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. Sonya

    Mr. Blitzer,
    In regards to Senator Clinton: She is running her campaign off of 30+ years of political experience, however, Senator Clinton during most of that time, she held no distictive political office (other than First Lady Clinton) and had no more substancial experience internationally or domestically than her current constituants. Can Mrs. Clinton clarify her 30 year political record outlining HER accomplishments?

    Thank you.

    January 14, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Bobby Drummond

    If you are elected president would you pardon the two border patrol officers that are in prison for doing their job in trying to protect our national security?

    Bush talks about national security and the importance of fighting the fight in Iraq but how can we take him seriously when our own borders are open. It would appear to any rational human being that if you wanted to secure our country you would start by securing our borders. Agree or Disagree!!

    January 14, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. I second this request for a question to ask Obama. I see such a double standard here

    Barack Obama has shot into the political spotlight over recent years and that is a great thing for this country.

    However, in business and in life, if someone has only 2 years of experience, that does not generally qualify them for an executive position.

    I would like Barack Obama to explain why he should be elected as President of the United States, which some people would argue is the most important job in the country / world, when he only has 2 years of real political experience and no foreign policy experience.

    I would also like him to answer if he thinks he would be a viable candidate for President if he was a woman with his current resume.

    January 14, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Rich Beplat

    For Sen. Clinton
    Especially on MLK Day, and a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, I ask you to commit to sponsor a bill to remove J. Edgar Hoover's name from the FBI Building in Washington, DC. His abuse of power at the FBI is legendary and he has been called the worst public servant in our nation's history. It disgraces all Americans each day that Hoover's name continues to be displayed on the FBI Building.

    January 14, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. annoyed voter

    Obama's "Change" is the lamest, emptiest buzzword since Al Gore's "Lockbox".

    January 14, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Maurice, Cleveland, OH

    To all the candidates:

    Do you believe all people are created equal? If yes, why don't you believe that gay and lesbian Americans should have equal marriage rights?

    January 14, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Brian

    At their recent conference in Oklahoma, centrists from both parties called for candidates to commit to a "government of national unity." Are the Democratic candidates interested in making such a commitment And if so, to what specific, concrete steps towards a "national unity" administration would they commit?

    January 14, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  8. Susie, PA

    My question is for Hillary Clinton,

    I have talked to many people and read many web postings where people seem to be supporting Hillary not because they trust her or believe in her but because they liked her husband as president. One person even said to me "Don't you think that she will be getting his advice while in office?" How do you respond to the idea that many are voting not so much for you but for your husband?

    January 14, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Dave from Jersey

    To All Candidates:

    We have started a War where the was none, we therefore must assume responsibility for some of the needless deaths in Iraq, Women and Children.
    Most people in America, believe we went to War for Oil, War Profiteering and ideological reasons. Can you please describe to the American People in non Politician Speak why you feel we really went to War, and if you feel the same way most Americans do, will you support the idea of War Crime Tribunals?

    January 14, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. Greg Calixte

    Very simple questions:
    Mrs. Clinton
    Please enumerate 3 things that you will do to bring the price of gas down short term and long term?

    Mr. Obama
    Please enumerate 3 things that you will do to bring the price of gas down short term and long term?

    All 3 top players:
    Would you create a debt to launch a Manhattan project to resolve the energy crisis in the US? (Good debt = fixing the energy crisis Vs Bad debt = tax cut for the richest)

    For every body who's talking about change, how do you intend to work with congress to bring change?

    Please be specific it is time that we get real answer, no more of that general answers who make no sense at all.

    This election should not be about race and gender please focus on the issues. I'm a minority. I care about these issues (gas prices, real estate issues and healthcare and future of this country). I don't care much about all this blabla in the media about race and gender. Give me the meat please!

    January 14, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Matt

    Since Experience VS Change seems to be the debate on the democratic side I would ask the canidates to highlight the 3 most signifigant types of experience that they would tout on their resumes, and the 3 most radical but reailistic changes that they would make as president. To keep it fair I would ask them to write this down in six sentences or less while the TV audience is at comercial break and hand them into the moderator. I then would project the written statements on a screen after the comercial and give each canidate 2 min to highlight their written statements and give each of the other canidates 30 seconds to rebutt thoes statements and highlights. I think this will show not only who is the best canidate based on the issues of experience and change, but who is the most on the ball.

    January 14, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Scott B Burns

    I would ask them "What do you feel would be the single, most important thing you, as President ,could do to turn this economy around?"

    January 14, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Jun

    Somewhat lost in the debate about American foreign policy due to the emphasis on Iraq, bin Laden, etc.) is the role of soft power. What do each of the candidates specifically propose in the way of changes in the manner with which foreign assistance is delivered by the U.S. (either bilaterally or multilaterally) to developing countries throughout the world?

    January 14, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. Vince, Carson City, Nevada

    I would like to know why Senator Obama says he was opposed to the war from day one, when he gave two speeches in 2003 which contradict that and I if he indeed was opposed to the war why would he vote every time to continue it the last four years?

    Also, why is his campaign the first to want someone to apologize for things said about him he does not agree with, but sits silently by while people in his campaign spread misinformation about Hilliary Cinton and her husband ie Senator Clinton was involoved in Bhutto assaignination and her campaign here in Nevada filed a lawsuit to stop the cacusus. I mean enough is enough Senator Obama. You may have been in Washington for only 2 years, but you are definetly a seasoned pro. Remember if you win, you will need ALL Democrats to vote for you in the general eclection and they way you are running your campaign, you may not get mine!!!!!@

    January 14, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Ken Frederiksen

    Wolf,

    It falls between perception and reality that you have given the Democrats a free ride on illegal immigration. Clear this up by asking them all if they support Amnesty by any name or description. No fluff answers should be acceptable.

