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. Barry

    Ask Obama, 'what do you say to people who question your experience or lack of experience, and what could you say to convince them, something that would trump their charge that you have a short resume'?

    January 12, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I am trying to help the environment and save money and help the country be more energy independent at the same time by saving energy and gas. We need a national commit to energy independence with environment common sense not taxing.

    What have you personally as well as politically done to see this happen?

    I think to do this we need mandate 75 MPG with a 40 MPG minimum by 2025 and incremental steps between now and then. What do you think about such a plan? Related, how about rebates for those people who transition to these vehicles sooner along with incentives for home energy saving as well?

    January 12, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  3. Aaron

    I am trying to help the environment and save money and help the country be more energy independent at the same time by saving energy and gas. We need a national commit to energy independence with environment common sense not taxing.

    What have you personally as well as politically done to see this happen?

    I think to do this we need mandate 75 MPG with a 40 MPG minimum by 2025 and incremental steps between now and then. What do you think about such a plan? Related, how about rebates for those people who transition to these vehicles sooner along with incentives for home energy saving as well?

    January 12, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  4. CRAIG KULESZA

    HILLARY CLINTON: HEALTH CARE, NOW THAT YOU ARE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT YOU STATE YOU WILL CHANGE HEALTH CARE : QUESTION, WHY DIDN'T YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND CHANGE HEALTH DURING THE 8 YEARS THAT YOU HAD THE OFFICE, AND IS IT TRUE THAT IN MICHAEL MOORES MOVIE SICKO HE STATES THAT HEALTH CARE WENT ON THE BACK BURNER AND SUDDENLY A LARGE DONATION FROM SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS (HMO'S) WERE CONTRIBUTED TO YOU AND YOUR HUSBANDS SPECIAL INTEREST.
    2ND NOTE : WHAT IS YOU AFFILIATION WITH A MAN WITH THE NAME OF PAFFORD THAT LIVED IN HERITAGE ARK. BILL CLINTON MADE A TRIP TO SEE HIM IN ARK DURING HIS SECOND TERM. THIS MAN TO LOCALS WAS KNOWN TO TRAFFIC LARGE AMOUNTS OF NARCOTICS VIA HIS AMBULANCE BUS. ACROSS STATE LINES. WHEN ATTEMPTS TO INVESTIGATE VIA LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT A FEDERAL JUDGE INTERVENED ON BEHALF OF THE LOCAL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT WERE TOLD TO STOP ALL INVESTIGATIONS. ARK IS WELL KNOWN FOR THEIR USE OF SMALL AIRPORTS , SUCH AS MENA ARK.
    3RD NOTE: WHY IS HUCKABEE RUNNING ON HIS RECORD OF CHANGING ARK, SUCH AS THE TERRIBLE STATE OF THE ROADS , SCHOOLS AND MANY OTHER PROBLEMS REPAIRED DURING HIS TIME AS GOVERNOR. NO ONE ASKS WHO LEFT THESE PROBLEMS TO FIX.... BILL CLINTON LEFT THE STATE IN THE MESS IT WAS IN... WHY DOESN'T ANYONE ASK THESE QUESTIONS. THIS COMES FROM A MAN THAT IS NOW A NURSE AND IS VERY APPARENT OF THE ELDERLY THAT FALL BY THE WASTE SIDE EVERYDAY. IT IS A DEFINITE SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS , I COULD SHARE LOTS OF STORIES. AS A PREVIOUS MEMBER OF THE MILITARY , RESIDENT OF MICH AND ALSO ARK, AND A PREVIOUS MEMBER OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN ARK. I AM NOW A NURSE, AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE , I'M LOOKING AT OBAMA , BUT DON'T TRUST THE CLINTONS. WATCH FOR BLOOMBURG NY. THIS IS WHAT BIG BILL DID TO SPLIT THE TICKET AGAINST BUSH,, FUNNY HE IS FROM NY, ROSS PEROT WAS FROM AR. MMMMM IS THIS RELATED , PLEASE DON'T USE MY NAME OTHERWISE YOU MAY SEE IT IN A OBITUARY.... THANKS

    January 12, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  5. luke

    Do you as president of the United States believe in enforcing all our current laws? Do you believe the police and federal government should have the funding to enforce these laws? If so then why is money taken away from enforcing immigration law? Why is money taken away from building the fence? Why are the United States borders and ports still wide open six years after 09-11-2001?

    January 12, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  6. Royce

    To all the democratic candidates:

    Mr. Clinton is sometimes referred to as "the first black president." As a black man, I'm offended by this statement, are you?

    January 12, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  7. Brett

    I believe as much as the next person that change from our current adminstration would be a positive. Its unfortunate that one candidate has happen to practically patent that he is the candidate of change.... But anyways... My question for the candidate....

    Is how truthful are you willing to be to America?

    Edwards you claim to want to limit our free trade policy (which is good.. it is about time we challenged those greedy expanding capitalist economies around the world that are developing at the expense of american jobs.) But limiting employers to American resources would definitely increase their expenses which in turns rise the price of goods for american consumers. So I guess the real question is; Are saying that you are going to implement a policy that would keep american jobs here,but raise the price of goods for all americans?

