Obama consoles heartbroken cities ahead of looming vote

City A.M. Reporter
PRESIDENT Barack Obama cancelled campaign appearances in Ohio due today and scheduled a trip to New Jersey instead to survey damage caused by powerful storm Sandy, a move designed to portray him as a strong leader a week before the election next week.

Obama, who is in a close race with Republican rival Mitt Romney, has dropped three days of campaigning in battleground states to oversee the government response to the storm, which crippled New York City and much of the eastern US.

The White House has taken pains to show Obama at work, releasing readouts on briefings he has attended and calls he has made to governors and mayors of states and cities affected by the storm.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families who have lost loved ones ... Obviously, this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation," he said from a podium with Red Cross workers in the background.

Romney also cancelled some political events, but his campaign announced he would hold rallies in Florida – another battleground state – today.