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Student: Obama drink mishap not my fault

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DENVER — The college student whose yogurt drink spilled on President Obama in Colorado said Wednesday that a photographer actually was responsible for the mishap.

Kolbi Zerbest, a freshman at the University of Colorado, said she was waiting at a rope line to shake Mr. Obama’s hand after he emerged from a restaurant in Boulder, and she had placed her drink container on the ground so her hands would be free.

“Secret Service brought us a little bit closer to where President Obama was supposed to be coming out of the restaurant,” Miss Zerbest said on NBC’s “Today” show.

“We were just waiting there patiently, and then he came down this line of people, and we knew we were going to be pretty like — we were pretty close, so we knew we’d eventually get to shake his hand,” she said. “And so I think as he comes towards us a little bit more, paparazzi come rushing behind us and right as I’m shaking his hand the paparazzi kicks the bowl that I had placed on the ground onto the president. And it was mine, so, obviously I took the blame for it.”

Some of the yogurt splashed onto Mr. Obama’s pants, and he took a towel to wipe it off. He told the young woman, “Getting yogurt on the president, you’ve got a story to tell.”

She told Mr. Obama, “I’m very embarrassed.”

Later, at a speech at the University of Colorado, Mr. Obama — wearing different pants — made light of the incident.

“I was shaking hands with folks outside and a young woman — she got very excited and spilled yogurt on me,” Mr. Obama told the crowd. “More hazardly, she spilled yogurt on the Secret Service, which you …. the agent just stood there, just looking at her.”

The student said Wednesday, “Technically it was my fault that I’d placed it there. But, I mean, I’m not one who spilled it on him or kicked it on him.”

She said more of the drink spilled on the Secret Service agent than on the president.

Mr. Obama is traveling from Colorado to Iowa on Wednesday to wrap up a two-day tour of college campuses in swing states as he lobbies Congress to keep interest rates from rising on federal student loans.

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About the Author
Dave Boyer

Dave Boyer

Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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