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. Robert Emmett

    What does "Your comment is awaiting moderation" mean? Is that the media's way of scrutinizing the process ?

    January 13, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Bryan

    Hello Mr. Blitzer I would ask the candidates to expound on the amount of money they have accepted from lobbyist from DC for their campaign, because its impossible to bite the hand that feed you. To say otherwise would be lying to the American people. I believe they call that money political favor money. Mrs. Clinton has accepted way more than any other candiate, I would like her to explain her recent acceptance of 400k from DC lobbyist, and how accepting that money concludes in CHANGE.

    January 13, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. Yakov Epstein

    Senator Clinton tells us that she has had 35 years of experience that qualify her to serve as President. Please ask her to describe the significant experiences she had in 1973, in 1974, and 1975 that prepare her to serve as President.

    January 13, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Cinderella

    Hillary claims to have Healthcare reform all fixed by "end of second term." Why is she waiting so long and what makes her think she'll have a second term?? WE NEED HEALTHCARE FIXED IN FIRST TERM.

    2. Is she gonna fix NAFTA? even though her husband brought that mistake in?

    January 13, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. Nancy

    I would tell these candidates that I understand they all believe in "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" but as President of the United States, will they uphold the Constitution and Laws as they currently exist on the books? Will they put the will of the American citizens first?

    January 13, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Bruce White

    While I am absolutely NOT sold on any of the Republican candidates, I would like to ask both Clinton & Obama what on earth gave them the notion that they were qualified to run for President.

    Clinton, yes was 1st lady for 8 years and is now in government, and she cries. Obama has virtually no experience at all other than a few years in government!

    Give it up people, you are no more qualified than I am, although you may have a leg up on Bush. (not saying much)

    January 13, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Michael

    I have been confused by Sen. Clinton's campaign. She has theme of "experienced", however she did not enter into congress until 2001, giving her a total of 6 years to date. Sen Obama worked in the State senate of Illinos from 1997 – 2004, total of 7 years and United States Senate from 2005 to present. It seems to me that he has more experience in politics than she has. Is she counting her senate experience or is she counting her years as First Lady as experience?

    January 13, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. billy sayles

    Do you think the news pundits are giving you a free ride,because they do not want to appear racist.

    January 13, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. mink

    clinton argues that her 'experience' makes her a better candidate than obama. can you ask her to provide three specific examples of how her experiences in washington have given her a greater wisdom, moral clarity and political courage than obama.

    and in turn, could you ask obama to give three examples of how his personal experiences have shaped his view of the world and ability to lead? stuff from chicago. i'd like to hear how experience outside of washington (a city all candidates seem to agree is corrupt and broken) might equip a candidate to be a leader too.

    January 13, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Al in BR, La

    If this is a 'nation of laws', why are Sanctuary Cities allowed to openly refuse to enforce federal immigration laws? As President, would you continue to allow this open defiance?

    January 13, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. kevin

    Obama-

    Why do you say one thing and do another after you get elected?

    1-You promised to never vote for 1 cent for the Iraq war.
    Then you voted for over 300 billion dollars to continue the war in Iraq.

    2-You promissed to NOT re authorize the Patriot Act.
    Then you voted for reauthorization after minor cosmetic changes.

    Why do you avoid taking positions/voting on contraversial issues?

    -You have voted "present" and avoided a yes or no on over 300 votes, many of which are very contreversial. You did not even vote on the Iran
    How can you be a leader if you can not take a stand on contreversial issues?

    January 13, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Donna

    I would ask them how much it costs to provide members of Congress, current and retired, with their health insurance. Why can't we have the same coverage? After all, we, the American taxpayers, are paying for it? If it's good enough for them, it ought to be good enough for us.

    January 13, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Al in BR, La

    Clinton legacy – During his campaign, Bill Clinton promised not to sign NAFTA but the first thing he did as President was to sign NAFTA. Can we expect the same level of integrity if the other half of the Clinton team if she gets elected as President..

    January 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Celia Oblinger

    This is a question that has NEVER been asked – and, to me, it is extremely important. I will more than likely vote Democratic this year, and the possibilities have come down to Obama or Clinton.

    I have never subscribed to the idea that a lack of experience is a detriment. I have always maintained that what is important is who your advisors are, who is in your Cabinet – and whether or not you will listen to those around you.

    I have a great fear that Hillary Clinton will just bring along all her "friends" – without regard to their skills or expertise. I fear that the White House will again be overrun with just the same old "Clinton network".

