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. Paul Johnson

    I would like you to ask the candidates to at the beginning of their first question, to not go through a list of thank you's before they begin answering the actual question.

    January 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  2. sharyn

    I would like Senator Clinton to answer, without spin, how she computes her 35 years experience. Other than her years as a U.S. Senator and as a corporate lawyer, what is her paid experience. I am sure that years as the first ladyt of Arkansas and The United States do not count.

    January 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. Alison

    Alison From CT Ask's:

    Change.... we all have heard it and we all love the idea. But how can we judge who would beable to execute it. Hillary has been around for a while and i have seen her put fourth change in policies as well as an active First Lady. Other than Obama and his rearranging the lobbists to only fund stand up dinners/ spending rather than sit down ones, can each canidate mention atleast 3 critical things that they have done, that would prove they are ready to handle the white house, especially the way the white house will be when they get to it, Alot of work!

    I also agree with the post "Jason from Berkely" All canidates need to be ready and able to face the rumors and or accusations that are facts that come their way. These are not things we should find out about after they are in office serving the countries executive position. Ask Obama About his muslim heritage, why he supposedly dident swear in on the bible, and all of that. Osama and Obama are too much alike, he is not representing african americans, he is representing muslims as well, and that is fine so i hope he doesnt intend on playing the race card. Him having brown skin has nothing to do with the way people are voting, its his lack of tough skin/ experience to deal with major issues and him being a junior senator.

    Ask Edwards: Why isnt he still in office, and what about him makes his former partner and running mate not want to endorse him. If that doesnt make people think he has bad character, that the person who once picked him, no longer does.

    These are the issues in the media everyday, i think HIllary has taken alot of direct shots early on about her record, and both other canidates need to know how to handle the heat when it comes their way, Like edwards said the president has to be able to be tough, so if they cant handle these remarks that the american people are interested in, and create our impression of them, then they should drop out of the race.

    January 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. Joe

    Please ask them about GLOBAL WARMING. What are they going to do to address it.

    This one issue can override every other and lead to war, famine, depression, and even anarchy.

    Unfortunately, all we need are one or two years of significant crop failures and this world will be in real trouble - and farmers are already seeing significant problems due to climate change.

    January 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  5. Derrick, Lompoc, CA

    To Senator Clinton:

    Senator Clinton, you have gained insight into the inner workings of the White House from your eight years of experience as First Lady. But, insight is different than experience. All the candidates, with the exception of Senator Edwards, has more years as an elected official than you. What, specifically, are you referring to when you talk about your 35 years of experience, and how does that experience differ from the other candidates?

    To all the candidates:

    Dental insurance is expensive and provides very little coverage for the premiums that are paid. Since It has been medically shown than dental health plays a big role in overall health – For example, gum disease has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease fairly significantly – it can no longer been seen as a separate issue from regular health insurance. Why have none of you, with the notable exception of Senator Gravel, mentioned fighting for the inclusion of full dental coverage in all standard health insurance? What plans do you have for fighting for its inclusion?

    January 11, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  6. Philadelphia

    Hillary, where do you stand on the plan on issuing drivers licenses to illegal imigrants?

    January 11, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  7. mark

    ask hillary if she can cry her way to the white house, or if someone like mccain will try to bring up the fact that she's not hardened enough to take on "the terrorists" in november. or ask obama why he doesn't tear up on the campaign trail despite facing the same rigors. do we need a president who is tough yet hopeful, or one who breaks down emotionally every so often?

    January 11, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  8. Emily

    Currently Bush has temporarily accepted Poland into the Visa Waiver Program because of its aid to US forces in Iraq, even though it doesnt meet program standards. What will you do in regards to this situatoin upon pulling troops out/ending US force involvement?

    January 11, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. RCKC

    Wolf:

    This question is for Sen. Obama.....

    You have continued to try and connect experience with bad connotations of the "status quo". So, with very little experience in Washington yourself, would you not need to surround yourself with many more Washington insiders to advise you in getting your job done, than someone with experience would require?

    The reason I ask this question is: As a business owner, I would never hire someone who had absolutely no experience, especially if they thought they knew more about the job at hand, than an experienced person does? I would expect this person to have a very specific explanation/plan of how they intended to accomplish the job. "Change" with no plan is not a resume, it is a slogan.

    "Change" congers up a different meaning for each person who thinks about it. What are the meanings of "change" to you, and how specifically do you intend to accoumplish them?

    January 11, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  10. David Frank

    I would ask if it is valid reason not to support Senator Cilton's bid for the White House because it is time for someone other than a Bush or a Clinton. There has been one in the White House since 1981.

    January 11, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  11. American in Paris

    Oh, yes, I would like to know why America is not developing its public transportation. It is so beautiful to live in a place where there are parks, cafes, small businesses that benefit from walking traffic and the comradery and unity that comes as a product of people meeting each other, not hours in morning traffic, guzzling gasoline, accidents, high insurance costs and monthly car payments.

    Education in many ways is born from a product of life experiences. The world speaks to us, art speaks to us, the baker has a piece of knowledge to share, the shop man and the friend we meet on the way to work. Perhaps education and what we learn in school has a way of assimilating into our minds and becoming incorporated when we are in social settings and are exposed to the world and our culture.

    american kids are so isolated. they get up, sit in a car, go to school, then sit in a car again in traffic and then go home and watch television.

    education and development of education is very complex. I learn something everyday here.

    I could not stand living in a car in America. America's love for their car is one reason why the world is upset with us. We drill the world to fuel addiction to cars and we don't demand better transit systems.

