January 11th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
3 years ago

Blitzer: What would you ask the Democrats in South Carolina?

 Weigh in on the South Carolina Democratic debate.
Weigh in on the South Carolina Democratic debate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - I am going to be hosting a Democratic presidential debate on Monday, January 21, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The CNN debate will be co-sponsored with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Suzanne Malveaux and Joe Johns will be joining me in the questioning. All of us are really looking forward to this debate which coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States.

It comes just before the Democratic primary in South Carolina on Saturday, January 26. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards all have respective strengths and weaknesses in that state. Hopefully, we will be able to learn more about these three candidates during that forum, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. The two earlier Democratic debates I moderated – in New Hampshire in early June and in Nevada in November – included a lot more candidates. Several of them, as you know, have dropped out. This one should be more manageable.

There are so many questions all of us have about the candidates. I have my ideas, and am excited, but l really want to hear from you - I would love your input. Let me know what you would ask these Democratic candidates if you had the chance. This race for the White House is at a pivotal point for the Democrats and the Republicans. And the stakes for the nation are very high. Thanks in advance.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: South Carolina • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (2,911 Responses)
  1. Barbara

    Please ask each candidate the same questions, and hold them to specifics. It really doesn't matter to me what the questions would be...however I would like to be able to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges for EACH of them.

    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your process.

    January 11, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Tracy, Los Angeles, CA

    I'm borrowing this from someone else – a Washing Post columnist no less – but I'd ask each of them to name the policy achievement about which they are the most proud.

    January 11, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Jonathan Cummings

    I would ask Hillary Clinton why she is running a campaign based on fear. She stated that a terrorist attack is likely and she is the person you want to be in office in an attack. Why does she feel that an appeal to fear is the direction she should be going in her campaign, and how is it different from the Bush-Cheney use of fear which lead to the war in Iraq? As a follow up as long as the above question was ACTUALLY addressed in her response, what specific information was she basing her "attack likely" comment on that the homeland security department didn't deem was necessary to pass on to citizens?

    January 11, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. mike piche'

    i would like to ask all people running for president. when was the last time they paid for a doctor visit/hospital bill/prescription. why should they have better insurance then us? who pays for it we do the taxpayers.its not fair. iam 60 when i retire at 62 i will have no health insurance. how about them? iam on our company health insurance plan, i pay 60.00 a week. no optical or dental. 80/20 deductible.
    a colonoscospy cost me 1000.00 out of my pocket.

    its just not fair.....

    January 11, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Tom Spencier

    This question is for Hillary Clinton.

    It is Hillary Clinton running for president right? Then why Bill Clinton is doing a propaganda? Can't Hillary handle her campaing? If so, will she able to handle the government by herself?

    TS

    January 11, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. rennyjones

    It has been proven that society prefers women who are more nuturing and emotional to women who are strong and powerful. I would ask Hillary if she feels she pandered to that stereotype in order to get votes in New Hampshire.

    January 11, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. E. Elliott, Orlando, FL

    I want to ask them why none of them will support the American workers that are losing their lower middle class jobs to the 12 millin criminal immigrants. Why don't you collectively allow that issue to be included on Democratic questionaires?

    January 11, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. Frank D

    Senator Clinton do you have evidence to show that you can adopt a bipartisan approach to get things done without undue polarization?

    January 11, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Jay Graham, Dallas, TX

    I would ask Obama that being a Clinton supporter seeing record surplus, unprecedentaed job growth, peace and prosparity for US for 8 years, why would I give you my vote knowing fully well that Hillary would bring those conditions in her presidency having her husband on her side advising her? I know that you will ask that Hillary is not Bill and she has nothing to prove. But, taking apart her 27 years of experience before the white house and as a senator, she has seen and experienced the working of her husband which even if you deny has some truth in it. What is that you are going to do differently than Hillary to bring back the same or better results than what Bill Clinton did?

    January 11, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Jr., California

    To Obama,

    Would he welcome an endorsement from Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Please elaborate.

    To Hillary, same question.

    January 11, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Brian Des Moines, IA

    How do you plan to capture Osama Bin Laden?

    How will you go about getting our infastructure back into the condition it needs to be?

    What will you do about education (exactly)?

    January 11, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Leo

    To all:
    What are you going to do to protect the jobs and wages of low skilled workers, who have to compete with illegal immigrants.

    January 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. Danielle Elliott

    In light of all the excitement that has been generated by this upcoming election I have been increasingly interested in the nuts & bolts of the process. In 2000, the electoral college was back in the spotlight but nothing has been done to reform or eliminate the outdated method.

    This year, I was stunned to learn that in the Democratic nomination process almost 800 delegates (primarily made up of party leaders and elected officials) are free to vote for anyone they choose. In essence their one vote can equal thousands of ours. I'm not trying to say that it's unfair (well, yes – I guess I am) :) but in a tight race such as this, how can we as voters feel confident that the candidate who wins the most delegates from our votes will be the same candidate who gets the nomination?

