New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) put aside his campaigning for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday to praise President Barack Obama for his responsiveness to the Garden State's needs in preparing for Hurricane Sandy.
During a briefing with emergency personnel, residents and press, Christie thanked Obama for holding a conference call with him and governors of other states expected to be impacted by the storm, the Star-Ledger reports.
“I appreciated the president’s outreach today in making sure that we know he’s watching this and is concerned about the health and welfare and safety of the people of the state of New Jersey,” he said.
Christie shortened a campaign trip for Romney in North Carolina and canceled a political trip to Nevada in order to return to New Jersey to focus on the hurricane.
Christie also announced Sunday that he is asking Obama to issue a pre-landfall emergency declaration for New Jersey in order to expedite federal assistance for the state. A press release from Christie's office indicated that such a declaration would allow New Jersey to start requesting federal funds and other aid in advance of the storm. Obama issued a similar declaration for New York state.
During a press briefing Sunday night, Christie criticized the Democratic leaders of the New Jersey state legislature for failing to approve a request to fine companies a higher fee if they don't respond to power outages in a timely manner. The current fine is $100 a day, but Christie wants to raise the fee to $25,000 a day. He made the request in September following a report from the state Board of Public Utilities regarding power companies' response to Hurricane Irene, which left parts of northern New Jersey without power for days.
“The legislature has failed to give me the fining authority I requested," Christie said. "That is a significant disappointment. The fact that they did not come in is a disappointment.”
Christie did indicate during his briefing that he and Bob Hanna, president of the Board of Public Utilities, have been in contact with power companies regarding hurricane preparation.
The governor also addressed the Nov. 6 election during his briefing, saying that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), who also serves as New Jersey's secretary of state, has been participating in conference calls with other East Coast secretaries of state regarding the hurricane's potential impact on the election. Christie declined to discuss the specifics of Guadagno's conversations, but said that any final decision would occur after the hurricane has passed.
“We will get to our national election when we get to it," Christie said.
UPDATE: Oct. 29 -- President Barack Obama issued a federal emergency declaration for New jersey late Sunday evening in advance of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in the Garden State. The emergency declaration allows federal emergency management officials to assist state officials during the storm and provide federal financial assistance to New Jersey.
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<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/04/chris-christie-2012-decision-_n_993910.html" target="_hplink">(Oct. 4, 2011) --</a></strong> Christie announced that he will not run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, vowing that "now is not my time." He quipped to New Jersey residents "whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me."
"Need You Now" (Lady Antebellum)
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"How Do I Live" (LeAnn Rimes)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/07/chris-christie-town-hall_n_1133756.html" target="_hplink">WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (Dec. 7, 2011) --</a></strong> At a local town hall, Christie did not take kindly to a <a href="http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2011/12/video_chris_christie_asked_if.html" target="_hplink">constituent's question</a> about how his administration conducts these types of meetings. He showed the individual little mercy, going "if I plant questions, why the hell did I call on you?"
"Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (Elton John)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/08/chris-christie-mic-checked-occupy-wall-street_n_1136762.html" target="_hplink">(Dec. 8, 2011) --</a></strong> Occupy Wall Street protesters interrupted Christie during an appearance in Iowa, making him a target of the movement's "mic check" trend.
"Shut Up" (The Black Eyed Peas)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/chris-christie-warren-buffett_n_1294579.html" target="_hplink">(Feb. 21, 2012) --</a></strong> In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Christie had some choice words for Warren Buffett, surrounding the billionaire investor's desire to be taxed at a higher rate. "Just write a check and shut up," he remarked.
"American Idiot" (Green Day)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/christie-argues-with-veteran_n_1334963.html" target="_hplink">(March 9, 2012) --</a></strong> Christie argued with a former Navy SEAL over the New Jersey's plans to reconfigure public universities. The result? Some fire from the governor's tongue, as he called the veteran an "idiot."
"Call Me Maybe" (Carly Rae Jepsen)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/13/chris-christie-talks-vp-p_n_1423271.html" target="_hplink">(April 13, 2012) --</a></strong> Throughout Mitt Romney's run for the White House, Christie made it known that he was open to a vice presidential nod (should Romney ask him).
"Rocky Ground" (Bruce Springsteen)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/chris-christie-sleeping-bruce-springsteen-_n_1438337.html" target="_hplink">(April 19, 2012) --</a></strong> Christie vehemently denied reports that he was sleeping at a Bruce Springsteen concert in New York City. <em><strong>
"I Don't Really Care" (Waka Flocka Flame)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/chris-christie-jimmy-kimmel_n_1465608.html" target="_hplink">(April 30, 2012) --</a> Christie responded to jokes comedian Jimmy Kimmel made about his weight at the 2012 White House Correspondents Dinner, throwing Sofia Vergara into the mix. "I figured I was in the zone of danger," he said.
"Ready Or Not" (The Fugees)
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