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Election 2012: What about Iowa's Children?

PHOTO: picture of Charles Brunner. Courtesy of the Child & Family Policy Center.
PHOTO: picture of Charles Brunner. Courtesy of the Child & Family Policy Center.
August 22, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa - Swing state Iowa will be a repeat stop in coming weeks for the presidential candidates trying to win over voters. A call has been issued to bring more focus to the topics affecting the nation's most vulnerable citizens: our children.

Charles Brunner, executive director of the Child and Family Policy Center, says children often are absent from the discussions in the presidential campaigns.

"There's been very little attention given to important child-policy issues around children's health, education, child safety, family economic security and ensuring all children have opportunities for success."

According to a report by the center, issues that affect children were brought up only 2 percent of the time in the past 20 Republican presidential debates. At the same time, Brunner says, they are not hearing President Obama focus on child-centered policies, either.

Brunner says it is critical for leaders to discuss their plans to help improve health, safety and education for all children.

"For the first time in our country's history, our children face the prospect of growing up less healthy, living less-long lives and being less equipped educationally to lead and compete in a world economy."

Brunner says the real key to the nation's economic success is making sure the next generation is educated and productive.

"Probably the greatest role for government in terms of economic prosperity is ensuring that next generation grows up equipped to be leaders, in the economy and society."

Obama made five campaign stops in Iowa this month, Romney is making his fifth stop today.

The report is online at

Richard Alan, Public News Service - IA