affected.

So the most important message that I have for the public right now is, please listen to what your state and local officials are saying.  When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate.  Do not delay.  Don’t pause; don’t question the instructions that are being given, because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequence if people haven’t acted quickly.

The good news is, is that the governors and local officials I think have had a few days of preparation.  There’s been extraordinarily close coordination between state, federal, and local governments.  And so we’re confident that the assets are prepositioned for an effective response in the aftermath of the storm.

But keep in mind that for folks who are not following instructions, if you are not evacuating when you’ve been asked to evacuate, you’re putting first responders at danger.  We’re going to have to have search-and-rescue teams in and around multiple states all at the same time.  And although we’ve got Coast Guard and the Department of Defense all positioned, if the public is not following instructions, that makes it more dangerous for people and it means that we could have fatalities that could have been avoided.

Transportation is going to be tied up for a long time.  And probably the most significant impact for a lot of people, in addition to flooding, is going to be getting power back on.  We anticipate that there are going to be a lot of trees down, a lot of water.  And despite the fact that the power companies are working very closely with their various state officials and local officials to make sure that they are bringing in as many assets as possible and getting those ready in preparation for the storm, the fact is that a lot of these emergency crews are not going to be able to get into position to start restoring power until some of these winds have died down.  And because of the nature of this storm, that may take several days.

So the public should anticipate that there’s going to be a lot of power outages, and it may take time for that power to get back on.  The same is true with transportation; there are going to be a lot of backlogs, and even after the storm has cleared, it’s going to take a considerable amount of time for airlines, subways, trains, and so forth, potentially to get back on schedule, depending on the amount of damage that has occurred.

Let me summarize just by saying that I’m extraordinarily grateful for the cooperation of our state and local officials.  The conversations that I’ve had with all the governors indicate that at this point there are no unmet needs.  I think everybody is taking this very seriously.  We’ve gotten prepositioned all the resources that we need.

But right now, the key is to make sure that the public is following instructions.  For those of you who still need additional information about how to respond, you can go to Ready.gov — that’s Ready.gov.  And that website should provide you with all the information that your family needs in terms of how you can prepare for this storm.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people who are potentially affected.  We are extraordinarily grateful for our first responders, because they’re going to be working 24/7 around the clock, non-stop.  And I want to make sure that our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who may end up be dealing with a very difficult situation over the next several days.

Last point I’ll make, though — this is going to be a big storm.  It’s going to be a difficult storm.  The great thing about America is when we go through tough times like this we all pull together.  We look out for our friends.  We look out for our neighbors.  And we set aside whatever issues we may have otherwise to make sure that we respond appropriately and with swiftness.  And that’s exactly what I anticipate is going to happen here.

So I want to thank all the federal teams, state and local teams that are in place.  I’m confident that we’re ready.  But I think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up.  The good news is we will clean up and we will get through this.

Q    What about the impact on the election, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  I am not worried at this point about the impact on the election.  I’m worried about the impact on families, and I’m worried about the impact on our first responders.  I’m worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation.

The election will take care of itself next week.  Right now, our number-one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives, that our search-and-rescue teams are going to be in place, that people are going to get the food, the water, the shelter that they need in case of emergency, and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track.

Thank you, everybody.

END
12:52 P.M. EDT

Campaign Headlines October 29, 2012: ABC/Washington Post Poll: Mitt Romney Maintains Slight Lead over Barack Obama 49% to 48%

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Poll: Romney Maintains Slight Lead over Obama

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-29-12

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages

As it enters its frenetic final week, the presidential race is drawing more close attention than any such contest in 28 years, a testament to a campaign that has been the closest by some measures in pre-election polls dating back even further — to 1960, or even to the early days of polling in 1936.

Support for President Obama and Mitt Romney has averaged 48-48 percent since September, the closest in ABC/Washington Post polls — or Gallup polls before them — in comparable periods dating back 76 years.  It’s also the first contest since 1960 in which neither candidate, in this period, has exceeded 50 percent support (adjusting for third-party vote where applicable).

Holding steady the past three days, the gap is now a single point, with 49 percent support for Romney among likely voters, and 48 percent for Obama in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.  At this stage in 2008, Obama had held majority support since Oct. 11….READ MORE

[CLICK HERE TO SEE A PDF WITH FULL RESULTS, CHARTS AND TABLES]

Campaign Headlines October 29, 2012: Hurricane Sandy Changes Barack Obama Obama, Mitt Romney Campaign Plans

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Hurricane Sandy Wallops Obama, Romney Campaign Plans

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-29-12

William Thomas Cain/Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

With eight days to the election and the race locked in a dead heat, Hurricane Sandy has forced President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney to abruptly change the course of their campaigns and prepare their response to a potentially devastating storm.

