January 11th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
2 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. Matt

    To all candidates, what kind of focus would you put on our space program, specifically our plans to return to the moon and travel to Mars. Would you increase, decrease, or keep funding and support the same?

    January 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Ian Colte

    I desperately want to believe Barack Obama's message of hope, faith and change is for real. But there is no contradicting the fact that his record betrays his message. So my question for Obama is: how can he explain the connection between past corporate donations from financial firms and nuclear-power companies, and his voting record in favor of, 1) "tort reform" which caps jury awards in wrongful injury lawsuits while opposing restrictions on predatory lending by banks, and 2) his support of tax-subsidized nuclear power.
    How can he provide independent leadership and action on these issues when he appears to already be "hemmed in" by corporate power?

    Top all that off with the fact that while Obama may not allow PACs to donate directly to his presidential campaign, his own PAC donated to pro-war Sen. Joe Lieberman and is funded with help from credit card lobbyist and big oil proponent Rich Tarplin. Did I mention Obama also opposed capping credit-card interest rates on consumers at 30%?

    January 12, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Joel Weyrauch

    To all candidates:

    I believe the most important job of the president is to maintain strong diplomatic relationships across the globe. Possibly the largest current foreign policy concern is in regards to the support of President Musharraf in Pakistan. Do you believe continued funding of his government is the best path?

    January 12, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Steve

    Yes, ask Clinton what makes her being a president's wife makes her the most experienced and qualified among the candidates? The only reason she was elected to the Senate was that women in NY felt sorry for her. It appears her tears got her the win in NH too. Makes me wonder about universal suffrage to be honest...

    January 12, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Bob

    A Continuous Pattern of Missteps and Inexperience

    If one is to believe that experience counts in the Presidential selection—that experience is a measure of aptitude to guide a nation in domestic and foreign policy—then it would seem there ought to be a projection of those skills and ‘experience’ within the campaign efforts of that candidate.

    It would seem that a candidate’s campaign tactics and strategies would resemble—mirror—their aptitude for how well they were capable of conducting foreign policy negotiations and domestic policy implementation once they are within the Oval Office.

    In recent days there have been many missteps by Senator Clinton, her campaign staff, and former President Bill Clinton that calls into question the skills, abilities, and capacity to effectively lead our nation in times where sensitivities on issues must be thoroughly thought out and inspected before being articulated to a larger national or foreign public.

    Whether it is a tear, or having just now found one’s own voice at the age of 60, or emphasizing Presidential power by de-emphasizing ‘a dream’ or having one’s spouse belittle the motivations of others as ‘fairytales’, it does little to encourage America that there is anyone within the Clinton campaign that has the ‘experience’ to command a nation and does not comfort a nation that seeks a leader to unite a country first, and then other nations.

    The ‘experience’ is not evident when viewed through the missteps Senator Clinton’s campaign have made that have the effect to racially divide an American public.

    Debate question to Senator Clinton: How do you unite a nation with words that seek to divide?

    Debate question to Senator Clinton: Are the missteps that have been made within your Presidential campaign an indication of what we will see should you become President?

    Debate question to all candidates: Are your Presidential Campaigns an indication of what we will see should you become President?

    January 12, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. larry kraus farmersville illinois

    i would like to know how much they pay themselves out of their campaign funds.

    January 12, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. SQ

    Please. Please let this be the first debate in which each candidate gets equal time and an equal amount of questions. Don't ignore Edwards like everyone else has done. America deserves the opportunity to hear him.

    That said, please confront HIllary on her alleged 35 years experience. She has 7 years relevant experience as a policitician. That's it. Being First Lady and a parent gives her an important life perspective, but hardly qualifies as "experience".

    The immigration question has largely been ignored and must be addressed. Ask each to explain in plain english their respective plans to address immigration problems in America.

    Ask each candidate to try to explain why they should be nominated WITHOUT mentioning the words "change" or "experience." I doubt it will be possible, but its worth the shot.

    January 12, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. John Matthews

    I would ask them what thier stances on are on combating the threat of China rising as a competitive super power.

    January 12, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Abed

    Would Hilary Clinton use the trick of tears to woe voters again?

    January 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. CAM3

    If I could ask Senators Clinton and Obama any question I would ask them; what recent historical events led you to believe that America is ready to elect a black man/woman? Do you really think the nation is ready?

