Mitt Romney has come under fire for his long-standing plans to reduce the scale of America's nationwide disaster relief agency, which co-ordinated the response to Hurricane Sandy, which caused massive damage to parts of the US.
The New York Times issued an excoriating editorial attacking Mr Romney for advocating the slimming down and even privatisation of some functions of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema).
Arguing that "A big storm requires big government", the paper, which has endorsed Mr Obama, said privatizing aspects of Fema's work was "absurd", adding that that the city was "fortunate that, for now, that ideology has not replaced sound policy."
Although both Mr Obama and Mr Romney have avoided overt politicking since the storm struck, left-leaning media outlets seized on the opportunity to remind the Republican candidate of his remarks during a televised primary debate last June.
Asked for his view on disaster management, Mr Romney said he believed that any opportunity to "send it back to the states" was to be welcomed, adding "And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better."
Mr Romney's campaign said he did not plan to abolish Fema, but re-iterated the belief that states "were in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources. This includes help from the federal government and Fema."
Fema, which was started by Jimmy Carter but has become an ideological football in recent decades, with Republicans seeking to curb its funding, arguing that the organisation is bloated and wasteful.
Democrats say cutbacks to Fema were partly responsible for the woefully inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina which swamped New Orleans in 2005