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Obama and Republican governor Christie tour storm-hit New Jersey

  • In a rare display of unity, U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican Governor Chris Christie toured storm-hit parts of New Jersey together on Wednesday as they assessed the damage of superstorm Sandy.

    Obama and Christie got an aerial view of some of the hardest-hit areas of the state’s shoreline in the Marine One presidential helicopter.

    Despite being one of the biggest supporters for Obama's rival Mitt Romney in the November 6 election, Christie continued to praise Obama for his swift response to the devastating storm, which also hit New York City and other parts of the northeastern seaboard.

    Obama, who has suspended campaign events since Sunday, has overseen federal relief efforts to show the public he is focused on his presidential duties rather than pursuing his bid for a second term.

    "If your homes aren't too badly damaged we can hopefully get you back in," Obama told residents at an evacuation shelter in the town of Brigantine. "The entire country's been watching. Everyone knows how hard Jersey has been hit."

    "We're not going to tolerate any red tape. We're not going to tolerate any bureaucracy," Obama added.

    The Democratic incumbent is set to resume campaigning later in the day with visits to Nevada and Colorado, followed by a trip on Friday to Ohio, one of the most crucial swing states.

    The federal government's relief efforts have prompted a shift in Christie's stance towards Obama.

    In August, the New Jersey governor slated Obama during a keynote speech at the Republican convention.

    However, following the wrath of Sandy, which hit the northeastern coast on Monday, Christie has described Obama's response as "outstanding."

    Meanwhile, Romney has been forced to cutback on campaign appearances in order to avoid coming across as overtly political during a major natural disaster.

    He returned to the campaign trail on Wednesday though his team appeared to struggle to deal with Christie's praise of Obama.

    When asked by reporters whether he agreed with Christie’s comments on Obama, Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden said: "I believe the response is still going on so I'm not in a position to qualify the response by the federal government. I believe it's still ongoing."