News24

Obama juggles campaign, storm relief

2012-11-03 22:55

Ohio - US President Barack Obama is keeping in constant touch with the huge emergency effort launched after superstorm Sandy, despite his intense final weekend on the campaign trail, aides said on Saturday.

Obama started his day at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) in Washington before heading to his first event in the swing state of Ohio.

The president talked to Fema staff and by phone to governors and mayors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, amid lingering floods, power cuts and gasoline shortages after the storm, which killed at least 103 people in the United States, spokesperson Joshua Earnest said.

"The president will remain in touch - this storm response is his top priority," said Earnest.

Obama was also due to campaign Saturday in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Iowa before heading to a late night rally in Virginia with former Democratic Party president Bill Clinton.

Campaign spokesperson Jen Psaki said that Obama was continuing to manage the Hurricane Sandy response on the road.

"In between every single event, he basically walks off the stage, gets on a phone call with governors, mayors and first-responders," Psaki said.

"He's focused on it every minute he's not on the stage."

Obama left the campaign trail for three days earlier in the week to deal with the storm, which also complicated his Republican foe Mitt Romney's efforts to maintain momentum ahead of the close election on Tuesday.