By Matt Rivers
MANAHAWKIN, N.J (CBS)–The community in Manahawkin was hit very hard by Superstorm Sandy and Governor Christie came to announce what he called good news for the area.
Cameras were rolling this morning as the Governor met with homeowners impacted by the storm.
Today, his administration says more than $800 million in aid money has been distributed to homeowners, or over 70 percent of the total money allocated for relief.
And while he did not directly refer to the George Washington Bridge scandal or the controversy surrounding his ‘Stronger than the Storm’ ad campaign, he did talk about facing obstacles:
“No one, I can assure you ever told me or anybody on my team that it’s going to be easy. It hasn’t been up to this point and there’s all kinds of challenges as you know, that come every day out of nowhere to test you. I want to assure the people of New Jersey of one thing, I was born here, I was raised here, I’m raising my family here and this is where I intend to spend the rest of my life, and whatever test they put in front of me I will meet those tests because I am doing it on your behalf.”
The governor received a warm reception from the crowd of a few dozen or so when he arrived and they cheered him even more when he left, no doubt a sign of support for the Christie in Manahawkin.
Before the speech he met with homeowners severely impacted by the storm, many from right here in Manahawkin, like Julie Such.
“The whole first floor was flooded by three feet of water,” Such said.
So what does she think then about claims the Christie adminstration spent more money than it should have on a recovery ad campaign featuring the governor?
“I feel that possibly he was innocent and did not know about it,” Such said.
That support was echoed throughout the room, whether asked about the ads or about the evolving bridge scandal.
“Unfortunately, he trusted a couple of his workers that let him down,” Ed Conlon said.
(Rivers:) “But moving forward, he’s got your vote?”
He’s got my vote, 100 percent,” Conlon said.
And while Christie didn’t address the issue specifically, he strongly alluded to it at the end of his speech.
“Whatever tests they put in front of me, I will meet those tests, because I’m doing it on your behalf,” the governor said.
He did not take any questions from reporters at the event.