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Obama, Christie Tour Recovery Efforts at Jersey Shore

Office of NJ Gov. Chris Christie/Twitter(ASBURY PARK, N.J.) -- Seven months after superstorm Sandy hammered the New Jersey coast, President Obama returned to the Jersey Shore to highlight the state’s recovery and rebuilding efforts, declaring that the “Jersey Shore is back.”

“We’re still rebuilding after Sandy.  Now we all understand that there is still a lot of work to be done,” the president said Tuesday before a crowd of 3,800 at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, N.J.

“There are homes to rebuild, there are businesses to reopen. There are landmarks and beaches and boardwalks that aren’t all the way back yet, but thanks to the hard work of an awful lot of people, we’ve got wonderful shops and restaurants and arcades that are opening their doors, and I saw what thousands of Americans saw over Memorial Day weekend," he added. "You are stronger than the storm.”

“After all you’ve been through, the Jersey shore is back, and it is open for business, and they want all Americans to know they’re ready to welcome you here,” he said.

In a reunion of sorts, President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie toured the boardwalk in Point Pleasant, N.J., earlier in the day. Christie first hosted Obama on a tour of the Jersey Shore in October after superstorm Sandy devastated its beach communities.  The trip made political waves as the Republican and Democratic odd couple were thrust into the spotlight one week before the election. As he introduced the president at Tuesday’s speech, Christie said that concern for the people of New Jersey and the desire to restore the shore trumped any political party.

“Everybody came together, Republicans, Democrats, independents. We all came together because New Jersey is more important and our citizens’ lives are more important than any kind of politics at all,” Christie said.

Speaking in a town that inspired some of native New Jersey musician Bruce Springsteen’s work, the president quoted a line from a song Springsteen performs, saying, “Down the shore, everything’s all right.”

“He’s the only guy a president still has to call ‘The Boss’ other than the first lady,” Obama joked.

As he highlighted the cooperation between the federal, state and local authorities in revitalizing the New Jersey coastline, President Obama said the trip was meant to send a message of commitment not just to the people of New Jersey, but also to the community of Moore, Okla., which the president mistakenly referred to as “Monroe.”

“When we make a commitment that we’ve got your back, we mean it, and we’re not going to finish until the work is done. Because that’s who we are. We help each other as Americans through the bad times, and we sure make the most of the good times,” he said.

As he wound down his speech, the president made a sales pitch for the Jersey Shore, encouraging Americans to visit the beach communities rebuilding after superstorm Sandy.

“Let’s have some good times on the New Jersey shore this summer and next summer and the summer after that and all year long,” he said. “America bring your family and friends, spend a little money on the Jersey shore. You’ll find the friendliest folks on earth, some of the best people on earth, and you’ll see even after a tough couple of months this place is as special as ever because down the shore, everything’s still all right.”

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ABC News Radio