Obama vows ‘no red tape,’ will tour storm damage in New Jersey

People are rescued by boat on a flooded street in Little Ferry, N.J., in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
(Craig Ruttle / Associated Press)

Warning that “this storm is not yet over,” President Obama vowed that his administration would pull out all the stops to get aid to those hit by Hurricane Sandy.

There is “no excuse for inaction,” Obama said after a brief unscheduled visit to Red Cross headquarters in Washington. “I want you to cut through red tape; I want you to cut through the bureaucracy. There is no excuse for inaction at this point.”

Obama has jumped off the campaign trail to monitor federal response to the massive storm. And the White House has made sure that the president and his efforts to help remain visible.


As Obama’s remarks aired on television Tuesday, the White House announced he would travel to New Jersey to tour the storm damage on Wednesday. The visit, during which he’ll meet with GOP Gov. Chris Christie, will replace a day of campaigning in Ohio.

STATE BY STATE: Snow piles up; beaches wash away

Speaking at a podium with Red Cross workers behind him, Obama praised the group, saying it “knows what it’s doing” when it comes to disaster relief.

He said he ordered federal agencies to be aggressive in delivering federal support to local officials. And he urged private utilities to “lean forward” in their push to restore power to the millions still in the dark.

Obama praised the resiliency and spirit of Americans.

“America is with you,” he said. “We are standing behind you, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet.”

Twitter: @khennessey