    January 12, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. John Covington

    Please ask the following:

    1) Were is your stance on the death penalty? Many states like mine, Texas, use it right and left. If you are for it then how to you justify the killing if American citizens when you are trying to help stop the killing of other country's citizens?

    2) What will the make-up of your cabinet be like? Will you have solely Democrats or will there be some diversity in your cabinets views?

    3) What agencies, if any, will you dismantle as president?

    __________John Covington

    January 12, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Rachel

    To all candidates:

    How do you plan on working with Congress to actually pass all the things that you promise? Give us a specific and verifiable example of a time that you were able to create support from both republicans and democrats on an important issue that produced results.

    I would like to see a president who can actually fulfill his/her promises through our governmental process.

    This kind of "Experience" is just one of many that is needed in order to make any of the "Changes" they each tout.

    We need Action, not Talk!

    Rachel in Tennessee
    Registered Democrat Voter

    January 12, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Mark

    I consider myself an Independant because neither party represents me on every issue. I think most people are the same. When have you gone against your own party and shown that you think independently on the issues?

    January 12, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Richie

    To Hillary Clinton: Knowing your investment experience of turning $10,000 of stock and turning it into a gain of $100,000 in one year..Would you be willing to share your investment secrets to the voters so we can save our economy?

    Thanks

    January 12, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Mrs. America

    All I can add to the 1000-some posts is to make the candidates answer questions, like you made Rudy Giuliani answer questions when you interviewed him in the CNN Express bus. Or, if they won't answer, make it perfectly clear to the audience that you've used your ask twice and move on tactic and the candidate has not answered. Some are still ducking instead of giving specifics on how they will accomplish what they promise.

    January 12, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Cinti

    To Obama:
    You said you are going to ban all Chinese toys if you become the president of U.S. Was it just to get some people's votes, or are you serious about doing it? When you said your Chinese toys ban, did you ever think of the consequence of your words or actions? Personally, I think U.S. should help China and any other developping countries to improve their product qualities and their ways of doing business, not rigidly banning this or that. Do you agree?

    To Hillary:
    I admire your courage and your 30 years of public services. As a mother of a 4-year old daughter, what will do to reduce the gender barriers in business, politics and anywhere (everywhere else) in this country?

    Thank you.

    January 12, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. glenda

    How can you convince me that things will change when you get in the White House,when only I see every politician will do anything to get in the White House and things stay same old way when they became the President.

    January 12, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Dawn

    If they believe we are in a recession....what have they done to prevent it? What would they do to reverse the recession.

    January 12, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. John Gustafson

    FOR ALL THE CANDIDATES PROPOSING "CHANGE"

    Exactly, when you are proposing change, what are your specific
    ideas and programs that you are arguing for in your campaign?
    What would you do differently as President? What are your ideas
    that would give our nation "new direction"? How do you define the
    term, "change?"

    January 12, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. Jodi

    Hillary keeps speaking ofher 35 years of change that SHE has done. What exactly has she done..... and not her husband,

    January 12, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. Walter Alvey

    What is your plan to reduce the national debt?

    To quote from a recent story in the Christian Science Monitor:

    "In a new report released last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that the federal budget is on an "unsustainable path." The reason: The government is spending more and more for healthcare programs and for interest payments on the federal debt, now topping $9 trillion."

    And another from almost 2 years ago...

    "The economic burden posed by the national debt, economists say, is more serious now than in 1980, when a $1 trillion figure stirred national anxiety. Today, the public debt is larger as a share of the American economy, more than half is held by foreigners, and the wave of baby boomer retirements is no longer decades away. "

    January 12, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Kelly Roberts

    I always hear candidates talking about what they would do to help middle class families. What are the going to do for the poor families.

    January 12, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Jack

    Q. What abt nuclear proliferation? what are the candidates going to do if they r told a weapon is missing from the former USSR or Pakistan? ask them what steps they would take as a commander-in-chief immediately upon hearing the news? how would they ensure America's security?

    January 12, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Kimberly Laux

    Should Hillary Clinton become the next President, would Bill Clinton take an oath he would not have affairs while she is serving in the White House?

    January 12, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Inoel Rivera, Orlando Fl.

    Hey wolf thanks for the oportunity to get off my chest what i scream out when i watch these democratic political debates. First of all i would like to ask Obama what is bad about the old school way of politics it's how this country was built. My generation agrees that when Bill Clinton was president, this country was at it's best. And we also agree that Hillary had a lot to do with that, so yes she has the experience. Why fix whats not broken!

    January 12, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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