President Barack Obama, accompanied by American Red Cross President and CEO Gail J. McGovern, gestures while speaking during the his visit to the Disaster Operation Center of the Red Cross National Headquarter to discuss superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have begun an hour-long aerial tour of New Jersey hurricane damage aboard Obama's Marine One helicopter.
Obama flew to New Jersey today for a first-hand look at the devastation from the storm. He's officially away from the campaign trail for a third day, but his trip is layered with political implications.
It gives Obama a chance to project leadership in the final days of the tightly-contested White House race. And Christie, his tour guide, has been a supporter of Mitt Romney. Christie has praised Obama's efforts to help states dealing with the storm.
But Obama spokesman Jay Carney says there are no political motivations behind Obama's decision to join his rival's supporter today. Carney says it's "not a time for politics."
Christie was on hand to greet Air Force One in Atlantic City. FEMA administrator Craig Fugate then joined them aboard Marine One for a look at the storm damage.
Before heading to New Jersey, Obama visited FEMA headquarters in Washington.
Obama plans to return to the campaign trail tomorrow, with stops planned in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado.