Denver Survives Presidential Debate Crush

October 3, 2012 10:45 PM

Denver Survives Presidential Debate Crush
" DENVER (AP) — Political buffs and young people looking for free T-shirts crowded the University of Denver campus Wednesday to watch the first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney on large outdoor screens.

A free concert by The Lumineers and a pep talk by Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am contributed to a festival-like atmosphere before the debate began.

“‘Yes we can’ doesn’t mean just to vote,” will.i.am told the crowd. “It means ‘devotion.’”

Some students left after the Lumineers’ set. Perhaps 3,000 others, many sitting on bales of straw, watched quietly and occasionally applauded as Romney and Obama exchanged arguments. With temperatures dropping steadily, most left within minutes of the end of the debate. Workers quickly cut down red, white and blue balloons that had decorated the area.

University of Denver graduate student Kathryn Hobson said debate day was long, but thrilling. The 28-year-old volunteered as an usher in the debate hall — and also got to meet will.i.am.

“I think the school handled it very well,” she said, adding: “My feet are killing me. I’m super-tired, but it was worth it.”

Political activists lined nearby streets hours before Romney and Obama arrived "

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