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October 20, 2014

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For Obama, next stop is Denver

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Christopher DeVargas

President Obama departs Las Vegas via McCarran International Airport after a 3-day stay, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012.

Air Force One Departs: Oct. 3, 2012

President Obama departs Las Vegas via McCarran International Airport after a 3-day stay, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Nearly 72 hours after his arrival in Southern Nevada, President Obama is back in the air on Air Force One with Denver his next destination.

The president’s departure from McCarran International Airport was low-key, with no dignitaries to send him off. Around 11:37 a.m. Wednesday, Air Force One took off, shortly after Obama – wearing a suit – jogged up the crew steps to enter the aircraft. He did not speak to the assembled media.

Obama spent the majority of his three days in the Las Vegas Valley at the Westin Lake Las Vegas, preparing for Wednesday night’s debate against Mitt Romney, the first of three head-to-head presidential debates scheduled in this election season.

He left his Lake Las Vegas cloister only twice during his stay: on Monday, to deliver pizza and well-wishes to volunteers at an Obama For America campaign office in Henderson; and on Tuesday for a short trip to see the Hoover Dam.

White House officials largely avoided answering questions about Obama’s debate preparation, saying they didn’t want to tip the president’s hand to the Republican camp.

“I apologize, because I know this is – we’re all going to bang our heads against the wall here for the next 48 hours – but obviously he has close policy and political advisers working with him. I’m not going to lay out how it’s going or what’s happening, because obviously our focus is on making sure he has what he needs in advance of Wednesday, and we don’t see any reason to lay those specifics out for our opponent,” Jen Psaki, Obama’s traveling press secretary, told reporters Monday,

Tuesday, Psaki stayed on script, telling reporters Obama wasn’t out to win the debate per se but to make his points to a large audience.

“While this is a huge audience and the President recognizes it as one of the biggest audiences he'll have between now and November … and that's one of the reasons why he wants to use it as an opportunity to speak directly to the American people, directly to people who are sitting at home on their couches,” Psaki said.

Wednesday’s presidential debate will be broadcast beginning at 6 p.m.

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