Nightly News   |  May 28, 2013

Obama touts tourism on Jersey Shore

President Obama joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for a visit to the Jersey Shore where he greeted nearly 4,000 rain-soaked supporters. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to the new jersey shore and the return today of two political rivals who happen to get along. you may recall after hurricane sandy this rarashed the shore governor chris christie was thrashed by some of his republicans for showing kindness to president obama who was after all leading the recovery charge with federal aid . well they were both back for a tour, a progress report today to declare the shore open for business, and to send the nation greetings from asbury park . our white house correspondent peter alexander was along for all of it. he's with us from there tonight. peter, good evening.

>> reporter: hey, brian, good evening to you. beach boys , jersey boys , people will be having fun with this one for a while. the president came got jersey shore for an important message he wanted to get across and what might best be described as the sandy recovery reunion. they looked like old friends, enjoying an extended memorial day weekend down the shore. president obama and governor christie back together again. at the arcade as for the longstanding debate about whether these are games are skill or chance today the governor showed he's the experienced local hand naming his shot. greeting nearly 4,000 rain soaked supporters they seemed careful for a full-on hug. the president sounded like a one-man tourism board.

>> 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 . you are stronger than the storm.

>> reporter: president obama 's visit designed to follow up on a pledge made here days after sandy struck.

>> seven months ago i promised you that your country would have your back. i told you we would not quit until the job was done and i meant it.

>> reporter: tourism, a nearly $19 billion industry, is the jersey shore 's bread and butter but these days too many people are vacationing elsewhere.

>> we definitely need you. these are mom and pop businesses that rely on the summer and they rely on our tourism so it's very important.

>> reporter: exactly why the president came today.

>> if they ever let me have any fun, i'd have some fun here. i think a friend of mine from here once put it pretty well. down the shore, everything's all right.

>> reporter: he'll get points for trying, but talking about the boss and the city springsteen made famous die-hard say " jersey girl " was written by tom waite. 8-year-old tess mac duringal, a jersey girl herself who lost her home, demonstrated this community's resilience.

>> after the storm we came back to the beach because everyone loves the beach.

>> reporter: here on the beach the only real issue was the weather. it's still raining on the boardwalk tonight. as the mayor of asbury park told me we survived sandy. rain at this point is just a nuisance.

>> peter alexander life from what looks like the stone pony , thanks.