DENVER - Emerging from days of debate prep, Mitt Romney tonight arrived in Colorado and told a crowd of thousands that he's "delighted" about the upcoming debates.
"Now you know that you're going to get some visitors this week," Romney said. "The president will be here. I'll be here. We're going to have a debate, and there's a lot of interest surrounding the debate. And people want to know who's going to win, who's going to score the punches and who's going to make the biggest difference in the arguments they make.
"And there's going to be all the scoring of winning and losing, and you know, in my view, it's not so much winning and losing or even the people themselves - the president and myself - it's about something bigger than that," Romney said.
The debates will be a chance for the two politicians to "describe the pathway forward," laying out a choice for voters, he told the crowd, estimated by campaign staffers at nearly 6,000 people.
Tune in to ABCNews.com on Wednesday for livestreaming coverage of the first 2012 Presidential Debate from Denver, Colo. Coverage kicks off with ABC News' live preview show at noon, and full debate coverage begins at 8 p.m.
"The American people are going to have to make the choice as to what kind of America they want," he said. "And so, I look forward to these debates. I'm delighted that we're going to have three debates. It'll be conversation with the American people that will span almost an entire month. We'll get to describe our respective views, and I believe the people of Colorado will choose a better way forward for our country. We can't afford four more years like the last four years."
But here tonight, in what was one of the larger crowds of his campaign and his 14th in the swing state this year, Romney paid homage to the importance of Colorado's votes.
"This is a great place to be, here at the foot of the Rocky Mountains," he said. "I think this is going to be the home of the place that elects the next President of the United States."
Romney spent several hours on Sunday and this morning doing debate preparation with Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who has been tapped to play President Obama in mock debates. Portman, who flew to Denver with Romney earlier today, will be on hand for last minute debate prep Tuesday and Wednesday.
While Romney hits the books Tuesday, his wife Ann is scheduled to campaign on his behalf, holding a rally in Denver.
President Obama is in Henderson, Nev., attending his own so-called "debate camp," and is scheduled to arrive in Denver on Wednesday.
During a stop at a local campaign office there, Obama joked that the prep was a "drag," remarking of his staffers, "They're making me do my homework."