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Election Year Politics Overshadow State of the State Address

Election year politics was one of the major themes to emerge from the governor's State of the State Address and from the response from democrats. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The cheers and standing ovations that greeted Republican Governor Matt Blunt during the State of the State address came almost exclusively from his own party.

In his remarks, Blunt criticized the previous democratic administration more than a dozen times.

At a press conference immediately following the speech, Democratic leaders had their own criticisms of Blunt. Specifically, Senate Democratic Leader Maida Coleman accused Blunt of making a desperate play for votes in his re-election bid.

Tuesday night, healthcare was a major focus for both sides. In his address, Blunt talked about providing healthcare coverage for more Missourians.

Blunt's words rang hollow for democrats who say the current budget surplus is the result of Medicaid cuts from a couple of years ago.

Senate Democratic leader Maida Coleman says the governor made those cuts in a strategic way.

As has been his practice since taking office, Blunt was not available to reporters after his speech to talk about the details of his healthcare plan, budget proposal, or other initiatives...his practice is a break with the long-standing tradition of governors holding a press conference immediately following the address to discuss details and answer questions.