    Hillary is smart, talented, and relentless. But she needs to prove to me that she is going to hire only the "brightest and the best".

    Especially in light of the fact that it is a very different world today than it was eight years ago. The new Administration will have to undergo a transfer of intelligence and/or briefing from Homeland Security.

    I wouldn't want any new Administration to be "contrary" – not wanting to listen. Nor would I want any new Administration to just come in and get rid of the existing people in Homeland Security right way – replacing them with their own "network".
    Any new Administration must, at least for a time, work closely with the current Administration – to assure that the transfer of all intelligence is smooth – and non-confrontational.

    So my question to both candidates would be:

    There are many things for which the President doesn't have direct and sole control of: i.e. creating jobs, reversing global warming, and stimulating the economy. But the new President will have direct and sole control of who they surround themself with – advisors and Cabinet members. And the new President will have great control over how the transition is handled from the old Administration's Homeland Security to the new Administration. Have you thought about how you will select your advisor and Cabinet members? And have thought about the transition of Homeland Security intelligence will be handled from the current Administration to your new Administration.

    January 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Mariene Menin

    The economy in this country is going from bad to worse! Given the fact that we're probably heading into a recession, and with lots of Americans losing their homes because of mileading mortgage agencies. I wanted Mrs. Clinton tell us her plan to change it, how long would it take for her to reverse this situation? It seems that it takes a democrat to fix the mess of a republican!

    January 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  16. dem2008

    Why do you put so much emphasis on the other candidate's vote for authorization of the Iraq war? You were not a senator at the time and had no vote. Do you think it is misleading when you characterize your position of opposition as an implication that you voted "no?"

    January 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Al in BR, La

    Please ask why Democratic candidates are acting like illegal immigration is a non-issue. I found it interesting that in exit polls, Republican voters considered illegal immigration as one of their most important concerns while it was not even mentioned in the Democratic exit polls. Who makes up the questions for these exit polls? (Sounds like it was the Democratic Party) With voters asking for an end to patisan politics, this sounds pretty partisan to me.

    January 13, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. wayne turner

    In 1992, Bill Clinton promised an AIDS "Manhattan project" and to make fighting the disease a top priority of his administration. Wasn't that creating false hope?

    January 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Ron M

    If Obama wants change in Washington because the system is broken, then why would he accept endorsements from Politicians from "Broken Washington"

    If other candidates are criticized for the people/organizations who donate money to their campaign, should Obama take money from from Rainbow push/Jesse Jackson? Mr Jackson has made numerous racist comments and if a white candidate was taking money from a white man/organization that has made racist remarks he would be criticized and run out of town for it.

    January 13, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Keith Powell

    What is your plan to balance the budget and repay our national debt while wanting to create new programs. I am a Rebublican who seriously wants to vote Democrat but not at the expense of our future.

    January 13, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Michael W. Sachs

    The question I would like posed is this. What will you do about the illegal immigrants. The majority of american citizens want no deals Just send them back and come back only one way Legally. And please tell these presidential hopefuls to answer the question specifally. Whatever you do don't let them shy away from their rrue feelings. Democrats so far have been able to shy away from this issue... I want answers, we the american people want answers.

    January 13, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Daryl

    I would like to know which one of the three Democratic candidates has the best plan to fight global warming and if they think they have the best plan, then why do they think they have the best plan as compared to the two other candidates?

    And similarly, I would like to know what would each of the candidates do their first day in office to fight global warming?

    January 13, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Al in BR, La

    I don't know if forcing the American people to buy health insurance is the answer to this countries healthcare problems. but I'll bet it is the answer to the prayers of the insurance industry.

    January 13, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Miguel

    To Hilary Clinton:

    Ask Hilary why her campaign is accepting so much money from special interest groups unlike Obama's campaign who's only accepted 1% of all donations from special interest?

    Also, ask Hilary in her 35 years of experience what she has truly accomplished since her Healthcare Plan failed miserably. What has she truly accomplished during her tenure as Senator? I don't recall the state of NY being radically changed by er influence as Senator. Where is the substance Hilary?

    January 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Rod Brooks

    I have heard that Barok Obama will not put his hand over his heart when the Pledge of Allengence is said. If this is really true...why not?

    Any Idea who will be ask to be each canidents running mate is they get the nomination?

    I have also been told that Barok Obama has absolutly no religion...is this true?

    January 13, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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