Obama, Chris Christie Tour Damage Left By Hurricane Sandy In New Jersey

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The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From AP:

BRIGANTINE, N.J. -- President Barack Obama is telling people recovering from Sandy's devastation along New Jersey's coastline that "we are here for you, and we will not forget."

Obama joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other officials to inspect damage from the massive storm that struck the East Coast. He saw flooded neighborhoods and sand-strewn streets during a tour that came less than a week before Election Day.

Obama says the federal government is "here for the long haul."

Christie, a supporter of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, says he "can't thank the president enough" for his concern and compassion during the storm.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

President Barack Obama inspected Sandy's devastation from high above Wednesday, viewing flooded neighborhoods, sand-strewn streets and a still-burning fire along the battered New Jersey coastline.

Offering presidential reassurance, Obama later promised residents at a shelter that the federal government was "here for the long haul."

With Election Day less than a week away, Obama's visit to view the aftermath of the rare autumn storm was layered with political implications. His tour guide was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and top supporter of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who joined Obama on a Marine One helicopter ride over the region.

After the aerial tour, Obama traveled to a community center in Brigantine, northeast of Atlantic City, where about 50 people had taken shelter and other residents were visiting for food, a hot shower or to power up their cellphones.

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