New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared the devastation from Superstorm Sandy in his state to be a “major disaster” and “devastation,” but he also stated that working with President Obama on securing resources for the state has been “great.”
Gov. Christie told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Tuesday on Morning Joe that roughly 2.4 million households in the state were without power, roughly a million more power outages than the state experienced during Hurricane Irene.
Christie expected the devastation along the state’s coastline, commonly called the Jersey Shore, to be “the worst we’ve ever seen.” He also said he asked the president to expedite what is known as a Major Disaster Declaration for the state, which will allow federal aid dollars to reach New Jersey faster. The governor praised Obama’s quick reaction to the storm.
“The president has been all over this, and he deserves great credit,” Christie said. “He gave me his number at the White House and told me to call him if I needed anything, and he absolutely means it. It’s been very good working with the president and his administration. It’s been wonderful.”
President Obama and the governor spoke three times on Monday, Christie stated.
“He asked me what I needed. I said if he could expedite the Major Disaster Declaration without all the normal FEMA mumbo-jumbo. He got right on it,” added Christie. “I got a call from FEMA at 2 a.m…and then this morning I understand he signed the Major Disaster Declaration for New Jersey.”
As a surrogate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, Christie has been a vocal and frequent critic of the president. He’s used previous Morning Joe appearances to praise Gov. Romney’s performance at the presidential debates. He was once considered to be in the running for Romney’s vice presidential pick.
Gov. Christie also noted New Jersey has received aid in the form of 25 ambulances from GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and GOP Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has also “offered up resources we’ve been able to use.”
Christie stated that those willing to donate in the form of money can donate to both the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, and able-bodied citizens of New Jersey who are willing to help can call: 1-800-Jersey7 to find out about volunteer opportunities.
Late Update, 3:30pm: The White House says Obama and Christie will together tour storm damage in New Jersey Wednesday.