WASHINGTON (CNN) - I must say I was stunned by the amazing reaction to my request Friday for suggested questions for the upcoming Democratic Presidential debate that CNN is co-sponsoring with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina next Monday night, January 21. So far, we have received some 2,000 comments. I am not surprised that almost all of them were serious and well-informed.
I have always had high confidence in our CNN viewers. I know you are smart because you wouldn’t be watching The Situation Room and all of our other CNN political coverage if you weren’t. There are simply too many other options available to all of you - ranging from sitcoms, to sports, to silly talk shows. Our viewers are intelligent and that certainly came through with your comments. You can take a look at them yourself. If you take the time, you too will be impressed.
Let me assure you that our team is going through all of these suggested questions, and we will select some of them for the debate. We will also use your ideas to formulate some other questions. You’ve raised serious issues and Suzanne Malveaux, Joe Johns and I are taking them very seriously. This has been a great opportunity for us to know what is on your minds, and we are grateful to you for the help.
Throughout my journalistic career, I have always cherished the fact that I am blessed with a front-row seat to history. I have the opportunity and privilege to ask important newsmakers tough and important questions. In the process, I see myself as our viewers’ representative. You might not have that chance, but I do - and I take it very seriously.
By the way, if you'd like to see some of the questions already asked, you can read them by clicking here. Thanks again.
–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer
THANK YOU Marvin from Huston Tx., Joe Peplinski, Glen Shouse Jr., NewYorkLady, and many others. To Marvin; How about we put a price tag on the politicians mistakes and make them financially responsible for the clean up. You hit it on the nose Joe, nearly every major conflict is based on "Islam or else". In many of these countries you could receive the death penalty for speaking against Mohammad but it is ok for Islam to speak against and even promote hate for other religions. Glen, glad to meet you, another member of the "American" party. NewYorkLady, you get a big hug. Imagine what research and developments could be made in the areas of health and energy if we spent all those billions we have been wasting on go no where wars, on these fields.
To all the candidates, I don't want to hear all this "He said, She said" BS. I am not from Missouri but if you make a claim , make it about yourself and then SHOW ME!!!
My question to Obama.You have been saying you are uniter,you will bring all people together,republic,democrats and independent.To me you suggest that you are willing to work with any person regardless of his affiliation party.And also you love all people.Why do you seem embarrased by story that you relate to Dick Cheney.and why do you say that what we get from Bush is Katrina,dont you see that you are unreasonable to blame president for weather and at the same time you continue to divide people since you know minority suffered most in katrina?Why dont you start to unite people now so that people can support president instead of continue to create division?
Joe Biden claimed in a previous debate that he would seek the dissolution of Department of Defense programs such as the National Missile Defense and the F-22 Raptor if he would have won the presidency. I'd like to hear what the remaining candidates have to say about this notion. Is Joe right? Why or why not? If these programs do go, does the money they were allocated exit the DoD budget for something like a universal health care plan, or would the cash go to other programs (bunker busters, fourth-generation nuclear warheads, etc.)?
To the Democratic candidates for President:
Will the United States have to declare bankruptcy soon? If not, what will you personally do to bring our debt to zero dollars?
Does Obama feel that the black people in America will shape up once he gives them a social message of hope by becoming President? (Will this destroy the black anti-intellectualism and criminality plaguing our ghettos, slums, and cities?)
Does Hillary Clinton support the Equal Rights Amendment or similar legislation that would permanently and unequivocally grant every citizen equal rights all the time?
Does John Edwards support the Income Tax amendment?
Which of the Democratic candidates believes that we should stop stationing large amounts of troops in non-warzones such as Germany, Japan, and Korea?
Which of the candidates will vow to uphold the mission of NASA and re-devote the federal government to properly funding its endeavors?
Do any of the candidates believe that the state and federal education system can endure another modest overhaul, or must it be scrapped and replaced with a more functional system?
Do the Senators believe that President Bush's suspension of habeas corpus rights violate Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, the Suspension Clause, because it is reserved solely for the Congress to decide only in case of invasion or rebellion?
Do the Senators believe that Congress illegally gave President Bush the authority to indiscriminately wage wars overseas as he sees fit, by authorizing the use of force without any territorial limitations to its execution?
Which of the "founding fathers" of this country do the candidates admire the most? (Washington-Hamilton-Jefferson, etc.)
