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. Priam Pillai

    Would anyone know about Hillary Clinton if she married some Joe Shmoe from Arkansas and not Bill. If you take him out of her life what has she done?

    January 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. John

    Many of the candidates speak of change and election reform, and I feel this deals with both. Certain candidates are being excluded from nationally televised debates. My questions to the candidates: Do you feel that this exclusion, perpetrated by big corporations that control the media, constitutes an unfair election practice that limits the viewpoints and choices presented to the viewing public? If elected President, what would you change to ensure that it is the American people, not big corporations controlling the media, that decides who becomes president?... or would you "stay the course"?

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." -Benjamin Franklin, 1755
    The USA PATRIOT Act, which enhanced law enforcement's ability to combat terrorists, erodes the civil liberties of American citizens as provided to them in the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. As President of the United States and sworn "upholder" of the Constitution, what would you do to ensure that Americans are safe from terrorism... and from their government?

    January 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Michael Mee

    Hypothetically speaking, if there was a bill at the federal level that made it through the House and Senate that sought to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, would you promise to veto such legislation?

    January 12, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. Suzanne Bassett

    A lot of attention has been paid to Americans without insurance but what about those Amercians that have private insurance and are unsatisfied. Most insurance companies seem to be in the business of denying benefits, even maternity coverage. Their goal is clearly to maximize profits by denying benefits. Would you support legislation that would protect Americans against big insurance companies and their unethical practices?

    January 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. carrie

    Please explain how a candidate can accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from insurance and drug companies now and turn around and limit the profits and powers of those same companies when reforming the health care system as President.

    January 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Zoe Artemis

    So what if Barack snorted cocaine or smoked pot in his youth. We all have youthful indescretions......if that's the barometer we use, talented, gifted people will stay away from running for office. No one should be judged for their youthful indiscretions. What about alcohol? Are we now going to eliminate candidates who drink too? Alchohol is a lega drug that was also banned in the 1920's.

    What I would questions is why Mrs. Clinton stayed with her husband after his many, many affairs. If it was just one that could be forgivable, but that's not the case. If she was a true feminist she would have divorced him.....she only stayed with him to insure your political ambitions. They're both the most dispicable of potlical animals.

    January 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Lkibs

    Ask Hirary what experience she is talking about for 35 years- is being first lady considered execuitive? was she running the country or was Bill? And if she was, what decisions did she have to make on behalf of Americans? And who gave her that mandate?

    January 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. emily

    As an American from the United States Virgin Islands, I would like to know what the candidates will do to ensure that we can vote for them and that we have all rights and privileges of being an American in such a beautiful place. I dream of that and would like to see it as a reality in my lifetime!

    Have they ever been to the United States Virgin Islands?

    January 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Larry in Alaska

    Are any of the canidates willing to look at opening ANWR in Alaska to help reduce our dependance on foreign oil? If not have any of the canidates ever been to the oil fields in Alaska to see how well the companies take care of the enviroment?

    January 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Richard

    What background or experience do you have in "Economic Theory & Application"

    Thanks

    January 12, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Roy

    Wolf, I would like to ask if the Dems have any thought on the recent acts of aggression by the Iranians on our ships , might be a tactic to influence the vote toward the voters in America because they have a withdrawal stratagy for our troops, which may or may not give the Irainians a free hand in that area of the world?

    January 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Baby Boomer Woman

    Ask Hillary if a doctor's wife is as qualified to perform surgery as the doctor since she put her husband through medical school.

    Then ask Hillary what her non-imaginary experience at the federal level has been prior to becoming a US senator in 2001.

    January 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Kitty White

    please ask obama to be specific about what this "change" is that he's so insistent on...what SPCIFICALLY is he talking about....as a matter of fact ask him to be SPECIFIC on any and every question you ask him....he has this phrase he uses after being asked a question ....he says ,."But the broader question is this...:" and then he moves away from the specific question and the journalist sit with their thumbs somewhere and let him do it....get some answers...push him...

    January 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. charles H Mcalister

    I have posted some important questions today at 11.15 am and last night at 10:45 pm. Why are they not appearing . And yes, I clicked the submit button

    Is it possiable you are not looking for serious questions?

    January 12, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Gloria Powell

    I would ask Obama, "If you are elected to be president, which individual qualifications will most positively influence your choices for your Cabinet and which of your own qualities would likely stimulate their desire serve in your administration?

    January 12, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Kal B.

    Americans and all people are looking for the elusive state of happiness. It seems in most of our lives this challenge is greatest because of our constant worry about economics. We worry if we can provide enough for ourselves and our families now and into the future. It consumes our lives and keeps most of us from really persuing our dreams which would make us happy and more productive citizens and better students in school. This is because we would rather take the "safer" route with a job that we can get now. Does this not hamper our society like a trapeze performer would be resricted without a safety net? How fast and agressively can you drive if your not sure about the brakes on your car? Didn't football become much more dynamic and outstanding when they introduced real helmets and pads? Wouldn't we be a much stronger nation if people felt they could take more risks and shoot for the moon knowing if they fail they won't be homeless, hungry and without any health care and can get up and try again. Wouldn't people choose the job that makes them happy and inspired and thus more productive if they were not so concerned about whether they will be able to cover the essentials of life for their families? What will you do as president to change this and make America happier and what do you say to Republicans who say it is not the place of government to make people feel safe and secure enough to really go after their dreams and make this country as great as it can be?

