Mitchell Reports | October 30, 2012
>>> president obama is at the white house today having canceled his campaign events for tomorrow also. joining me, chuck todd , chief white house correspondent, political director and host of "the daily rundown." this puts the president in a presidential commander in chief mode, good thing politically, always a political effect, but often takes him out of direct contact with voters and out of key battleground states .
>> they've canceled all of their campaign events tomorrow. we know that. thursday we don't know yet. i can tell you this, andrea, the travel pool has been called here, you know what that means, the president is headed somewhere. we assume it is something to do with disaster relief and what's going on here. so we can report that much with what just happened here. but the pa system announced the travel pool is to be ready for movement there. we expect at some point today to hear something from the president, whether it's here in the briefing room, whether it's somewhere else in washington, is unclear right now.
>> and i've been told that there is conversation, shall we say, preliminary planning, in case there is an opportunity for him to do some event in the regions before he goes back out on the campaign trail. that's understandable.
>> look, he's likely -- i mean that's right. he's going -- this is any disaster, any president will tour a disaster area like this. the question is, when is it safe for him to go. there is, you know, there is an entire security component to go with the president, so you would -- it would seem right now, for instance, unlikely you could get to new york city , considering what you just reported with tom costello, the issue with the planes right now, with all of the issues in new york city , so you would assume it would be somewhere outside of new york city if he is able to do this in the next few days.
>> well, this is chris christie earlier today, he's out in the field now, looking at the damage. this was part of his news conference today when asked about the political impact.
>> well, i don't give a dam about election day . it doesn't matter a lick to me. at the moment. i've got much bigger fish to fry than that. so do the people of the state of new jersey . so, let the politicians who are on the ballot worry about election day .
>> so before heading to new jersey, i think the president should be careful to make sure that he and chris christie are in sync. you don't want to have that kind of reaction. you know, blowing back on you. i mean the fact is, that chris christie is responding in a way, you know, many of us new yorkers are familiar with but what rudy giuliani and the country is familiar with, but what rudy giuliani did after 9/11, the appropriate response of a political leader to a devastated community that needs political leadership.
>> let's remember, this is a case where it's good politics not to play politics and not to get into an endless, you know, somebody playing politics but not. it's good politics to focus on disaster relief and what everybody needs and be attentive. here's what i understand happened. i know the president held a conference call with a bunch of mayors and governors in the affected areas and it's my understanding that basically new york and new jersey are looking -- are in the neediest of categories, that the other states affected, pennsylvania, maryland , connecticut, virginia, delaware, have needs but they were offering assistance to new jersey and new york . that's how overwhelmed new york and new jersey are with the needs that they have going in. i think that it's pretty clear, at least from what the asks were from local and federal officials the concentration for help and outside resources is focused on new york and new jersey.
>> the pentagon has released numbers through jim mcla chefsy our pentagon correspondent, 7400 national guard troops forces have been called up on to state active duty supporting governors in new york , massachusetts, virginia, delaware, connecticut and maryland as well, continuing in some of those areas. one quick question, we knew early voting in maryland was canceled yesterday. what about the impacts on election day , which are run by individual states? not a federal responsibility, but constitutional mandated to be that first tuesday in november.
>> it's -- right. an act of congress , actually, the constitution gives congress the power and it was an act of congress started back in the mid 1800s to make it the first tuesday after the second monday. but, it came up, i'm told this came up with craig fugate, fema director , came up with his counterparts in the state and locals, asking essentially is dealing with election day issues, moving precincts, trying to get power to them, is that something the federal government would pay for and mr. fugate, who had an experience with this on his own when he was running emergency operationings in the state of florida in 2004 when the state of florida didn't move a primary but had issues, primary being held, congressional primary being held right after a major hurricane had hit the area, and that any cost associated with moving or merging voting stations, power generators to have power for these voting precincts was covered by federal dollars and that was the question that was going on. so that's your most likely scenario here. you'll have states and looks like new jersey and new york will be in particular the ones that will have the biggest issues here. it is -- if they want to -- they run their election. you know, they can't -- if they postpone it on the presidential, that takes an act of congress . could they extend voting hours? could they expand, move precincts, expand the voting hours, increase the amount of provisional ballots , allow people to vote in voting precincts that is not their home precinct to deal with things? all of those issues will be dealt with in the next week.
>> as you remind me, originally the election of our president was in march before it was moved to november.
>> that's right.
>> thank you very much, chuck