VIDEO: Watch President Obama, Chris Christie Update America on New Jersey Damage
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie introduced President Barack Obama at an update to the nation in Brigantine, NJ following a tour of the damage caused throughout the state.
Christie thanked the president for his attention and compassion throughout the storm and its aftermath.
"I think this is our sixth conversation since the weekend, and it's been a great working relationship to make sure we're doing the jobs the people elected us to do," he said. "I can't thank the president
enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and the people of our state ... I was able to witness it today personally."
The two spent a "significant afternoon" together surveying damage up and down the New Jersey coastline, of which the governor said in his introduction of the president, "We have lots of challenges ... the challenge now is to get back to normalcy."
He told residents that while it's appropriate to feel sorrow, "we cannot permit that sorrow to replace the resilience that I know all New Jerseyans have. We will put this back together ... that's what this state is all about and always has been all about."
Watch Gov. Chris Christie speak:
The president returned Gov. Christie's praise, saying that throughout the process, the governor was both responsive and aggressive about making sure the people of New Jersey were getting what they needed.
"I think the people of New Jersey recognize that he's putting his heart and soul into making sure the people of New Jersey bounce back even stronger than before. I just want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership and partnership."
President Obama also discussed what he called "the 15-minute rule," instituted amongst his staff when it comes to dealing with disaster relief and taking calls from local and state leaders.
"I've instituted a 15 minute rule ... you return everybody's phone calls within 15 minutes," he said. "If they need something, we figure out a way to say 'yes.'"
The commander in chief cautioned that residents understand that the destruction caused by Sandy won't be cleaned up overnight, adding that people should have "realistic expectations," but emphasizing the importance of community.
"We will not quit until this is done. We're not going to tolerate red tape, we're not going to tolerate bureaucracy ... the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another and we don't leave anyone behind."
Watch President Obama's remarks: