DENVER (CBS4)– The presidential debate at the University of Denver will take center stage Wednesday evening. Gov. John Hickenlooper said the debate puts not only Denver in the spotlight, but Colorado as well.

“I think this helps define Colorado as a place that’s different,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “We have a third Republicans, a third Democrats, a third Independents and yet somehow we’re still finding a way to compromise.”

Hickenlooper talked with CBS4 Morning News about how he hopes the debate will show how discussion instead of attacks will take the presidential campaign to the next level.

“That’s got to be the message to the rest of the country that we can’t have the same partisan bickering and fighting. That we are ready to have debates where the two candidates tonight are going to respect each other, talk about ideas and policy,” said Hickenlooper. “You’re going to get a sense of whose ideas you’re going to like the best but also as a person. Who do you trust? Who can you see being our president for the next four years?

“I think the attack ads, the just beating each other to a pulp, that gets put aside and that’s good. You never see it in private industry. Coke doesn’t do attack ads against Pepsi because then Pepsi would attack Coke and then Coke would counter attack and then people were buy fewer soft drinks. You dminish the product category. What we’re doing is diminishing the product category of democracy,” said Hickenlooper. “People don’t watch the news, they don’t read the newspaper and they don’t vote. This is our great experiement, the world’s great experiment, democracy. We’ve got to make sure we don’t turn people off.”

Hickenlooper also discussed how he feels President Barack Obama will perform during the debate with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“He is someone who loves to talk so debate is not his best format. I think he will have to limit himself in providing context and be more concise. He certainly knows his issues as well as anyone alive,” said Hickenlooper.


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