WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama warned on Sunday that Hurricane Sandy was a "serious and big storm" and called on East Coast residents to heed the orders of state and local officials to protect themselves from its onslaught.
Obama, speaking after a briefing at the federal government's storm response center in Washington, said officials had assured him that they had all the resources they needed in place, and he stressed that "it is important for us to respond big and to respond fast" to the hurricane's onslaught.
"We're going to cut through red tape and we're not going to get bogged down in a lot of rules," said Obama, who was having to juggle both is re-election bid and his efforts to stay on top of the storm's impact just nine days before Election Day.
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Via a White House press release, Obama added that his first message to Americans "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."