    In Europe they run advertising campaigns for transit all the time. Why not in America? I heard once the media companies are owned by car companies or people who have a lot of money invested in car companies.

    i don't understand this. of course people are going to not be able to pay their mortgages when they are spending more on gas, hundreds more a month.

    January 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  12. Zach

    Ask them if they would run as independent candidates (I'd like to ask the Republicans the same question). I would like to hear their take on why they and virtually every other elected official still maintains the illusion of any benefits a party system provides for this nation. The country would be better served by men and women who are not beholden to a predetermined set of values which contrast each other so dramatically on so many important issues. Imagine the day we no longer have to hear analysts talk about young, new faces in Congress simply adding a vote to their respective party leadership's policies and instead have every one with their own voice which would allow for unprecedented cooperation and progress.

    January 11, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  13. FOR OBAMA

    Obama: Do you believe Dennis Kucinich should be requiring a recount in New Hampshire's primary, and, in answering, please do not respond with the fact that he has that right. We know that. YES or NO, Do you support the recount (which seems to be on your behalf according to Kucinich's own comments) in New Hampshire?

    Wolfe: Please do not allow him to answer vaguely that everyone has the right in this Country to ask for a recount. Please make him ansewr directly even if it takes a follow-up question.

    Thank you.

    January 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  14. concerned

    Please WOlf

    When asking a general question, let all the candidates answer so we can compare.

    HAVE THEM ALL EXPLAIN HOW THEY WILL MAKE CHANGES – NOT JUST PREACH IT.

    Please ask Obama to explain this deal with Rezko and the inconsistencies of his answers.

    Leave Bill Clinton out of the questioning

    JUST BE FAIR TO ALL CANDIDATES – Don't single out Hilliary.

    After reading these emails – I'm disappointed in some of the remarks being made.
    Why are you printing all of this garbage. If this is what the questions are going to be – your debate will defeat the purpose.

    January 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. Leslie Somerville, Seattle, Washington

    To all the candidates:
    They all mention change and a new America with rights equal for all--what about the million of homosexuals that live, work and pay taxes in this country??
    Obama and Edwards don't even mention same sex unions. Hillary Clinton has at least touched on the subject and does commit to letting laws involved in these cases be assessed by the State that same sex couple lives. I agree with Mrs. Clinton–it is up to the the laws of that particular state.
    What do the other candidate think about this??

    January 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  16. Sen Obama

    Please explain your statement that your Presidency if "to keep alive the white's obligation to blacks."

    January 11, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  17. Mike Gerbi

    What is your proposed policy on Education Reform and please be detailed because America doesn't deserve vague answers.

    January 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  18. Marisa Darden

    There has been much talk about what the black community means to this democratic election and how race affects our party. I want to know what each candidate thinks are the most pressing issues to black voters, and what they plan to do about them. And Mr. Blitzer, don't let them off the hook with some story about what all voters want, and some generic political comment. Obama needs to show he is relatable and Clinton must prove why she deserves much of the reverence our community shows her.

    January 11, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  19. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Like, I'm sure, many of the individuals who submit their comments, I am wondering what it is that allow some to pass the "Your comments are being moderated" Just what are the prerequisites that enable some comments (some that are printed more than once) to get on your web site??

    January 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  20. AS

    Evening:

    I would ask Hillary Clinton about her Stimulus Package. Not a question about the amount, or what the specific breakdown of tax breaks are. I don't expect to be told that until it's revealed by hers truly.

    I would like to know when she's planning to actually *submit* this package. Will she do it now as a Senator? Or is this something she's planning to do when she becomes president.

    After the election in November

    Not being sworn in until next January.

    Wouldn't it be too late by then? I'm not sure why people aren't asking her about this particular little detail.

    January 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. Catherine D.

    CNN did an entire series on out "planet in pearl" and now it is not even on the critical issues list on CNN.com for this race. I would love to hear what each of the candidates plans to do to combat global warming beyond just ending US foreign oil dependency.

    January 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  22. R. D.

    MY QUESTION:

    Why are you not embracing the label of "liberal"? If it wasn't for the liberals who came before you: women wouldn't have the right to vote; African-Americans would still be forced to sit at the back of the bus; and unions would not have been allowed to protect the safety and livelihoods of millions and millions of Americans.

    What's wrong with calling yourself a "liberal"?

    January 11, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  23. sue

    3 QUESTIONS

    Edward please explain your plans on the issue of Education and Healthcare?

    Clinton Please explain the changes you made during the last 35 years and the changes you plan to make on education, healthcare, immigration and the economy if you should become the next president?

    Obama Please explain your plan for changes on the economy when you become the next president?

    January 11, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. AJ

    Why should we believe you, or rather trust you to do what you promise to do if you are elected? I have had enough of the mud slinging that the GOP is famous for and we are still in the primary stage of the elections.

    Can we have candidates give us the straight talk about what he or she will do as President, and stop attacking each other? Can we have candidates not complain about the press coverage or lack thereof? Politics is not child's play, if you want a level playing field you are in the wrong sport. Let the whining, and crying stop! Roll up you sleeves and go to work!

    January 11, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. ibrahim

    Wolf,

    Please ask Obama this question.

    How deep is his affiliation to his church because as I saw in their website they are biased to blacks and to their NON NEGOTIABLE COMMITMENT TO AFRICA. Yes we will help africa but does this mean if he wins the nomination then presidency Africa will be on top of the agenda. We the working class wants our hardearned taxes be spent for our citizens first before helping others. I don't want my country become an african nation.... you know what I mean.

    My father is black and my mother is white living here in california.

    January 11, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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