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. David

    I am a young, indepentant, member of the middle class, and am extremely concerned about the issues that plague our nation's health care system and the cost that the middle class is assuming now. I am not convinced, however, that nationalizing an already inefficient and beurocratic system is the best, or even a good answer, especially since as a child I lived in the United Kingdom and experienced something similar to the type of system proposed.

    How are the national health care plans that the candidates propose going to impact 1) the middle class financially 2) existing hospitals/insurance/pharmaceutical companies (jobs, etc) 3) the quality of care, including research and development & 4) the economy

    I guess the core question is how does a socialized health care plan fit in a capitalistic economy, and what is the bottom line cost going to be?

    January 11, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Vlad

    I'm a former Republican (though definitely not Democrat) who am eager to reverse the last 8 years of damage and vote Democrat. One core issue is the illegal problem. The issue is two-fold: 1) how to stop it (and put in a legal work-program) ... and ... 2) what to do with the illegals in the country. I think the Reds & Blues can and will figure out the 1st one (seems like we're working on it). The 2nd is one that I don't hear much about from the Democrats, and it's worrisome. With estimates I've heard/read indicating 70% of Americans are against amnesty .. what solution do you have ?
    (mine is to seal the borders first, then give those who are here legal stay until their death, with no possibility for citizenship [unless they get in line like others], siblings born here would have no rights to stay).

    January 11, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Jennifer

    To put into perspective the healthcare issue, I would like to know the following:

    1. How much they pay for it.
    2. What type of covereage they get.
    3. How much do they pay for prescriptions.
    4. are they ever told they won't be covered for something.
    5. What about there families
    6. What about after they leave office, do they have covereage for life.
    7. How much it would cost they average american for coverage similar to what they have.

    I think we can all assume the answers, but I would like to hear it them actually say it.

    January 11, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. BrainMandinga

    For every single one of the candidates:

    When are any of the politicians going to realize that the infighting of a party based political system does nothing but harm this country? When are we going to get a person that is going to do the job of actually representing the people of this country and their needs? Is there even one among you that honestly has the best interests of the citizens of this country in mind versus your own agendas? I love this country and everything it stands for, but politics are destroying it. Isn't it about time we put our differences aside and began working diligently and honestly for the common good?

    January 11, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Joseph, VA

    Ask OBAMA to state what the change, of which he always speaks, will actually be. Moreover, ask HOW he plans to implement this change. He has been given a free-ride in debates when it comes to actual policy issues. This far along in the race, we do not need campaign slogans: we need real political discourse, real debate, real discussion of policy. Obama needs to be held to the same standards as Clinton and Edwards, and, unfortunately, the press has been derelict in being as demanding of him as they have of the other candidates thus far.

    January 11, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. J

    ask obama what experience he brings to the table since clearly he has it. how do you measure when experience "starts?" hillary has "35 years"–how is that substantiated? the experience obama and edwards is credible and should be acknowledged in a televised debate. if being married to a politician qualifies as experience then organizing communities, volunteer work, teaching constitutional law, being elected to the state senate and then the united states senate, living abroad, honesty, ability to look at the big picture and clearly communicate to others, unifiying people rather than dividing them and listening all combine to create a unique experience that is the right kind of experience we need in a leader during this pivotal time in our country's (and planet's) history. and please notice i included "combined."( i obviously don't think that one or 2 or 3 of these qualities is enough to be president or i could run.)

    January 11, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Lonnie Fisher

    Would you champion a procedural change in the Congress, whereby every single bill, including appropriation bills, were required to be one topic bills? Meaning, congressman could not add unrelated ammendments to bills, under any circumstances? Any idea that produced a bill would thus get voted for on its own merits, up or down.

    January 11, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Dustin

    Ask the top 3 candidates which of the other top 3 candidates they would choose as their vice president and why and additionally why they would not choose the other candidate.

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Joey

    I would ask all...

    If you had to pick on of the other people running for president as your vice president who would you choose and why.....

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. janet

    Obama, what experience do you have that proves you have the financial wherewithall to dig us out of the depression we are heading toward?

    Hillary, under pressure you "cry" and look to Bill to carry your load, which happened in New Hampshire when you "broke" into tears. Under that same kind of pressure in the oval office, I believe the same response occur when you are defeated by Putin in an argument, so who will really be running this country, if by chance you get elected, you or Bill?

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Robert

    For all three leading Democratic candidates:

    Who would be your running mate? If you wont answer, what can we expect in your running mate?

