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.
To any or all Dems,
Do you favor continuing to reform the convoluted tax code, or would you entertain a new idea such as the FairTax, which taxes consumption and would eliminate the hated IRS and allow taxpayers to decide how and when they are taxed?
A question for all of the candidates:
While many people feel that the war in Iraq was started based upon false information, each of you has indicated your desire to pull out U.S. troops from Iraq. First, do you think this would lead to a stable Iraq? If so, why?
If not, are you concerned about a weak Iraqi government being overtaken by an anti-American foreign influence (e.g. Iran), or being overtaken by an anti-American internal interest, comparable to a Taliban government? If not, why?
With a majority of Americans, close to 70%, disapproving of President Bush, how is it that your party repeatedly failed to stand up to him? There is no room to cite what you did as a Senator or to start parading your record. This is no time for one to duck a question and use the time to spew your platform on something off topic. Honestly:
Put the onus of change and action on the President. If he wants to veto Iraq spending bills, make him do it. But, what is it that causes the Congressional Democrats to quiver and shrivel in the face of tough language from this President and how will any of you re-make the party into one of respectability?
Can you put the spine back into a party that now looks "yellow?"
What would the candidates do to improve the economics and health of the minorities. Should candidates be playing race card when seeking votes from minorities who are hard working American citizens which I see as lack of gratitude and respect?
I would like know Barack Obama's opinion about showing respect for our national flag and our national anthiem. I have seen pictures where he is at an actritivty with Gov. Bill Richard and Sen. Hiltary Clinton all have their hand over their heart with the Anthiem is played except Sen. Barack Obama's. I have checked with urban legends and they this is a true photo. I now he didn't grow up in U.S. but as president I'd like to know how he feels about our country. Will he help U. S. or is he more intertested in helping Kenya.
The Islamic governments in the middle east have long repressed womens rights. Please ask Mrs Clinton how, as a woman, she could earn enough respect from middle eastern governments to have an effective foreign policy in that region.
Why does the religion issue seem to avoid Sen Obama's religious church and background – when it hits the Republican candidates? (1) Does the media control this issue? (2) Do the Democrates "work" the issue against the Republicans while trying to avoid their own issues?
I would ask Clinton:
How we can trust her judgment, as she is injecting Race issues with so much venom into her campaign in order to win. She has thrown everything including, what the Israel's newspaper Haaretz called, 'the kitchen sink'. It's quite surprising to see how little substance her campaign has when it is plagiarizing and doing all kinds of low down tactics in order to win. Secondly, is it not a bit tacky and grossly unfair to have the ex-president fully involved in this campaign? It is actually immoral, not too mention embarrassing to the nation to have Bill Clinton carrying on the way the way does. At long last, have they no shame.
I know this question may never see the light of day, but I'll send it to you anyway.
For John Edwards,
Why has your campaign not 'taken off' despite the fact that you are the candidate that seems to continue the most serious dialogue about poverty, war, and health care? Do you think American's are apathetic regarding these important issues?
The other candidates for the Democratic Nomination seem more concerned with vague ideals such as unity or indistinct qualities such as experience. We all have "experience"–the question is how do these experiences prepare us to deal with serious issues similar to the topics you are discussing?
How do you justifiy that I, a young, white-collar, college graduate, should have to pay my hard earned money to SS when, by all accounts, it will not be there for me?
I would confirm that Obama is a member of the Trinity Church of Christ and ask if it is not a conflict to be a member of a "black only" church whos allegiance is 100% to Africa. What percent of loyality would he have to America as the president? Does he object to "White only" churches with total commitment to countries outside America?
There are currently at least 6 serious crises that must be dealt with as rapidly as possible:
The budget deficit/debt;
The trade deficit;
The energy crisis;
The dollar implosion;
The sub-prime debaucle/housing deflation.
In addition to these crises, there are at least 5 other major difficulties that are rapidly becoming crises:
Degrading infrastructure – especially the power infrastructure;
Deficient and failing education performance;
Retirement of the Baby Boomers;
Growing health care burden/worsening health care;
Shortage of engineers/engineering degrees.
