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Obama on Tropical Storm Isaac: 'Now Is Not the Time to Tempt Fate'

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama headed out on another campaign swing, he made sure to let everyone know that Tropical Storm Isaac, which is barreling toward the Gulf Coast, is very much on his mind.

“Now is not the time to tempt fate.  Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings.  You need to take this seriously,” Obama warned Tuesday from the Diplomatic Room of the White House.

The president reiterated the steps that he and the federal government have taken: declaring a disaster in Louisiana ahead of the storm, sending the Federal Emergency Management Agency teams in last week, and receiving regular updates from his advisors and the National Hurricane Center.

But it’s up to residents of the Gulf Coast to do their part, he said.

“I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate.  We’re dealing with a big storm and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area,” he said.

As he finished, Obama ignored a question about whether it’s appropriate to continue campaigning in light of the impending storm.  Shortly after the statement, he boarded Marine One on his way to a two-day, three-city campaign swing that will include stops in the critical election states of Iowa, Colorado and Virginia.

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