Governor Christie Calls New Jersey Recovery From Sandy “Extraordinary” [VIDEO]
Governor Chris Christie says he knew that people were "down and hurting" after Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey but says the progress made in the past six months has been "extraordinary."
Speaking on MSNBC's Morning Joe from the boardwalk in Asbury Park, Christie praised President Barack Obama for keeping "every promise he's made" about helping the state recover from Superstorm Sandy.
Christie says while he disagrees with Obama about 95 percent of things, he has no complaints with him about Sandy-related issues. The Governor says he and Obama "saw suffering together and when you see that either you're going to step up and be responsible or you're not. And we stepped up and we were responsible together."
He said he "had a job to do" and asked critics to put themselves in his shoes in the days after Sandy. The Governor, a strong supporter of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, says presidential politics was the last thing on his mind as he toured storm devastated areas with the president last fall. He was more concerned about getting his state "recovered and restored."
Christie's warm embrace of Obama angered some Republicans, who said it helped tip a close election to the Democrat.
When host Joe Scarborough asked why recovery has seemed to have taken so long, Christie says New Jersey has removed "millions & millions" of cubic yards of debris since Sandy. As he watched video of damaged and destroyed homes in Mantaloking, Christie pointed out that the delay in Washington passing federal relief is causing the recovery from Sandy to slow be delayed on so many fronts.
Christie says restarting "the economic engine of business and housing" is his main priority by way of getting grants to home owners to repair their homes and to business owners so they can reopen.
Federal approval is expected Monday for New Jersey's plan to spend $1.8 billion in federal grants to rebuild.
When asked what he tells people who are 'hurting" in the aftermath of Sandy, Christie says he lets them know "we haven't forgotten about them," calling that the biggest fear people have.
Christie in Highlands
Gov. Chris Christie will be in Highlands, where he'll visit businesses and make a storm-related announcement with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
There’s speculation he’ll announce that the state has received federal approval on a plan to spend $1.8 billion dollars in relief funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
New York’s funding was approved on Friday.
“We’ll probably have something shortly to say about New Jersey,” HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan told the Star Ledger “I’m not going to trump the state of New Jersey nor our own folks. Stay tuned.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story