Holden’s Columbia speech targets seniors, education

The governor pledges to “lead the fight” for the next four years.
Thursday, July 29, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:35 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rose Corgan had a busy day scheduled Wednesday, but she found time to attend Gov. Bob Holden’s speech at the Tiger Columns retirement community. She went to listen to his speech that focused on issues close to her heart as a retired teacher: care for older Americans and education.

Holden stressed the importance of fighting for the needs of children and older citizens. He said it is important to adequately fund Medicare, prescription drug coverage and housing for seniors and education.

“Children and seniors are less protected in our society than others,” Corgan said.

The primary to determine the Democratic nominee for governor, in which Holden faces opposition from State Auditor Claire McCaskill, Jim LePage and Jeffery Emrick, is five days away. Holden addressed issues he said were pertinent throughout his time as governor and said he wants to continue to work on them if re-elected.

“I will lead the fight as I did the last four years and the next four years,” he said. “The way we treat our children and seniors reflects on the state.”

Holden said there is a responsibility to repay seniors for their legacy of a strong economy as well as to protect children. He said that when he was fighting the legislature to prevent 80,000 children from being cut from a health care program, McCaskill did not participate in the fight.

“Claire McCaskill couldn’t be found; she was silent,” he said.

He said she was not present in any struggles between Republicans and Democrats, something he criticized her for when they debated last week. McCaskill had countered by saying she was not part of the legislature when those conflicts were taking place and that her job was to audit, which she said she had been busy doing.

During Wednesday’s speech, Holden said that during his time as governor, Missouri has been a leader in job growth.

“I am proud to say Missouri is the No. 1 in the nation in terms of our job programs,” he said. “While the nation is losing jobs, Missouri has gained jobs.”

Holden said job growth helps lay the foundation “for future success which we all dream about for our children and our grandchildren.”

Crystal Church, principal of Grant Elementary School, said Holden has done a good job in regards to education.

“We are very excited and looking forward to the future of the state of education in Missouri,” she said. “What he’s done for our children, it means so much to us.”

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