The campaign for the White House didn’t wane in Iowa over the Thanksgiving weekend as five presidential hopefuls make stops in the state. During an appearance in western Iowa on Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama lamented the rising cost of health insurance.
"Costs for the average family went up 78 percent since George Bush took office," Obama said. "I know your wages didn’t go up 78 percent. Your incomes didn’t go up 78 percent. Now, why is that? Well, it doesn’t help when the drug companies and the insurance companies spent $1 billion over the last 10 years blocking reform from happening."
On Sunday, Obama’s campaign arranged to a few Iowans who’ve gone without health insurance to meet with Obama. Janice Nichols is self-employed and when her husband lost his job, they lost their insurance. "We had nothing for three years," she told Obama.
Obama asked if she had been sick during that time.
"Yea," Nichols replied. "…Fortunately for my family I’ve been the only one with any major issues."
Obama asked if the family had paid for those expenses out of their own pocket. Nichols gave a hacking cough, then answered: "We did."
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made four stops in Iowa on Sunday. During an afternoon rally in Nevada, Clinton took a shot at rival Obama, who has said it’s time to "turn the page" and take the country in a new diretion. "You know, I don’t think we can talk just about change or change of direction. You’ve got to know where you’re trying to go. You’ve got to know which direction you’re headed," Clinton said. "Our country has always understood that."
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson told a crowd in Indianola on Sunday that resolving what’s gone wrong in Iraq won’t happen until all U.S. troops are out of the country. "I don’t think we can start a process of reconciliation, political compromise, regional stability, a multi-national peacekeeping force to replace ours to keep Iraq secure, a donor conference where other nations take over the reconstruction of Iraq until our troops are gone."
Roger Kuhle, who lives north of Indianola, agrees with Richardson that the troops should come home. "I don’t think there’s a way out of it other than to just do it — say you’re going to get out and get out," Kuhle says. "We’re goign to lose a lot any way you look at it. I think the sooner we can do it the better and I’m disappointed we’re not doing it now, but that’s not his call."
Richardson is making a four-day swing through the state, with stops scheduled Monday in Mount Ayr, Bedford and Sidney. Democratic presidential candidates Chris Dodd and Joe Biden also campaigned in Iowa this weekend.
Ric Hanson of KJAN in Atlantic contributed to this report.