Obama: Millions 'still picking up the pieces'

In his last weekend address before Election Day, President Obama opted not to mention the campaign, instead talking about the recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy.

“This weekend, millions of our fellow Americans are still picking up the pieces from one of the worst storms in our history,” Obama said in the address, released Saturday.

The president talked about the importance of the recovery, and asked those not in the affected areas to support the Red Cross. He also mentioned some of the heroes of the storm, like the Coast Guard crew who rescued a ship's crew off the coast of North Carolina and the doctors and nurses who successfully evacuated New York’s NYU Medical Center after it lost power Monday.

While Obama did not touch on politics directly in his address, Hurricane Sandy made a big splash in the presidential campaign this week.

The hurricane prompted both Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney to temporarily suspend their campaigns, and the story dominated the news for several days that otherwise would have been devoted to campaign coverage.

It’s still unclear whether the hurricane helped Obama’s standing in the race, but the massive storm gave the president the opportunity to show the country he was commander in chief in the days before the election.

In his address Saturday, Obama discussed his tour of the aftermath on Wednesday with Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), who heaped praise on the president for the federal government's efforts to help the Jersey coastline.

Christie said that he appreciated Obama's efforts to make sure that bureaucracy didn’t get in the way, something Obama touched on in his address.

“From the earliest hours, I ordered that resources be made available to states in the path of the storm as soon as they needed them,” Obama said.

“And I instructed my team not to let red tape and bureaucracy get in the way of solving problems — especially when it came to making sure local utilities could restore power as quickly as possible.”