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.
The first question I would ask every candidate is WOULD YOU PARDON THE CRIMINALS NOW IN OFFICE IF YOU ARE ELECTED?
My question would be for Hillary Clinton.
You have spoken about change and how your experience will help you bring about change in Washington D.C. You and your husband have collectively been in Washington D.C. for nearly 16 years. How is it then that you plan to bring the change this country so desperately needs after spending so much time in a government that has led us to this breaking point. Please be specific, generalities are unacceptable to voters that demand substance.
You claim that your 35 years of experience makes you more qualitfied to lead this country than the other candidates. Could you please cite examples where you were directly responsible for initiating change in our government?
Ask each candidate what they would do to kick start the economy.
Given that the debate is on Marthin Luther King day and that African Americans form half of the democracte primary electorate in SC, please ask the candidates what the day means for them and what they plan to do to help make King's dream come true in terms of racial equality and other issues pertinent to minorites. Along with this, please ask Ms. Clinton to clarify the comments she made about MLK on her television interview.
Do you believe the country is heading for a recession and what steps would the federal government take to improve the economy on the short term during your presidency?
Ask ALL of them HOW do they plan to bring change, and WHAT kind of change...
Ask ALL of them what role would the VP have in their administration.
Ask ALL of them to explain the DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION for Iraq.
Ask ALL of them to explain their position towards Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela and North Korea.
Ask the to explain their plan to bring the dollar back to par with the Euro.
Ask ALL of them to explain their position regarding the housing slump and the possibility of recession and their SOLUTION to both issues.
Ask ALL of them their SOLUTION to the disaster created by No-Child-Left-Behind.
Please ask the following. If ever you have the opportunity, the Republicans ought to answer this as well:
Ours is a representative form of government, and we expect our elected leaders to govern in a manner that is consistent with the will of the people. On the other hand, we elect our leaders in part because we trust their judgment and do not necessarily expect them to govern with reference to polls or change course because 51% of the country believes something. How do you intend to balance your role as representative of the people with your duty to exercise good judgment even when your chosen course is unpopular? Are there circumstances where one necessarily trumps the other?
What we don't want to hear about is exaggerated stories about people "crying" or speculation about New Hampshire voters being secretly racist. Stick with the issues please. Some discussion about what these candidates have actually accomplished would be more interesting than their hopes for the future. What have they actually done that qualifies them to take on the job as President of the United States.
Any other job interview would require career accomplishments.
What would you do if China made a surprise attack on day one?
I am a Canadian citizen who has a daughter who married an American. I now have 2 grandchildren who are American – they live in New Jersey. I am quite concerned for their future and would like to know specifically what educational agenda the 3 remaining candidates plan to put forward. I feel that the Bush "no child left behind" strategy has failed miserably. My son-in-law always asks my opinion when it comes to U.S.politics as he knows I have followed it for decades – I would like to give him an educated opinion and I know that education is a big concern for them, as is the housing mortgage situation.
What is one major mischaracterization that your opponent has done of you in this campaign?
What is one major mischaracterization that you have done of your opponent in this campaign?
to Senator Clinton
You always mention that you are ready from day one, My question is if you have the enough experince to lead this nation, how you explain that you got fooled by Bush in going to war in Iraq, and how you insure this country you are not going to do it again.
To Barack Obama:
What makes you a better canidate for the Democratic Party then Hillary Clinton, please specify
During the next presidency our country will face challenges as a result of global warming and a global economy that will be unprecedented. More
Katrinas will take place in varying locations, our infrastructure will be tested as will our courage. Food shortages due to changing global markets may reach our shores.
These are issues that transcend any political party or ideology. How are you going to gear up to tackle these problems? Please no dreams, I want to hear what specific plans you are going to put in place, and why each one of you feels you can be trusted to lead. Remember President Bush initially sat in a kindergarten class continuing to read a child's story when he heard of 9/11, We cannot have such a president again.
As president,would you correct the Social Security problem by removing it from the General Fund & moving it back to the Trust fund it was in when LBJ Democrats moved it? A simple yes or no is all that is required!
Ask OBAMA: Did he ever fail in his decisions as a senator or all of his decision were perfect.
In 2004 Senator Edwards won South Carolina by receiving 37% of the African American vote. The last time an African American ran for the Democratic nomination for President he, that is Jesse Jackson, won South Carolina due to his support within the African American community. What is it about John Edwards that African Americans should consider if they have the chance to vote for a fellow African American this time?
For all Candidates:
How much does a gallon of milk cost in your hometown?
There have been many recent horrendous crimes against children. What will you do to protect children against predators, even if those predators are parents? This is an unusual/not usually asked question, but worthwhile. Children need to be protected when they have no one else to protect them.
wolf – ask them to identify the three things that threaten america's security the most, be it national security, economic security or social security in the sense of the society v the program. my concern is that i have heard precious little about the trade imbalance, weak dollar and credit issue. change as a concept doesn't mean progress. i'd like to see the debate's questions focus on how to achieve real progress on these important issues. change for the sake of change isn't helpful. quick comment...do we really want to elect barrack obama as leader of the free world...the whole world for that matter? i mean we just cam off the worst period in american history (outside of the civil war) with bush...tell me that we aren't going to give the mantle to barrack obama!
Well, I would ask Hilary Clinton just what is her experience and record? And when and where did she learn or work at it? Her Husband was the President, not her!
I know Barack Obama's history and experience. I don't think she should be president, because she is a white woman.... 8 years are enough!
After, a self-described, 35 years of political experience you finally found your voice....Whose voice and opinions were you using for the past 35 years?
I would like to know their policy towards illegal immigration and how will they handle the 12 million illegal immigrants living in the US? How will they implement their universal health care programs towards illegal immigrants? Will they pick and choose or universally provide health care to these people?
Since "CHANGE" seems to be the buzzword of the day with no real specifics of what changes they will make... and since the economy is one of if not the most urgent issue for the incoming president what specifically will each candidate change or do to effect the economy – I am not talking generalities I think we have heard enough of those but specific actions