    Obama, my question for you is probably one that could be ask of any candidate but i believe it would be more personal for you. American has enter into several military conflicts after War World II, but usually there is some greater military or economic benefit from enter and "winning" them. My question to you is; If you are president, what will you do to resolve the ethnic conflicts and racial genocide in Africa? I don't think the US wants to go to war again, but how could diplomacy overcome hundreds of years of hatred and violence? Or are you just going to turn a cheek to that region of the world, and ignore like every president before you because it has no economic or strategic value?

    Clinton, I am really excited about alot of your programs. I defintely believe it will definitely bring this country to a new age. However, I think you and me both have kinda forgot about the bill. Focusing on so many domestic issues (healthcare reform, freezing forclosure, immigrationi reform, more feasible post-secondary education) one would wonder if you are going to cut military spending? And if not, how are you going pay for it? And weren't you talking about balancing the budget? I don't know about you but my spreadsheet is coming up with either major slashes in government services or higher taxes. I wouldn't mind the higher taxes (we are one of the lowest taxed citizenry in the world) but i don't think the rest of Americans would be so happy about them.

    I hate to be hard on you guys, because lord knows i would rather have any of you compared to the Republicans. There is also aspects about each that I really like. I think the deciding factor should be, how honest can you be with the truth isn't nice for Americans?

    January 12, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  8. Royce

    To Sen. Clinton:

    At the last debate you said that you have 35 years of experience fighting against special interests, like pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies - if you are fighting them, why are these industries giving you more campaign contributions than any other candidate (dem or rep), and why are you accepting the funds?

    Further, how can we trust your assurances to end the war in Iraq when your campaign has accepted more money from the defense industry than any other candidate?

    January 12, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. Nancy

    A question for all candidates:

    What specific steps are you taking and will take as President to end the devisive partisanship that has existed in politics for at least the last twelve years?

    January 12, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. Mo

    I am interested in workforce issues. Do the candidates have any ideas to upgrade the workforce to expand green employment opportunities?

    January 12, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  11. Larry Mobile Alabama

    I like to begin the debate on "specifics." I have heard a lot about "change." What "changes are going to be made and in what ways." I have heard "nothing" on what "industries, lobbyist groups, or any other groups that will "qualify for a CHANGE." So, let's get "specific on how each of the "so-called CHANGED CANDIDATES" would change the "infra-structure of politics?" I would be amazed, if I could get a "defined answer from a politician these days on a SPECIFIC subject."

    Thank you,

    Jerry in Alabama.

    January 12, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  12. Lesley mcKenzie

    I would like you to ask Senator Obama if he thinks it is racism when a woman is Ridiculed for running for president of the United States or any high level position. Do he believe that his daughters should have the same opportunities as do men, and that that can be whatever they want in live no matter the obstacle face?

    For Senator Clinton: Do you believe that a black, or any other ethnic woman or man should be afforted the same opportunity as a white woman or man. Tell America and the world what the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, ROSA PARKS COURAGE and MARTIN LUTHER KING mean to you and how they influence your daily live including what you have thought your daughter Chelsea?

    January 12, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  13. Freddie A. Ray

    I have a couple of questions that I would like to hear all three respond to.
    First whom ever is elected President has to swear to uphold and defend the Constitution and enforce the Rule Of Law.
    What does this Oath mean to each of them? For example:
    Here's where it gets tricky.
    Will they actually support and defend the Constitution and the Rule of Law or will they do as Pres. Bush has done??. (Ignore the Constitution and the Rule of Law)Will they enforce the current laws on Illegal Aliens??
    Will they punish the employers for hiring Illigals?? If they do that, millions of Illegals will go back to where they came from because there is no reason for them being here. If the laws currently on the books are enforced, we won't need a fence. Illegal is Illegal is Illegal.....What is their views on torture?? No double talk or taking around the question. These are straight forward questions. I beleive that all three are sinceer when they say they want to do something good for the middle class and our economy. I just want to know that they will actually live up to their Oath of Office. Pres. Bush certainly hasn't..

    January 12, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  14. citizen

    Three questions that I would enjoy hearing the answers to:

    1. As a resident in the state of Iowa, I experienced hours worth of expensive campaign commercials up until the caucuses. There commercials are tiresome, not to mention very expensive to all campaigns, as you well know. Would you be opposed to adding new campaign reform which would eliminate all commercials from the air waves in future? Why or why not. After all, shouldn't voters make decisions based on something more than a biased sound bite?

    2. What three qualities would your VP posses to balance weak areas of your own knowledge or experience?

    3. God forbid, if within 90 days of office another 9/11 type occurrence happened on our soil by a known country, or terrorist within a specific country, what would be your plan of action to Congress? Would your current stance on Iraq and other global missions change?

    January 12, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  15. susan

    I asked a question about offshoring of jobs. Why did it not get posted? Are you only posting question favorable to certain candidates?

    I also asked a question about how you are screening "planted" questions on this site by campaign workers?

    Why aren't my questions posted?