Obama, who flew out of Washington, D.C., Sunday night ahead of Sandy, cancelled his appearance at a planned Monday morning rally in Orlando, Fla., with former President Bill Clinton to return home to monitor the federal government’s response to the storm.

Romney, meanwhile, plans to keep his campaign at full throttle in three swing states on Monday, with stops in Avon Lake, Ohio; Davenport, Iowa; and West Allis, Wis….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines October 29, 2012: Mitt Romney Urges Supporters to Persuade Democrats at Ohio Campaign Rally

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

In Ohio, Romney Urges Supporters to Persuade Democrats

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan wrapped up a three-stop bus tour of the Northwestern part of Ohio on Sunday, striking a bipartisan tone with the top of the ticket urging the crowd to talk to their friends who may have cast a ballot for a Democrat in the past.

“Your friends may have voted last time, perhaps in the Democratic primary, they may have voted for who knows?  They may have voted for Hillary Clinton or they may have voted for Barack Obama, they may have voted for then-candidate Obama in the final election,” Romney, standing next to his running mate, told the crowd of about 5,000.

“But I need you to convince them to vote for Paul Ryan and me and that’s not always easy but you can ask them this question: you can say, ‘Do you think everything’s going just fine?,’” he asked, before telling the audience how to pitch his ticket to their friends….READ MORE

Campaign Headlines October 29, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Camp Eyes Hurricane Sandy as Storm Garners Voters’ Attention

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

Romney Camp Eyes Sandy as Storm Garners Voters’ Attention

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-29-12

J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

One of Mitt Romney’s senior advisers said on Sunday that despite impending wall-to-wall news coverage dedicated to Hurricane Sandy, he feels confident that voters in the key swing states in the region have received enough information ahead of the election and reiterated the campaign’s focus on the safety and well being of those in the storm’s path.

“For people that are living in these states that are going to be impacted you know they’re trying to get as much information about what they can do to keep their families and their properties safe,” said senior adviser Kevin Madden when asked about the possibility that storm coverage could make it harder for the campaign to get their message out to voters in the crucial final days before the election.  “And I think that’s an important priority for them.  It’s been a long campaign I think a lot of folks have gotten a lot of information about the two candidates and so we have a certain degree of confidence that we’ve delivered a message to voters.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines October 29, 2012: President Barack Obama Vows to Respond ‘Big’ and ‘Fast’ to Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Vows to Respond ‘Big’ and ‘Fast’ to Hurricane Sandy

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-29-12

Edward Linsmier/Getty Images

As East Coast residents brace for Hurricane Sandy, President Obama visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters Sunday afternoon to receive a briefing on the latest preparations for the storm, expected to make landfall late Monday evening.

“This is a serious and big storm,” the president said in a brief statement to reporters.  “You need to take this very seriously and follow the instructions of your state and local officials, because they are going to be providing you with the best advice in terms of how to deal with this storm over the coming days.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency October 28, 2012: Readout of the President Barack Obama’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Readout of the President’s Briefing on Hurricane Sandy

Source: WH, 10-28-12

This morning, President Obama convened a call with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Rick Knabb, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan to receive an update on ongoing federal actions to prepare for Hurricane Sandy as it moves toward the United States mainland. The President reiterated his direction to Administrator Fugate to ensure that federal partners continue to bring all available resources to bear to support state and local responders in potentially affected areas along the Eastern seaboard as they prepare for severe weather.

FEMA continues to work closely with federal partners, including the Departments of Defense and Energy, and remains in close contact with state and local partners in potentially impacted areas. At the requests of states, FEMA is proactively deploying Incident Management Assistance Teams to multiple states up and down the Eastern seaboard to ensure they have the support they need as they prepare for the storm. FEMA is holding daily operation briefings with emergency response teams in potentially affected states, and FEMA liaisons are joining state and local emergency operations centers in potentially impacted areas. FEMA is also prepositioning commodities including water, meals, blankets and other resources, should they be needed, at Incident Support Bases along the East Coast.

Because Hurricane Sandy could produce significant precipitation over widespread areas and has the potential to cause significant power outages, FEMA continues to encourage state and local authorities responsible for coordinating with local utility companies to do so ahead of any impacts. The President reiterated his direction to his team to ensure there were no unmet needs as states continue to prepare, and to keep him updated as preparations for the storm continue.

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