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Obama surveys Isaac damage: 'We're here to help'

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In the past, Obama said, "We haven't seen the kind of coordination that is necessary in response to these kinds of disasters."

Even before the storm threatened to bear down on the U.S. coast last week, Obama sought to portray his administration as having a strong handle in both the preparation and recovery efforts. But his trip on Monday was pre-empted by a visit to the area by his opponent Mitt Romney, who also aimed to comfort the victims during his Friday stop.

White House press secretary Jay Carney maintained that Obama's trip to the area three days later wasn't political.

"I think that disasters are apolitical," Carney said. "And I think that the way we respond to disasters should be apolitical." But he added, "When it comes to the kinds of choices politicians make in Washington about what their priorities are, it is worth noting that last year there was an effort to underfund the money that's used to provide relief for Americans when they've been hit by disasters. That effort was led by Congressman Paul Ryan, who is now running for vice president of the United States."

For more on Obama's trip to Louisiana, click here.