According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today, President Obama went to storm-struck New Jersey today to “see how bad it is. He wants to meet with Governor Christie and other local officials to hear from them directly and in person about the response efforts. He wants to thank those first responders in New Jersey, and while he’s in New Jersey, those first responders in other states who have done such remarkable things and acted so heroically in order to prevent further loss of life and damage.”
Of course, Christie didn’t request Obama’s presence in New Jersey. “We reached out I believe to New Jersey and worked with the Governor’s office to make this trip happen.”
So, what made New Jersey different from New York in terms of visiting? New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg essentially told Obama to stay away. Carney had no answer:
MR. CARNEY: This is really a day not for politics, but for focusing on the damage caused by the storm. That’s why we’re in New Jersey. That’s why the President will be viewing some of the hardest hit areas in this state. So I just don’t have a comment on a political matter right now.
Q Can you be more specific about why New Jersey is different than New York in terms of diverting resources from —
MR. CARNEY: Well, it’s not about — well, Administrator Fugate can talk about the allocation of resources. I think both states were extraordinarily hard hit. New Jersey I think was hardest hit of all by some measures.
Q But in terms of the President coming and not diverting resources? Why is it okay for him to go to New Jersey and not New York?
MR. CARNEY: — the White House and Mayor Bloomberg that because of the unique nature of the damage to Lower Manhattan and the resources that need to be brought to bear there, that it was not appropriate for the President to visit Manhattan today.
So New Jersey was harder hit than New York, but New York couldn’t afford to have Obama there. And all of this is apolitical. Oh.