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Gary Bromm

    Who was your favorite U.S. President? Why?

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Mike

    I really like the idea of letting each candidate ask the other candidates one question each.

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Tristan Penton

    To: HILLARY CLINTON

    I AM A PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT ACTIVIST. I BELIEVE IN AMERICA WE NEED TO RIDE THE BUSES MORE. I BELIEVE OUR TRAIN SYSTEM NEEDS HELP.

    YOU OBVIOUSLY ENCOMPASS THIS IN YOUR SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES AND CONSERVATION OF ENERGY INITIATIVES.

    ALSO, AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION HAS ENDORSED YOU – THEY REPRESENT 180,000 BUS DRIVERS, LIGHT RAIL DRIVERS AND TRANSIT EMPLOYEES.

    I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHY AMALGAMATED IS ENDORSING YOU AND WHAT YOUR PLANS ARE FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT IN THIS COUNTRY.

    PARIS, LONDON, CHICAGO, BOSTON, SAN FRANSISCO – THESE CITIES ARE GREAT BECAUSE OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION – PEOPLE MIX AND BLACK, WHITE, GREEN, AND YELLOW AND PURPLE TURN INTO AMERICANS.

    LIKE IN NEW YORK!

    LIKE IN PARIS!

    WALKING CITIES ARE GREAT CITIES!

    AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION – THE LARGEST TRANSIT UNION BELIEVES THIS AND IS ENDORSING IS HILLARY AND I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT PLANS HILLARY HAS FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT IN THIS COUNTRY.

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. Ken in Atlanta

    Barack Obama mentioned taking an extra %6 of taxes from people who make over $100,000. If that happens to me, all of my discretionary spending will stop. This will have more of an effect on the quality of life for the working poor than for myself. Does Mr. Obama understand that he will be hurting the poor more than anyone else with these taxes? Is this how the "entitlement" party expands its base? By creating more poverty?

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. John Benac

    With the recent asteroid's near miss of Mars, all of our attention has turned to realize that we have absolutely no defense against the likely event of an asteroid striking Earth. What will you do to ensure that we have a robust manned spaceflight program so that we can divert such threats as well as ensure humanities’ survival despite any disaster that might come to us?

    January 11, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. J

    does bob not know how getting elected works? you have to get the support of governors, congressmen and women, other politicians–these will be your superdelegates at the convention and they will get you elected. do your homework bob.

    January 11, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Frank

    We often hear candidates talk about how they want an end to partisanship so they can get things done if elected. Can you tell us something specific that you intend to do if elected that will get Republicans to work with you and stop the gridlock in Washington? Please note we've heard lots of promises before, yet we may be more divided than ever.

    January 11, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. Robert Roffman

    I want to know why the Democrats can't work on a plan to get the troops out of Iraq when THEYcontrol Congress & the Senate ? I don't understand whey they CAN'T present a unified front to get the job done.
    Also as 100% permanently disabled veteran how are they going to resolve the broken VA Medical System which has been a mess since the Vietnam War?

    January 11, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Owen Kurtin

    Senator Clinton, as you know, Senator Obama has been a legislator longer than you have. Prior to your election to the U.S. Senate, you were the first lady, and prior to that, a private practice lawyer. As first lady, you were neither elected nor appointed, nor confirmed by the Senate. You did not attend National Security briefings or Cabinet meetings; you had no official policy roles. Why do you think you can claim the mantle of "experience" from him?

    January 11, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Carole

    I would like to ask each candidate, Democrat and Republican, to reveal their association with the Trilateral Commission and how that association will affect how they will run this country. I want to know because the Trilateral Commission has hijacked our executive branch since 1974 and it is time for them to get out of our government before America loses its sovereignty all together.

    January 11, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Do you believe a president should be able to speak more than one language? I've notice that some foreign diplomats speak their language as well as English.

    January 11, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Richard Trench

    I would like to ask all the Democrats:

    What if (God forbids) another 9/11 occurs? How will he or she respond?

    January 11, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Mitchel

    Ask Hillary Clinton to explain her "35 years of experience." Since she is obviously implying that her years as a lawyer count, why then doesn't Obama's experience as a community organizer count?

    January 11, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  25. Jay in Phoenix

    "Reaching across the aisle" seems to be a common theme with the candidates in their campaign promises, but with so much political posturing and animosity between the Democrats and Republicans, how specifically would each candidate approach a situation where pure partisan opposition was the major obstacle and reach a solution?

    January 11, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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