The leading Democratic presidential contenders on Friday
endorsed a National Urban League agenda that calls for mandatory early
childhood education and universal health care for children.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards each
promised support for the Urban League’s plan, which favors extending childhood
education programs to children as young as age 3 and guaranteeing access for
all to attend college.
Sens. Clinton and Obama have engaged in a weeklong feud
precipitated by Monday’s debate exchange over whether a president should meet
with leaders of rogue nations without preconditions.
The two did not share the stage in St. Louis, and instead
spoke one after the other. Neither mentioned the flap, but Edwards did.
“We’ve had two good people Democratic candidates for
president who spent their time attacking each other instead of attacking the
problems this country faces,” Edwards told the roughly 1,400 people in the
Clinton focused on the plight of young black males, and
pledged to spend $100 million over five years to match students with internship
opportunities at businesses.
Obama proposed to expand nationally a program similar to one
in Harlem, N.Y., that offers childcare, after-school programs, free medical
care and guidance counseling to children and their parents.
Edwards also backed the early-childhood education program.
– Associated Press
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