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You’ve read the reports: President Barack Obama is unpopular with the American public right now; so unpopular, in fact, that at a recent rally in Maryland, people in the crowd actually walked out on him while he was speaking.

But were the early exits made in disrespect for our nation’s leader, as some accounts have suggested, or did they happen for reasons far less personal? NewsOne asked the Democratic candidate for whom President Obama was stumping at the rally in question, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown, what was the real deal. Brown, who is also the state’s lieutenant governor, told us the campaign event in Upper Marlboro, Md. on Sunday, October 19, was packed.

“There were over 9,000 people in the building and several hundred — about 1,000 — waiting, and the fire marshal said we were at capacity,” Brown said. Many in the crowd had trekked a long way from where they had to park their cars to get into the auditorium, he added.

The ones who left early were, “a small number of people had waited hours to see the president and heard him for much of his 25 minutes speech. They wanted to get an early jump on the crowd, and in many cases had to walk 2 miles to their parked cars so they could get home to their families, etc.,” said Brown.

“Look, Pres. Obama was well received in Maryland. It was an enthusiastic crowd. He certainly helped energize our voters, and to get out a big vote,” Brown added.

Check back with NewsOne for more of what Lt. Gov. Brown told us about his battle against Republican nominee Larry Hogan for the Maryland governor’s seat, his relationship with President Obama and what it would be like to make history as Maryland’s first Black governor.

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