    January 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Susan

    This question is for Hillary...

    After looking at your recent response after Benazir's tragedy I got an opinion that u are thinking Prez Mussharuf is up for election in the Jan polls. With this type of knowledge about Pakistan an important ally of America do u still claim that u are ready to lead from day 1?

    January 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Greg

    I saw an ad in the little nickle. Someone is selling off their belongings so they can afford their cemo treatments. Just one more example of health care in America.

    January 12, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Manny James

    For Obama: Do you reallly think race played a part in your defeat in new Hampshire? Do you think Hillary and Bill Clinton are racists. If so, why not say it. If not, stand against it. This sir is the first real test of how you would govern as Pres. (Will you be decisive when the time come).. I am an African American who is torn between Obama and Clinton. Like so many of us, we welcome a canidate who is able to transend race. I was very shocked when Donna Brasile, Roland Martin and others made those statments. One thing is very clear to Blacks, We don't need someone to tell us when the race card is being played against us... We know. In this case, the things that was said by Sen Clinton & Her Husband does not meet the test. Therefore, Myself and almost of all my friends would like it to stop. Please sir, stop it, or run the risk of splitting the party for years to come.. I know this question will never be ask doing the debate. However Mr Wolf, in conducting one of the many interviews your network will be doing with the Sen, please ask the question. If the party can't settle their difference on the racial issue, I will gladly vote for Mccain or Huckarbee. Thanks

    January 12, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Kal B.

    Americans and all people are looking for the elusive state of happiness. It seems in most of our lives this challenge is greatest because of our constant worry about economics. We worry if we can provide enough for ourselves and our families now and into the future. It consumes our lives and keeps most of us from really pursuing our dreams which would make us happy and more productive citizens and better students in school. This is because we would rather take the "safer" route with a job that we can get now. Does this not hamper our society like a trapeze performer would be restricted without a safety net? How fast and aggressively can you drive if you’re not sure about the brakes on your car? Didn't football become much more dynamic and outstanding when they introduced real helmets and pads? Wouldn't we be a much stronger nation if people felt they could take more risks and shoot for the moon knowing if they fail they won't be homeless, hungry and without any health care and can get up and try again. Wouldn't people choose the job that makes them happy and inspired and thus more productive if they were not so concerned about whether they will be able to cover the essentials of life for their families? What will you do as president to change this and make America happier and what do you say to Republicans who say it is not the place of government to make people feel safe and secure enough to really go after their dreams and make this country as great as it can be?

    January 12, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. CJM

    Please ask the candidates to specify a specific tax rate that represnts their ceiling for the wealthiest Americans. Let's have them define "Fair Share" publicly in the language of mathematics, instead of circumlocution.

    January 12, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Wally lenox

    For Hillary,
    Why did your campaign before New Hampshire primary misrepresented Obama's position regarding the vote on Iraq? Specificaly, President Clinton claimed that Obama flip flopped on his position on the vote. But CNN later quoted, in full Obama's statements in newsweek magazine that clarified that he was against the war. Wasn't your campaign using arm twisting tactic to confuse voters and isn't this kind of tactic dishonest?
    Wally

    January 12, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. samantha

    I would be very interested to know if Hillary Clinton supports the obvious attempt at suppresing the votes of Nevada workers on the strip in Vegas based on her campaign recently filing an order to close the caucus locations there. Ironically this issue was not raised as "unfair" prior to Barack Obama receiving the highly coveted endorsement of the Culinary Union and others which would be predominantly located at those very locations mentioned. I'd like that question raised please Wolf. It is only fair that people are made aware of this little mentioned news story, and she be able to explain it if possible. It's only fair.

    Is she going to ever get away from politics as usual to win? Will she again use fear tactics and slightly nudge the constituents to fear having a president who doesn't have her "experience" when terrorists could be lurking? Haven't we had enough of this type of fear explotation for votes just because she sees it as necessary for the greater good? Anything is ok with her as long as she sees is being a means to an end? Terrible. Life long Democrat here who will not be voting for Hillary Clinton in the General if as a party we make the mistake of having her become our nominee. Just discraceful behavior by the Junior Senator from New York.

    January 12, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Denise in Illinois

    I would like to know what the canidates intend to do about these CEOs running down their companies then leaving with millions of dollars? Sarbanes-Oxley was put in place after Enron, but doesn't seem to stop the greed at the top. Now the housing crisis is upon us and we get to watch greedy CEOs walk away with the money. AND the government footing the bills to keep the economy form falling apart.

    January 12, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Anthony, Los Angeles, CA

    I think it's funny that many commentors here are questioning Senator Clinton's time as First Lady being considered "experience." These same people are most likely the same ones who made the jokes in the 1990s of her being the "real president" because of her level of involvement and influence within the administration. How easily we forget. We all remember the jokes...."here comes President Clinton.....and her husband Bill"

    Now that she is running for President, those who once poked fun at the fact that she was TOO involved have changed their tunes. Politics is a funny business.

    January 12, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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