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Biden tours Sandy damage in NJ, pledges continued federal aid

Vice President Biden visited New Jersey on Sunday to tour the damage from Superstorm Sandy, telling residents of his personal connection to the region and pledging Washington’s help.

Biden flew in a helicopter over some of the worst-hit areas, and was accompanied by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.), among others.

The officials visited first-responders at a volunteer fire station in Seaside Heights, where Biden chatted with the fire fighters and jokingly punched many of them in the arm, according to the pool report. 

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The vice president asked how many of the fire fighters were forced out of their homes by the storm, and most of them raised their hands.

Biden, wearing baseball cap with the vice presidential seal, and the other officials then walked along a nearby beach and boardwalk, surveying the devastation from the storm, including damaged rides, with a roller coaster submerged in water.

Speaking to reporters after his tour, Biden shared his personal memories of visiting the Jersey Shore as a child, according to the pool report.

The vice president said he “spent all my time on the Jersey Shore" during his childhood summers. "I was literally raised on the shore," he added.

Biden spoke briefly about the need for the federal government to help states rebuild.

"We have an awful lot of work to do," said Biden. "This is going to be a long process. This is going to be an expensive process," he said.

"We're not going anywhere, and you've got a homeboy in the deal who gets it," Biden added. 

—This story was updated at 3:41 p.m.