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Candidates Talk Policy to Texas, Ohio Voters

Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and John McCain, R-Ariz., made appeals Thursday to Texas and Ohio voters before their March 4 primary contests. Talk on the stump focused on health care, economy and Iraq war policy. Kwame Holman recaps the day's campaigning.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Now, what the presidential candidates had to say heading toward the big Texas and Ohio primaries. NewsHour correspondent Kwame Holman reports.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    With just five campaign days remaining, Hillary Clinton met with supporters in the southern Ohio border town of Hanging Rock. Her message there was more needs to be done to help people get by, and that starts with universal health care.

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), New York: Part of the reason why we have to cover everybody — children and parents — is because you can't expect to take care of a child if you have a sick parent.

    And you can't afford for a parent, who is the breadwinner, not to have preventive care and health care, because what happens oftentimes is that, when a parent gets sick, that affects the whole family.

    I bet every one of us has seen that, where somebody maybe has an accident on the job, or a car accident, or comes down with some illness. Everybody in the family is affected if that mother or father can't be taken care of.

    Well, when a child is sick, it also affects the whole family. Taking your child back and forth to Cincinnati with the price of gas, there's no telling how much it costs.

    I was looking at the gas prices as I was driving this morning, you know, and I saw some pretty high prices, you know, $3.48, $3.68. That's getting way up there.

    And, of course, oil is now $100 a barrel on some days, and we've got to help people with their transportation costs, particularly in rural areas. What are people supposed to do? Well, they have to commute to work or they might have to drive to hospital or some other necessary trip.

    And, of course, you're dependent upon your car. You know, if your car breaks down — you know, one of the gentlemen this morning who told me he commuted 71 miles says, you know, he holds his breath about buying the gas, but he holds his breath all the time about, you know, maybe his transmission going out or something that is going to cause an extra expense.

    All of this is connected. And too often people look at these problems like they're individual problems. "Oh, it's so sad people don't have health insurance." "Oh, it's so sad people don't have child care." "Oh, it's so sad that people are paying so much for gas."

    It is all connected. You know, we've got to get incomes up, and we've got to deal with these costs, so that people can get more money in their pocket to take care of a lot of these expenses.

    But if you don't have health insurance for everyone, we're never going to get out of this. We're just going to keep running around in circles.