Would any of the candidates disclose confidential documents for our national mysteries, such as Area 51 and the UFO landing, the Kennedy assassination, and what role the government had in orchestrating 9/11?
Who does each candidate want to have run with them as their vice president?
President Bush has taken to the habit of filing away signing statements whenver he signs off on new legislation. This effectively gives him the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office (or at least his lawyers think so). These signing statements assert that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. These signing statements greatly upset the balance of power between the branches of govenrnment and transform George into a king. Bush believes he (not the Supreme Court) has the authority to interpret the constitution and that he is above the laws passed by the legislative branch.
I ask all of the candidates whether or not they will file signing statements when they sign off on new legislation and whether or not they agree with Bush's proclivity to do this –constitutionally or otherwise
Good leadership is the result of the ability to surround oneself with the right people and to be able to react properly on the advice they provide. The current president is in trouble because of people like Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. Without naming specific people, what are the qualities of leadership that you would look for in the people you would ask to serve in your administration?
Hello Mr Blitzer;
I wish the questioners would ask how the candidates are going to fulfil their campaign promises, it seems everytime one is asked all that is given is some vague response and the host never pins them down, talk is cheap but answers come hard, I have heard so many glib tongues this year and not a one tells us how they are going to accomplish their promises or agendas.
thank you Harry B.
Clinton, as she explained prior to the New Hampshire race, she said that “she is running because she wants to divert the situation happening in the country”. What is her strategy to divert the situation?
Don't ask the Bimmer question about Bushs good works, we don't need a moment of silence.
A simple question for the candidates:
A few days back, the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh visited China. Trade between these two countries has increased since 1998. There is convergence between these two countries on a number of issues, that will affect the United States in the long run.
If you are elected as the next US president, how will your administration respond to the economic rise of India and China?
Much has been made about Mitt Romney's religion, but so far Obama's religion has received a pass. His church website declares, "We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land." Does this creed as it were conflict with his commitment to America?
For Obama...(You can't ask this or you will be picking on a black man.) Does, in you own words, using drugs to the point of being a junkie show leadership?
Why can't we offer Medicare to all, and base the premiums on income?
Not only would this help the uninsured, but it would make all of our businesses more competitive, and lower costs to state and local governments to insure their employees. Here in Florida, government employees health insurance benefits represent a SUBSTANTIAL part of our EXCESSIVE property taxes.
This question goes out to all the candidates ... when does life begin? From Jackie Sipe in Ohio.
Since 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudia Arabia, (through Canada) why are we in Afganistian and Irac? (Bin laden is also Saudie.)
Why are lawmakers, on both sides of the isle, not held accountable in these so-called debates? All of the failed policies and circumstances that we find ourselves in now are the direct result of the votes, decisions and inactions of these very candidates. And yet, we allow them to act as if they were somehow out-of-the-loop.
Steve, ATL, YOU WIN!!! I was wondering who would be the first IDIOT to blame Hillary for Cate Edwards crash.
Hello, My name is Kim. I took part in the Democratic "Youtube" debate, I am the future breast cancer survivor from Long Island. I have been carefully reading each of the Democratic health care plans.
My question is, how would you determine affordability of premiums. Each of you says if you're too poor to afford insurance, you would get it for free, and then each would pay according to what they could afford. Will that be indexed by region? After all, a family of four making $50,000 in Wyoming might live pretty well and be able to afford to pay a decent sized premium. However that same pay on Long Island means you can't afford to pay your electric bill, let along health insurance.
Question to the candidates:
Medical marijuana is finally starting to gather the attention it deserves as one of the best medicines for many people all across the country. In thirteen states, there are now laws for medicinal cannabis. My question is this: When will the American Government stop putting people who use cannabis for personal use behind bars in prisons? You know, the same places where child molesters and meth dealers and murderers all wind up? When is America going to stop telling the American people what it will let us do and start letting the people tell the government what we want. What we want is decriminilization of medical Marijuana, and we want it now.
KIM IS RIGHT, GOOD QUESTION. I HAVE BEEN CHECKING OUT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY MY HUSBAND AND I MAKE AND WHAT WE WOULD NEED TO MAKE IN ANOTHER AREA, MOST EVERY STATE WOULD BE BETTER THAN CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK OR FLORIDA
Since Lou Dobbs is a true Independent and at this point does not want to enter the race, would you ask the candidates; If you won the delegate vote for your party, would you be willing to have Lou Dobbs as your Vice President?
