HIGHLANDS, N.J. (TheBlaze/AP) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday that President Barack Obama "has kept every promise he's made" about helping the state recover from Superstorm Sandy.
Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on the 6-month anniversary of the deadly storm, the Republican governor said presidential politics were the last thing on his mind as he toured storm-devastated areas with Obama last fall.
"The president has kept every promise he's made," Christie, widely considered a potential candidate for the republican presidential nomination in 2016, declared. "I think he's done a good job. He kept his word."
Christie's warm embrace of Obama after the storm angered some Republicans, who said it helped tip a close presidential election to the Democrat and away from Mitt Romney, who Christie endorsed and for whom he campaigned last fall.
But Christie maintained: "I've got a job to do...You wake up [and] 7 million of your 8.8 million citizens are out of power...you're not sitting there worrying about presidential politics."
The governor challenged his critics to put themselves in his shoes in dealing with the massive storm, predicting no "responsible elected official" would have done anything differently.
"I have a 95 percent level of disagreement with Barack Obama," Christie noted. But that did not come into play while dealing with the storm, or negotiating the federal funds his state would receive.
"We saw suffering together," Christie explained. "Everything the president promised me they'd do, they've done. I don't have any complaint this morning on the issue of disaster relief."
Sandy destroyed about 360,000 homes or apartment units in New Jersey, and some areas along the shore are still devastated. A recent report estimates 39,000 New Jersey families are still displaced, with some still living in hotels paid for by FEMA.
Christie's analysis of the relief received compared to the president's promises hasn't been shared by all -- particularly some of the victims.
Donna Vanzant, one of the victims famously seen hugging the president after the storm, went public a month after the tragedy to say that she got "no help," adding that she believed the president "wasted a lot of people's time" during his tour of the area.
Later today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan is to appear with Christie at a press conference where it is expected the secretary will announce federal approval of New Jersey's plans to spend more than $1.8 billion in federal grants on storm rebuilding and recovery.
"We'll start to see that aid start flowing this week," Christie said on the show, six months after the storm struck. "We still have tens of thousands of families who aren't back in their homes. Job One is to get the grant program going."
Congress has already approved more than $60 billion in Sandy relief funds, most of it for New Jersey and New York, despite Republican concerns of the unrelated "pork" in the bill.
Watch Christie's entire interview on "Morning Joe" courtesy of MSNBC, below:
- Sandy Victim Promised 'Immediate Help' by Obama Still in the Cold
- Sandy Victim Promised 'Immediate Help' by Obama Speaks Out on Fox News: 'I've Gotten Nothing'
- Rudy Giuliani Schools MSNBC on Disaster Response: 'This Is Unacceptable'
- Politics & Government
- Executive Branch
- Superstorm Sandy
- Chris Christie