Transcript: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s remarks during President Obama’s visit to survey Hurricane Sandy damage

Edited by Jenny Jiang
Transcript of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s remarks during President Obama’s visit to survey damages from Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31, 2012:

President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talk with local residents at the Brigantine Beach Community Center in Brigantine, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Good afternoon, everybody. And thank you all for coming today. I want to thank the members who are here as well. And obviously, I want to thank the President.

We spent a significant afternoon together surveying the damage up and down the New Jersey coastline; we were on Marine One together to be able to show the President that personally. I had an opportunity to see it, and we had an opportunity to discuss it at length. And then, going over to the shelter here, being able to meet with folks to have them see the President and his concern, and the concern that all of us have for making sure that things get back to normal as quickly as possible.

We have lots of challenges. One of our challenges now is to get back to normalcy. And so the things we need to do is to make sure that we get power restored as quickly as possible; make sure that people have clean drinking water, and waste water treatment plants are working; hospitals are taken care of the way they need to; and that we get kids back to school.

And so, I discussed all those issues today with the President, and I’m pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together. So I want to thank him for that. He has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit. I think this is our sixth conversation since the weekend, and it’s been a great working relationship to make sure that we’re doing the jobs that people elected us to do. And I cannot thank the President enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. And I heard it on the phone conversations with him, and I was able to witness it today personally.

And so we’re going to continue to work. The state government is here. We’re doing what we need to do. We’re coordinating with FEMA, and I want to thank Administrator Fugate for being here and for the input he’s already had in helping to make our operation even better. And we will move on from here.

What I said yesterday I really mean. I know there has got to be sorrow, and you see that and the President has seen that today in the eyes — the faces of a lot of the folks he’s met. And that sorrow is appropriate; we’ve suffered some loss. Luckily, we haven’t suffered that much loss of life and we thank God for that. But we have suffered losses, and this is the worst storm that I’ve seen in my lifetime in this state. But we cannot permit that sorrow to replace the resilience that I know all New Jerseyans have. And so we will get up and we’ll get this thing rebuilt, and we’ll put things back together, because that’s what this state is all about and always has been all about.

And so for all of you who are here — and I met a bunch of you today at Brigantine who disregarded my admonition to get the hell out of here — you’re forgiven this time. You are forgiven this time, but not for much longer. We’ve got to make sure when all of you look around and you see all this destruction, that’s fine — but you know what, all that stuff can be replaced. You look to your right and to your left, to your husband or wife, your son or your daughter — those are the things that can’t be replaced. So I’m glad that we don’t have that kind of loss of life to have to deal with.

So I want to thank him for being here today, for bringing his personal attention to it. And it’s my honor to introduce to all of you the President of the United States.


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