President Obama met with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) Thursday to talk about federal assistance with recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy, the massive superstorm that killed 131 people in eight states, leveled neighborhoods on Long Island and along the Jersey shore and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Christie was spotting entering the West Wing Thursday morning, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that the Republican governor met briefly with the president before sitting down for more extensive conversations about the recovery with senior advisers.
Carney confirmed that the White House and congressional leaders are working on a federal aid package for the states most heavily affected by Sandy, notably New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. He said the measure could be ready by the end of the week.
“The president is incredibly concerned about those who are still suffering the consequences of the storm,” Carney said. “That’s why he continues to have meetings on it regularly. That’s why he continues to task his team to assist states and localities in the effort.”
Carney would not say whether Obama and Christie talked about anything other than storm recovery efforts. In addition to the president, Christie met with Chief of Staff Jacob J. Lew, Lew’s deputy, Alyssa Mastromonaco, and acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients.
The storm struck in late October, in the final week before the presidential election, and Obama and Christie’s joint appearances and phone conversations in the aftermath garnered national headlines because of the unlikely image of a Republican and Democrat working together just days before such a partisan and rancorous election season drew to a close.
Some Republicans blamed Christie for helping Obama look presidential as he toured disaster damage in New Jersey.