Using your 2 minutes, please outline one proposal that will help aleviate some of the above concerns WITHOUT WORSENING OTHERS (examples: spending your way out of the housing/sub-prime mess worsens the deficit; coal-to-gas FTS solves energy and worsens Global Warming; etc.)
I would ask Senator Clinton,why did she make the statement on Dr. King and did she think that African Americans would take
Thanks for the opportunity to form a question to the candidates. So here it goes:
I've heard endless criticisms of and attempts to minimize the experience of Hillary Clinton, a woman who's had a front row seat in the political arena for over 16 years. And not simply as a spectator.
What experience [in detail] can Barack Obama offer to counter Clinton's resume? And why wouldn't it be reasonable to say that if Obama took over the White House in 2009 he would have less experience than George W. Bush, former Governor of Texas?
Frankly, there's the change we want and the change we absolutely cannot afford.
In my opinion, Senator Clinton would be excellent choice for president and Sen. Obama as vice-president. I do not believe anyone else could come close to matching such a ticket. Would you ask both candidates their view on such a ticket, especially after it is decided Hillary is coming out on top? If Obama, says "no way," I would like the vp candidate to be Colin Powell or John Mc Cain.
I think adding either Obama or Powell, would handle the race/gender ruckus and adding McCain would show a true bipartisanship spirit (true...not much "change.")
Thanks, Ruth Crocker, Garland, TX.
As a combat veteran, I am very much concerned about that critical part of the Presidency that many voters overlook, that of Commander-in-chief. Could you please make sure to ask each of the democratic contenders where their experience (and I wish Joe Biden and Mr. Richardson were still in the running regarding this one) puts them on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest, as being truly qualified to protect and defend both the nation as a whole and the constitution?
BEING A FORMER REPUBLICAN AND NOT A DEMOCRAT, BUT AN AMERICAN THAT CARES WHO WILL BE THE RIGHT PERSON TO FIX AMERICA AND UNDO THE DAMAGE THE BUSH ADMINSTRATION HAS DONE. CAN YOU BE MORE SPECIFIC AS TO HOW YOU WILL MAKE CHANGES IN AMERICA? WILL YOU CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION BACK ?
Every major candidate in each party has issued a health care reform plan, ranging from significant tax rebates to a single-payer system. They say these plans will allow more Americans to have health insurance. But the problems do not end at insurance because health care costs are skyrocketing. What, specifically, will the candidates do to control costs?
How a president makes decisions can reveal much about how a President thinks.
Ask each candiate to describe their decision-making process for selecting their cabinet, advisors and others who may influence the decisions they make as President.
Candidate Clinton refers to bringing home "combat troops" which we all know
represents a small percentage of total number of troops. Commitment to bring ALL troops home? How soon?
Refers to bringing home :brigades"- follow up to her-how many troops in a brigade? How many brigades in Iraq/Afhganistan? (not a "gotcha"- I don't know)
All candidates: Embassy in Iraq. How many U.S. Citizens to be there on permanent basis? How many troops to defend? How long?
How much money does government of Iraq have? Where?
All candidates: How do they plan to replace in our treasury the amount of money
spent in Iraq/Afhganistan? Respectfully, Bob McCrindle...
YES or NO....would you pardon the two Border Patrol agents (Compeon & Ramos) currently incarcerated for doing their jobs? (Ask every candidate)
As first lady, you urged your husband to stand pat against changes to the bankruptcy law as it impacts credit card debt after learning that a great deal of bankruptcy filers are in fact single moms who fall victim to deadbeat dads and those who are less-educated victims of predatory lending practices.
Yet when running for Senator, you accepted donations from many large NY-based banks and then reversed your opinion, later voting in favor of tighten the bankruptcy laws in favor of credit lenders.
Do you no longer believe the statistics on the number of single moms impacted and what are your current views on bankruptcy and predatory lending?
Would any of you consider being Ron Pauls vice president?
How important do you think public education is, and what is the fairest, most effective–and clearly constitutional–method of funding K-12 public education adequately?
Will you commit to appointing women to the Supreme Court until the gender distribution is at least 5-4?