    January 12, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  16. Lesley mcKenzie

    would like you to ask Senator Obama if he thinks it is racism when a woman is Ridiculed for running for president of the United States or any high level position. Do he believe that his daughters should have the same opportunities as do men, and that thy can be whatever they want to be in live no matter the obstacle face?

    For Senator Clinton: Do you believe that a black, or any other ethnic woman or man should be afforted the same opportunity as a white woman or man. Tell America and the world what the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, ROSA PARKS's COURAGE and MARTIN LUTHER KING mean to you and how they influence your daily live including what you have taught your daughter Chelsea?

    January 12, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  17. Yiannis

    To Senator Clinton: With what specific measures will she enforce her healthcare mandate.

    To Senator Obama: Why did he vote present on abortion-rights votes in IL.

    To former Senator Edwards: Why his voting record in the senate is more conservative than that of Senators' Clinton and Obama.

    January 12, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  18. susan

    Please delete my question posted at 11:48 pm. I found my previous questions, which were indeed posted. Sorry!

    January 12, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  19. Independent08

    To all candidates: Please name a few people that you would strongly consider for high level positions, namely your Cabinet, once you are elected.

    To all candidates: Do you feel that the merging of agencies and subsequent creation of the Department of Homeland Security was a good idea? How do you plan to manage and maintain this department?

    To all candidates: How will you attempt to boost our economy without creating more entitlements that the working class has to pay for? Would you consider increasing sales tax so that all residents in the U.S. have to contribute rather than just property owners and those actually earning a reportable income?

    January 12, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  20. B Rubin

    Ask the candidates to explain what they believe the issues might be when running for re-election in 4 years – based on what they will have accomplished to that point. In other words – what will there be to build on?

    Thanks for taking our questions.

    BR

    January 12, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  21. Kathie

    Please ask them all these 3 questions if you have time.
    1st China is taking all our money & jobs, plus what really gets me is then we have to be fearful of the toys, dog food & human food. Who is going to put a stop to all this from China? I am waiting next for them to say our clothes have something in them that can get us sick!!!!! What will you do to stop all our money & jobs from going over there. This free trade idea was a terrible idea as it isnt fair being as we are in debt to China that we cant pay it back & then they are using our money for rockets &................

    2d My health insurance went up $200.00 in a months time. I am an epileptic but havent had a seizure since 1978. I have to take 4 meds twice a day for that & COPD I cant get an insurance company to cover me & if they do they want an arm & a leg. I get a $1,000 a month & I am a 60 yr old battered divorcee. My question is what can you do as far as health insurance for us who cant afford it.

    3d.We have 12million illegals here that are taking jobs away from Americans. Who is going to stop all the illegals from coming in to the U.S.?
    The reason for asking is this will help me on figuring out who I want to vote for.

    Thank you very much for your time
    Have a ~~~Smiley Day~~~

    January 12, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  22. renegadefella

    i am an illegal immigrant who has been here in the country illegaly for as long as i can remember, i came here for a better life, and got screwed up by lawyers and employers who took advantage of me, this is probably one of the angles of a xonophobic illegal immigration issue that politicians do not even take time to take into consideration,
    As a president what can you offer to protect ,not just american citizens, but the people,to secure the misconstrued immigration policies?....and yes i speak perfect english....

    January 13, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  23. Doug

    I'd like to ask you a question, Wolf: Why, since last November, haven't you and the other reporters of both print and television, given as much news coverage of Senator Edwards as you have of Senators Clinton and Obama?

    January 13, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  24. Pat, Texas

    I am confident that Senator Clinton will receive the Democratic nomination, but the prospect of Senator Obama getting the nomination at this point in our Nation's history worries me on a number of fronts. Here is what I would ask Senator Obama:

    1. You have said that your faith guides your politics, and it appears that your faith is your basis for not supporting same-sex marriage. How does your faith guide your position on a woman's right to choose to terminate her pregnancy? If you were elected president, how would this affect your nomination of judges to the federal bench?

    2. What is your definition of the phrase "separation of church and state?" I did not appreciate how often President Bush invoked religion during his presidency. If you were elected president, would you, too, invoke religion on the job?

    3. You are a novice U.S. senator seeking the presidency of the United States. Do you really think that this is your time, especially given the critical juncture that we face as a Nation? Given the many challenges that face our Nation at home and abroad, do you really think that your candidacy is in the best interest of the people of this Country?

    4. You have said that something has caught on in America. While your feel-good slogans have rallied people in different venues, your rallies have not addressed the substantive issues of the day. Furthermore, it appears that you have voted "present" on a number of important issues in the Senate rather than take a position one way or the other on certain pieces of legislation. If you cannot take a position as a novice senator on important issues that face the average American, how can we (1) know what your positions are on the various issues, and (2) believe that you are the one to bring about change?

    January 13, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  25. George Chen

    I live inside the Beltway at Alexandria, VA. I'd like to ask any presidential candidate who aspires to live in the White House a question. Why the white house staff, like all braches of federal government, baloon from less than fifty in 1960 to over five thousand now?

    Any candidate who talk about change without specific substance must be out of their mind or thinking American people are all fools. Everyone of the presidents did bring changes to the D.C., just to make it even bigger at taxpayer's expense over the years.

    January 13, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
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