PORTLAND — After waiting in line for hours to hear President Obama speak Thursday at the Portland Expo, many people never got in.

According to White House officials, 90 percent of the ticket holders got into the Expo. But as the president began his remarks, a line of about 1,000 still waited outside.

It was unclear whether they all had tickets, or were simply hoping for a last-minute miracle.

“I guess I assumed if you had a ticket you’d get in,” said Josh Delano, 24, who lives within a block of the Expo. “ ‘Frustrated’ is the best word to describe it. I waited in line (Wednesday) close to three hours. And another three today.”

Delano left quickly to get to his television. Others didn’t have time.

“We’re disappointed,” said Cliff Rossignol, 75, of Scarborough. “If they would have notified us, we could have at least gotten to a TV set.”

Rossignol’s wife, Marriette, 68, stood in line for almost three hours Wednesday with her friend Mary Payne to get the tickets.

Sue Colten drove to Portland from Tamworth, N.H., early Thursday to meet her daughter Laura and attend the speech.

“We still love Obama,” she said, “but it’s not really very good PR.”

Janie Miniotti, a volunteer from Arundel who worked at Thursday’s event, said she never got inside either.

“It seems like a timing issue,” Miniotti said. “Someone just mentioned it’s like a metaphor for health insurance. Some are on the outside.” 

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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