(Newsroom America) -- President Obama said he was not worried about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the election at this point, and was instead worried about the impact on families, first responders and the impact on the economy and on transportation.
At the end of a press briefing, President Obama said the election will take care of itself next week.
"Right now, our number-one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives, that our search-and-rescue teams are going to be in place, that people are going to get the food, the water, the shelter that they need in case of emergency, and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track," he said.
NBC reported Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have also canceled all campaign events on Tuesday due to "sensitivity to those affected by Hurricane Sandy".
Following the latest briefing from emergency response teams, President Obama said it is expected the center of the storm will make landfall sometime this evening.
"But because of the nature of this storm, we are certain that this is going to be a slow-moving process through a wide swath of the country, and millions of people are going to be affected.
"So the most important message that I have for the public right now is, please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Do not delay. Don’t pause; don’t question the instructions that are being given, because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequence if people haven’t acted quickly," he said.
President Obama said there has been extraordinarily close coordination between state, federal, and local governments, who are confident that the assets are prepositioned for an effective response in the aftermath of the storm.
"We anticipate that there are going to be a lot of trees down, a lot of water. And despite the fact that the power companies are working very closely with their various state officials and local officials to make sure that they are bringing in as many assets as possible and getting those ready in preparation for the storm, the fact is that a lot of these emergency crews are not going to be able to get into position to start restoring power until some of these winds have died down. And because of the nature of this storm, that may take several days," he said.
President Obama said the public should anticipate that there’s going to be a lot of power outages, and it may take time for that power to get back on.
He said the same is true with transportation; there are going to be a lot of backlogs, and even after the storm has cleared, it’s going to take a considerable amount of time for airlines, subways, trains, and so forth, potentially to get back on schedule, depending on the amount of damage that has occurred.
"This is going to be a big storm. It’s going to be a difficult storm. The great thing about America is when we go through tough times like this we all pull together. We look out for our friends. We look out for our neighbors. And we set aside whatever issues we may have otherwise to make sure that we respond appropriately and with swiftness. And that’s exactly what I anticipate is going to happen here," he said.