To all candidates: As part of economic stability, would you be willing to stop the flow of profits from large Corporations and special interest groups to Bermuda?
To all candidates: For stability for Social Security; Would you promise to keep your hands out of the funds and repay into Social Security the monies removed to fund the war in Iraq?
To all candidates: Will you promise to build the fence on our borders and do 100% inspection of all cargo entering the US?
To all candidates: Will you put a tariff on goods imported from China as they do to us?
We need to put American farmers back to work instead of Federally Subsidizing them for "loss of crops." Would you be willing to force large Oil Corporations to initiate and promote bio-fuels? If we use bio-fuels from corn, sugar beets and certain grasses, we would put farmers back to work in the US thus ending subsidation and promote economic growth.
To all candidates: Would you put a stop to banks/credit companies from arbitrarily charging fees? If there were a cap to fees charged by them, the economy may rear out of Recession. Are you willing to do this?
To all candidates: Would you demand that all contracts for the military and the US government be negotiated and all contracts sent to you for approval?
To all candidates: Would you be willing to have the Secretary of the Department of Education end tenure of teachers? If tenure was ended, the teachers would get annual continuing education and the teachers then would get "merit" pay by evaluation by parents, students, their peers and School Board. End "No Child Left Behind" law.
To all candidates: Would you be willing to enable Schools and families to instill discipline back into the lives of young children? The Department of Human Resources should be willing to allow discipline to be part of child rearing. A disturbing percent of our youth is now out of control. Ask any teacher who currently is in the public school system. As the Bible states: "Spare the rod, spoil the child."
I recently read that it costs more to administer Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts then the Canadians spend on their entire National Health Plan. How can we reasonably consider any attempt to mandate health insurance as a reform of our broken, uncontrolled system?
I recently read that it costs more to administer Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts then the Canadians spend to administer their entire National Health Plan. How can we reasonably consider any attempt to mandate health insurance as a reform of our broken, uncontrolled system?
Some candidates have not received enough coverage from the media. What would each of you like to say pertaining to how the media have covered each candidate good or bad.
JOBS, ECONOMY IN MAHONING VALLEY, IN YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO AREA
IT IS A JOKE JOBS HERE. YOU CANNOT FIND A JOB UNLESS YOU WANT TO WORK A MCDONALD, BURGER KING, ARBYS, AND MAKE $5.75 HOUR AND FOR ONLY 25 HRS A WEEK. ALL THE STEEL MILLS, MANUFACTURERS IN THE AREA ARE CLOSED, WE ARE WAITING NOW FOR THE LORDSTOWN CAR PLANT TO BE THE NEXT SHUT DOWN. THERE ARE NO JOBS HERE. HOW COULD PRESIDEN BUSH SAY ECONOMY IS PICKING UP. HE SITS IN THE WHITE HOUSE EATS HIS STEAKS FOR DINNER, WHILE AMERICAN ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT TO BUY A MEAL FOR THE DAY.THE ONLY JOBS HERE ARE RETAIL AND THEY WORK YOU TO 60 HRS AND THEN AFTER CHRISTMAS BACK DOWN TO 23 TO 25 HRS AT $5.75 HR. BUT YET EMPLOYEES DO NOT WANT TO GIVE RAISES TO THE PEOPLE. SHAME ON OUR GOVERNMENT.NO BENEFITS AND WE WILL GO BACK TO HEALTH AND WELFARE THERE IS NO SUCH THING ANYMORE. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HERE HAVE NOT BENEFITS BUT YET AGAIN WE ARE AT WAR IN IRAQ WHY ?? BUSH NEVER SERVED IN WAR NEVER ENLISTED EITHER. GREAT PRIESIDENT HE IS. BUT AGAIN HERE WE ARE STRUGGLING TO LIVE DAY BY DAY WHILE HE SITS BACK AND EATS HIS STEAKS....AGAIN ONLY 12 MONTHS LEFT AND AWAY HE GOES. THANK GOD FOR THAT....HE HAS NEVER IN HISTORY DONE ANYTHING FOR US.....AGAIN HE IS NOT POPULAR IN THE MAHONING VALLEY... WE NEED JOBS, HEALTH AND WELFARE MORE THEN EVER BUT YET REPUBLICANS WILL NOT ALLOW US TO HAVE IT WHILE THOUSANDS ARE IN THE STREETS AND NO JOBS AND NO HEALTH BENEFITS......