By Geneva Sands - 10/30/12 05:25 PM EDT
Christie, an outspoken surrogate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said he was focused on rescuing residents and rehabilitating his state, when asked about reports that the GOP nominee might visit New Jersey to tour damage left in the wake of Sandy.
"I've got 2.4 million people out of power. I've got devastation on the shore. I've got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics then you don't know me."
Romney suspended his scheduled campaign and held a "storm relief" event Tuesday, outside Dayton, Ohio.
Christie went on to praise the assistance of the federal and other state governments. He said that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) sent 22 fully staffed ambulances and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) also provided assistance.
Christie notably praised President Obama, telling Fox News that the president's declaration of New Jersey as a major disaster area will help the state "tremendously."
"I spoke to the president three times yesterday. He called me for the last time at midnight last night, asking what he could do. I said 'if you could expedite designating New Jersey as a major disaster area that that would help us to get federal money and resources in here as quickly as possible to help clean up the damage here.' The president was great last night. He said he would get it done," Christie said.
The governor said that he received a phone call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 2:00 a.m. to answer final questions.
Obama signed major disaster declarations for the states of New Jersey and New York Tuesday morning.
"[I] have to give the president great credit. He's been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours. He has been very attentive and anything that I've asked for he's gotten to me, so I thank the president publicly for that. He has done, as far as I'm concerned, a great job for New Jersey," he said.
Christie also appeared on NBC's "Today" show, where he said the president's efforts to help his state were "outstanding."