President Barack Obama invoked the destructiveness of Hurricane Sandy--and the ensuing clean-up--in his campaign stop earlier today in Wisconsin.
"Now, for the past few days, all of us have been focused on one of the worst storms in our lifetimes," Obama said. "And we’re awed and we’re humbled by nature’s destructive power. We mourn the loss of so many people. Our hearts go out to those who have lost their loved ones. We pledge to help those whose lives have been turned upside down."
Obama then brought up his visit to New Jersey yesterday, where he viewed the destruction and clean-up effort with Republican governor Chris Christie. "And I was out in New Jersey yesterday and saw the devastation, and you really get a sense of how difficult this is going to be for a lot, a lot of people," Obama said.
At the campaign event, the president said the hurricane provided a unifying experience for Americans. "But we’ve also been inspired these past few days -- because when disaster strikes, we see America at its best. All the petty differences that consume us in normal times all seem to melt away. There are no Democrats or Republicans during a storm, there are just fellow Americans. Leaders of different parties working to fix what’s broken; neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy; communities rallying to rebuild; a spirit that says, in the end, we’re all in this together -– that we rise or fall as one nation, as one people."
He then said his presidency has been inspired by that spirit:
That spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries. It has carried us through the trials of the last four years. In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created over 5 million new jobs. (Applause.) The American auto industry is back on top. American manufacturing is growing at the fastest pace in 15 years. Home values are on the rise. Thanks to the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. (Applause.) The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda has been decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead. (Applause.)
Later, Obama pivoted to attacking Mitt Romney, calling the Republican presidential candidate "a salesman."
These remarks were delivered today, 5 days before the presidential election.