Hundreds Protest and Support Republican Candidates in Des Moines

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

DES MOINES, Iowa - Hundreds of people canvassed the campus of Drake University in Des Moines to both support and protest the Republican candidates at the ABC debate Saturday night. More than 100 Ron Paul supporters made-up the largest gathering standing directly across from the doors of Sheslow Auditorium, which served as the venue for the debate.

"We've been tabling all week, you can't go anywhere without seeing a Ron Paul sign," said Cahlen Brancheau, a first-year student at Drake University.

A group of about 50 protesters also marched around the Drake campus declaring the debate a "circus."

"These candidates don't care about me, they don't care about my children, they don't care about my five grandchildren," the group chanted. Many of the protesters painted their faces white and wore red clown noses.

Dozens of Des Moines police and Drake Security officers monitored the crowds around the venue. Canine units were also brought in to monitor the perimeter of Sheslow Auditorium.

"It's so exciting to have all of these people here and all of this media attention," said Elissa Rabin, a sophomore Drake student who walked over to observe the commotion.

The candidates will meet in Iowa again on Thursday night to debate in Sioux City.
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