ORLANDO, Fla. - As Hurricane Sandy takes aim at the East Coast, the storm is already throwing a wrench in the campaign plans of both President Barack Obama and his challenger, Gov. Mitt Romney.
Obama greeted local members of the Puerto Rican community upon arrival at Orlando International Airport just before 8 p.m. Sunday, but he canceled his Monday morning appearance at the University of Central Florida.
"Due to deteriorating weather conditions in the Washington area, the president will not attend today's campaign event in Orlando. The president will return to the White House to monitor the preparations for and early response to Hurricane Sandy," spokesman Jay Carney said.
Former President Bill Clinton still spoke at the UCF event, highlighting Obama's accomplishments over the last four years and pitching his plan for the next four. He focused specifically on how Obama wants to improve the economy, overhaul the student loan program and grow the middle class.
"An economy and a policy built to help the middle class and poor people work there way up works better than an economy built from the top down," Clinton said.
Obama spent a good portion of Sunday getting updates on the storm and assuring the public the federal government is ready to help those in Sandy's path.
"At this stage, everybody is confident that the staging process, the prepositioning of resources, commodities, equipment that are going to be needed to respond to this storm are in place," Obama said while addressing a group at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Hurricane Sandy's also interrupted campaign events for Romney, who skipped planned events in Virginia, heading instead to Ohio, where he opened up his remarks by addressing the storm.
"I know that right now some people in the country are a little nervous about a storm about to hit the coast. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people who will find themselves in harm's way," said Romney.
Meanwhile, Romney's runningmate Paul Ryan will attend a campaign event at Florida Tech Clemente Center in Melbourne Monday at 5:40 p.m. Vice president Joe Biden will also return to Central Florida on Wednesday to speak in Ocala and in Sarasota.
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