    I would like to know from each candidate if they feel our country's presidential election process is broken and if so, how would each plan on reforming it.

    Thank you.

    January 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Robert

    Obama and the DNC,

    Do you know how simple it is to get Democrats, like myself, to jump ship and vote Republican this year? I do – keep using the race card and shaming the black community to vote for you just because of your race. And you will get many white Democrats pissed off and we will vote the other way, independent or just not vote at all.

    January 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Made in Canada

    Dear Wolf,

    Could you please ask the following question to all candidates:

    Canada has long been a good neighbour to the U.S. throughout our successful shared history. While we Canadians often have a different view of the world we have supported the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan since 2002 with our greatest treasure – our Canadian soldiers.

    How as President would you convince the Canadian people that the war in Afghanistan is worth our sacrifce or do you believe Canadians should not extend our mission past February 2009?

    January 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. Mike R

    The question that I would most like to be asked also relates to the candidates' specific plans to bring about the "change" we're hearing so much about. Here's how I would like it to be asked: directed at Obama, "You talk a lot about bringing Democrats and Republicans together to get things done, but how does that actually play out in an environment where you're likely to have congressional Republican leaders diametrically opposed to many of your legislative priorities? Will you be relying on charisma and lofty speeches to turn them to your way of thinking?" And then to Clinton, "In what ways are you better equipped than Senator Obama to face these same hurdles?"

    January 11, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Stuck In The Middle

    Thanks for asking, Wolf. I am a middle of the road voter highly concerned with our national image, but also concerned with national security. I truly want to vote for Democratic change, but just can't do it without understanding a candidates' position on national security. Stating Bush is trashing the Constitution is not enough for me to vote for you!

    As the next President, how would CHANGE the Patriot Act, foreign and domestic wiretapping and other terrorism prevention/national defense measure instituted by President Bush? As intelligent, well-informed current leaders, you must have some opinion on what should stay, what should go and what you would improve.

    I am hoping for honest answers and insight on this valid issue that will almost certainly be on the next President's agenda – not another tirade about the current President.

    January 11, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. tom

    I would like you to ask Hillary why her campaign has focused on experience, when it is Bill who was the president (and Governor), and she held the title of "First Lady", which really doesn't count on a resume.

    I also would like to know how Hillary plans to get troops out of Iraq when she has also stated that she might keep combat troops in Iraq for years.

    January 11, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. Mike R

    The question that I would most like to be asked also relates to the candidates' specific plans to bring about the "change" we're hearing so much about. Here's how I would like it to be asked: directed at Obama, "You talk a lot about bringing Democrats and Republicans together to get things done, but how does that actually play out in an environment where you're likely to have congressional Republican leaders diametrically opposed to many of your legislative priorities? Will you be relying on charisma and lofty speeches to turn them to your way of thinking?" And then to Clinton, "In what ways are you better equipped than Senator Obama to face these same hurdles?"

    January 11, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. nadeem

    Senator Clinton,

    Given the fact that Republican impeached your husband, explain how you will be able to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans without animosity.

    January 11, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. Jon, Atlanta

    What would you do with the prisoners in US custody at Gitmo?

    January 11, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. Christine

    To Joseph in Syracuse:

    The health care system in Canada is a mess. Please don't say that the US needs to model a system similar to the one in Canada. (I am an American who lives in Canada) It is very costly (someone earning $60,000 per year pays close to 50% in tax, supposedly some of this goes to health care, plus you must also pay a monthly premium) wait times at hospitals are terrible, (people are waiting up to 2 days in many cases in the emergency rooms) plus a plethora of other problems. Nurses have left Canada in droves, there aren't enough doctors, and waiting times for simple procedures take months. People die up here of cancer and other life threatening diseases waiting for treatment. Many Canadians choose to come to the States for care, as it is quick and state of the art. Please don't misconstrue this as an endorsement for the US health care system. The health care system in the States is an embarrassment. I think the US would better serve itself by looking to other countries for examples on a proper program, or god forbid, make one on its own that would actually work for all citizens. We have an opportunity to make a real difference in health care. It will take the right President to actually have the guts to change the system.

    January 11, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. PW

    how much change are you really talking about? I hear the words revolution and transformation being used and i'm thinking, yes, we need to end the war and get the budget under control. Can't I be a happy, Proud American without feeling guilty about it?

    January 11, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. George Vance

    If Hillary Clinton were to become our next president, we could possibly be looking at 24-28 years where our president has either been of the Bush, or Clinton families. That may make sense to those inside the beltway, that there are a relatively few families, and powerful privilaged people who should govern this nation, but what does that say to the average man or woman in this nation that still believes we are a little more egalitarian than that. What does that say about our democracy?

    January 11, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. Jeremy Rosen

    Wolf:

    I'd ask Hillary Clinton why she believes her experience is any greater than Barack Obama's, given that he's held elected legislative office more years than she has. Why should Senator Clinton's White House years, with the exception of her failed health care plan, somehow be counted as political "experience," when she was not an elected official during that time?

    January 11, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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