    Ken

    January 14, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. Barbara S.

    I'd like to ask each of the candidates about NAFTA ! Will they get rid of it, change it, or leave as is? Will we stay with the Free Trade– or will they make it a FAIR TRADE – which we in the US do not have now.
    And what we do have sent to our shores - who is going to make sure it is safe?
    Thank you for the chance to ask these question. A disenchanted Baby Boomer Grandma

    January 14, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. Joel Betsinger

    Recently, over a quarter of a million residents in Wisconsin had their social security numbers revealed on their mailing addresses. What do you propose to help protect the access of private information being made accessible to government and other public entities either by law (Patriot Act) or technology error/identity theft?

    January 14, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Spencer

    ask: If you had to pick one of the current republican candidates to vote for, who would you support and why?

    January 14, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. NEMA KUNKU

    wHY IS IT THAT THE MEDIA WAS SO BIAS ON CLINTO'S SIDEE BEFORE THE NEWHAMPSHIRE PRIMARIES, BUT NOW EVERYONE KNEW THAT THE MEDIA WAS TRYING TO BOOST OBAMA TO GET THE WINING IN IOWA WHICH HE DID GET, AND GOD FAILED THE MEDIA FOR BEING SO BIAS.

    LETS TREAT EACHE OTHER FAIRLY SO THAT PEOPLE WILL TRUST THE MEDIA FOR THEIR RESPONSIBILITES ON THE JOB AND NOT TO BE SIDING ONE SIDE, GOD ALWAYS HAS THE RIGHT JUDGEMENT FOR THE RIGHT INDIVIDUAL WHOM HE THINKS THAT WILL DO THE RIGHT THING.

    AND IN AMERICA EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE GOOD JOB THE CLINTONS DID IN THE PAST EVERYTHING WAS SO MUCH FOR WE THE POOR AND THE NEEDY FAMILIES TO ACHIEVED WHAT WE HAVE TO ACHIEVED IN LIFE.

    GO AND REVISED ALL THE NECESSARY INFORMATION TO BE AIRED RATHER THAT TRYING TO MESS SOME WHO IS NOT MESSED BY GOD, HILLARY HAS THE EXPERIENCE WHICH PEOPLE DONT WANT TO HEAR AND ALWAYS THE FACTS AND REALITY WILL LAST AT THE END OF THE DAY.

    THANKS

    January 14, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Angela

    Senator Clinton: How did serving on the House Judiciary Committee considering the impeachment of Richard Nixon shape your view of politics and the presidency specifically? in what cases do you believe impeachment is the appropriate course of action?

    Senator Obama: I would like to hear specific details on your economic plans to counter the current decline that is surely leading to a recession in the US.

    Former Senator Edwards: What are your plans to stop the movement of manufacturing jobs to cheaper markets? can this be accomplished? how will you revive small communities across the nation that have been affected by the loss of their largest employer?

    To all: To allow for a more inclusive primary/caucus process what are your thoughts on a National Primary? A National Primary would be held on Primary Day, determined as one year before the National Election (in this case for example Nov 6 2007 would have been the Primary Day for Election Day Nov 4 2008). Each state votes only on that day and campaigning/advertising is limited to 3 months prior to the National Primary Day.

    January 14, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Colorado Independent

    The idea of just 2 families, Bush and Clinton, controlling the white house for a quarter century or more makes me uneasy.

    Is this truly democratic, or a sign of a political aristocracy?

    January 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. Alex, TN

    Wolf, I would like to know, what makes these candidates think that they are any better than the other? They all seem to have good ideas, some are better than others but if you were to take ideas and characteristics from all of them and put them together with a little bit of a nip here and a tuck there, you'd have a pretty great candidate. I would also like to know, if change is what y'all are preaching, why don't y'all change the campaigning process? I understand y'all are "fighting" for President of the United States, but is it too much to ask to help one another and say hey, I think I'd be the best candidate for the job but if you, the american people, thought differently, I'd do my personal best to be there for our new President, and back him up and help him in any way.

    January 14, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. Helena B.- Memphis, Tn

    I would ask Hillary, why are you personally attacking Obama? Why dont you stick to the issues? Why are you blaming Obama for your ignorant statements about Martin Luther King? How can you let Bob Johnson talk about Obama's past drug use when your husband did the same thing? And when did the Clintons become the moral authority for whats right?

    January 14, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. angelfrankie

    Mr. Wolf

    I dont vote, I dont live in your Country. There is no question I want to ask. Would like to bring to your attention the stakes on this election. I am a CNN watcher I am changing to Fox. Think they are more balanced right now. At least they are not driving as per comments on their yesterdays ( except of course of Dick Morris) the American people back to racisim. Would be good for the world to maintain the discussions on the issues. When you go to a Job interview you are asked for your resume. Think critizing Mrs. Clinton, for every word or every move is totally inappropiate.
    Hope the press goes back to a more reliable debate on the issues.

    January 14, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Jose Rodriguez

    To Obama,

    Sounds like he took cocaine (drugs) which was an illegal act. Should he pay fine and do the time before he gets nominated. If not then it would be a bad precedent for our youth.

    As a Mexican I believe folks who crossed the border illegally should pay the fine before they are given residency in USA.

    Jose

    January 14, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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