ORLANDO -- President Obama canceled campaign events for Monday and Tuesday in Florida and Wisconsin, flew back to the White House to monitor the deadly trek of Hurricane Sandy, and will address the nation on the storm at 12:45 p.m.
Obama had flown Sunday night to Orlando -- where he delivered pizzas to a local campaign office -- and had planned to attend a rally at Central Florida University on Monday morning with former president Bill Clinton.
But just a few hours before the event, the White House announced that Obama would head back to the White House "due to deteriorating weather conditions in the Washington, D.C., area."
Later, the White House announced that Obama has canceled a Tuesday campaign rally in Green Bay, Wis., and will spend all of that day in Washington as well.
"The storm overnight picked up speed and intensity," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "And a decision was made that in order to return to Washington to monitor and oversee the efforts to prepare for the storm and respond to it, we needed to leave earlier than planned."
Carney added: "The president's priority right now is the safety and security of Americans who are in the path of the storm and who will be affected by it. It's essential in his view that he be in Washington, one of the areas that will be affected, and where his team is to oversee that effort."
It's too soon to say whether or where the storm will affect Election Day, Nov. 6, Carney said.
Back at the White House, Obama planned to meet in the Situation Room with emergency management officials.
The Orlando event was scheduled to have started a three-day campaign swing through Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Wisconsin.
But now his schedule this week is up in the air because of the storm that is about to strike the northeastern United States.
Republican rival Mitt Romney also has adjusted his schedule because of the storm, reports our On Politics blog.
No politician wants to suffer the fate of President George W. Bush, who was heavily criticized for his administration's response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
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