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Scholastic Kids Press Corps Grills Candidates


Scholastic Student Reporter Kristen Toliver asks Howard Dean about education in the media center of Township Hall, on Friday in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo: Steven Ehrenberg)
Friday, January 30—The Democratic presidential candidates came to talk to the media at Township Hall, in Columbia, South Carolina, today. Scholastic Student Reporters peppered the candidates with questions.

The media room was crowded with cameras. It was hard to talk to the candidates because of the media rush, but we managed to ask the first questions nearly every time a candidate came out.

Scholastic Student Reporter John Dixon kicked off the question-and-answer session with North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Many people think Edwards may win the South Carolina primary because of his southern roots. Dixon asked Edwards what he would do about the loss of jobs, especially in South Carolina.

"That's a very good question," responded Edwards. "We're going to change the way we do trade agreements, so that we don't continue to see the loss of jobs we're seeing now." He went on to explain how he would improve the economy by changing the tax code and attracting new jobs.

Scholastic Student Reporter Kristen Toliver asked former Vermont Governor Howard Dean what he plans to do about the fact that some kids don't have a good education. Dean said that every kid should get a good education, and that there should be child labor laws so that more kids could go to school instead of work.

Al Sharpton was asked a two-part question by Crystal McRae about international relations and the war with Iraq. Sharpton handed her the microphone while she asked the question.

"We should've tried to reason with Iraq, instead of declaring war on it," said Sharpton. He spoke about how he has been a civil rights leader, unlike the other candidates.

Senators Joe Lieberman and John Kerry did not attend the event, which was billed as a "Presidential Dialogue With America's Families."