Washington: Showing to the world the rare images of two bitter political rivals joining hands in times of national crisis, US President Barack Obama toured the storm-ravaged areas of New Jersey, along with its Governor Chris Christie.
Christie, a strong critic of Obama and a surrogate of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, was seen praising the US President for his effort to help the people of his State which has seen devastation this week due to Hurricane Sandy, leaving several million people without electricity and destroying several thousand houses.
"He has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit. I think this is our sixth conversation since the weekend," said the New Jersey Governor after he and Obama had a tour of the devastated Atlantic City yesterday.
"It's been a great working relationship to make sure that we're doing the jobs that people elected us to do. I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state," Christie told reporters.
"I have to say that Governor Christie, throughout this process, has been responsive. He's been aggressive in making sure that the state got out in front of this incredible storm.
And I think the people of New Jersey recognise 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," Obama said praising Christie.
"We need to make sure that everybody who's lost a loved one knows they're in our thoughts and prayers. And I speak for the whole country there.
"For those like, you know, the people I just had the chance to meet on this block and throughout New Jersey, 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," he said.
At this point, Obama said his 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.
Later in the day, the Romney campaign defended the praising remarks of Christie.
"Governor Christie's doing his job. He is the Governor of a state that has been hit by a very, very horrific storm. There's tremendous damage. People have lost their lives.
And he is doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing as the Governor of New Jersey," said Russ Schriefer, senior adviser to Romney in a conference call with reporters.
"The President is doing what he needs to do as President. This is a case of the governor doing his job," Schriefer said.