January 14th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: Stunned by readers' response

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer.
CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer.

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


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (662 Responses)
  1. Michael, Orlando FL

    I don't believe that asking a question of these candidates will result in anything more than empty rhetoric and more false promises (read; "lies"). I would like the candidates stand up and address America and provide their own version of their "State of the Union" speech. Obviously, their speech would need to be an abbreviated one, but I think that America can get a good sense of who they are and what they believe if they each gave us a 15 minute run-down on what they see.

    January 15, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  2. shakti

    ASK OBAMA WHAT HIS CHANGE THEME MEANS PLEASE HAVE HIM LAY OUT SPECIFIC CHANGES HE HAS IN HIS MIND FOR WASHINGTON AND THE COUNTRY.
    SO FAR IT HAS BEEN CROWD PLEASING TALK ONLY AND NO MEAT AND SUBSTANCE.

    January 15, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. Tom Cougar

    Looks like I didn't notice the opportunity to submit a question on time. Here's what mine would've been:

    The principle point is not whether intelligence was misleading before the U.S. went into Iraq. Here's the principle point: Since the Constitution states that only Congress will declare or decline to declare war–and Congress did fail to make that specific decision before the Iraq War (instead putting it in one man's, Bush's, court)–why should we vote for anyone for president who allowed something so profoundly wrong/illegal, i.e. clearly unconstitutional, to happen???

    January 15, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. BobW Rochester, NY

    I had posed a question for Hillary Clinton but I don't think it made it past the moderators. I very simply asked:

    If experience and leading from day 1 is so important, what expience specifically in the past 35 years makes you uniquely qualified to be president? If your performance as a New York senator is any evidence, I don't see see where New York residents have benefited from your record. We are still suffering under high unemployment and the lack of real wage paying jobs. The cost of education and healthcare continues to rise unabated. The middleclass continues to shrink. Does this mean we can expect more of the same when you are president?

    January 15, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  5. The African

    Obama said he would not have voted for the Iraq war. But he was not in the senate at that time. Now, what was his vote on Iran?. Where was he?. Obama is a fraud, created by the dishonest press and the Republicans. The press is scared to call him on his shortcomings for fear of losing their jobs....Don Imus style.

    January 15, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  6. Brian

    Question for all candidates

    1. What is your view on Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo)? Are you in support of it withholding "enemy combatants", or you against the "pride" of the American Image we send showing that in the United States where we claim to upstand habeas corpus, where it is in fact a myth.

    2. If you were currently president as of this moment what would your message be in the overseas peace talks of Israeli and Palestinan people, and would you be in support of Bush's urge for output of oil from OPEC and his condemning of the "sponsor state of terror" as he has called Iran. I no its only my opinion but i believe like many that waging oppresive war to stop terrorism is like trying to put a fire out with gaseoline!

    Thanks

    January 15, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. david meyer

    No taxation without representation!!! Don't you think as an immigrant who came from England to the US on visas and now green card and pay the same taxes as every other legal american, should be able to have a say as to who the next president should be?

    January 15, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. Emmanuel Winner

    Question on Iraq: Since the military leadership of our forces in Iraq have mostly been appointed by George Bush to serve his agenda, thus cannot be trusted to provide an exit strategy, what is your estimation of how long it will take to remove all our combat forces from Iraq and on what logistics ought this be based?

    January 15, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. Steve Meyer

    To the folks that want to ask the presidential candidates about independants barred from voting in primaries - that's up to each state - it's not a national policy.

    I agree that health care should be the issue, not health insurance.

    ==>> I would like to ask each some specifics on how they would promote healing of the great diviseness of our country.

    January 15, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. Alexis Powell

    To all Candidates:

    How can pulling out of Iraq be beneficial to the U.S., when everything is resting on us succeeding?

    January 15, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. RON GEORGE,LOWELLVILLE, OHIO

    TOPIC IS JOB OPPORTUNITY THRU OUT THE U.S.

    THERE ARE NO JOBS LEFT. THE GOVERNMENT HAS SHIPPED ALL THE GOOD JOBS THAT PEOPLE IN GENERAL CAN MAKE A LIVING TO OVERSEAS COUNTRIES.

    FOR THE PRESIDENT AND SENATORS. WHERE ARE THE AMERICANS TO FIND A GOOD JOB TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES...OH YES PRESIDENT BUSH SAID ECONOMY IS GOOD WE WANT HIM TO SHOW US WHERE THE JOBS ARE AT....PRESIDENT BUSH TAKES AWAY FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE JUST TO SAVE A DOLLAR OR TWO BUT YET SO MUCH IS SPEND ON THE WAR IN IRAQ..SO MANY CHILDREN AND WOMEN BEING KILLED FOR WHAT PLEASE ANSWER WHY THE WAR IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THEN PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES . PEOPLE IN GENERAL HERE JUST CANNOT MAKE IT ON MINIMUM WAGES WITH OIL, GAS PRICES GOING UP AND EVERYTHING ELSE IS TOO...WHERE IS THE JUSTIFICATION ??????? FOR ALL OUR JOBS GOING OVERSEAS....

    January 15, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  12. Maddy

    My question would be for Obama and Clinton.

    I graduated from college two years ago. Many of my friends had been freelancing for a while until they found a fulltime job, but now because of the dipping economy the entry level job market for them is drying up and they have mounting debts because of the cost of higher education. Do you have a plan to jumpstart the economy, and, if so, can you give specific points as to how you'd do it? (In the last New Hampshire debate, Mrs. Clinton, you spent so much time attacking everyone else that only Richardson was able to get mildly specific, and our debate was quite a disappointment in comparison to the Republicans!)

    January 15, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Jeff

    I paid the price once already in the late 1970's and am just sick about what the last decade has brought to our economy. As I graduated high school in 1978, my parents had just lost their jobs. That meant no college for me, just off to find a way to survive. I have scratched and worked my way up to making a very good living; and now because of NAFTA, the facility I work at and my job will be gone as of March of 2008. No other reason than the company can save $6 milliion a year on labor. I have a 5 year old and she does not deserve to pay this price...My question is; what industries do you see taking the place of the jobs lost to NAFTA and other unfair trade pacts? Where are they right now as people are losing their jobs and homes? What exactly are you going to train us for? There doesn't appear to be jobs for even those with degrees. Why are we allowing imports to outweigh exports without penalizing the countries of origin? Why are we allowing jobs to go to foreign workers that make product for here? If we are improving their way of life, why are they not making products for themselves? Is it because they are paid so little they can't afford the products they make? If we as a nation are so concerned about pollution, why are we allowing the movement of our heavy industry to places where there are little or no regulations without taxing and penalizing the product once it is brought here? How are you going to penalize those companies that have moved their products offshore to avoid taxes and have cost Americans their jobs over the last decade? Meanwhile, jobs created here seem to be in the $35,000 range...where are the $60,000-$70,000 jobs going to come from? In summary; What are YOU going to do to make an IMMEDIATE change for those that have been affected by unfair trade?

    January 15, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. Marcelo

    Wolf,

    This question is for Senator Clinton:

    Why is your healthcare plan mandating that each adult is required to contribute and be covered by the your healthcare plan? For those of us who are currently receiving healthcare coverage (with excellent benefits) from our current employers, wouldn't your healthcare plan result in charging us having to pay into your healthcare plan that we won't use or cause our employers to terminate our current healthcare plans? I like the sound of universal healthcare for those who do not have the means or access to it, but I'm concerned about the impact of your policy. Thank you.

    This question is for Senator Obama:

    Given the current credit market crisis and ecomomists worries that the economy is heading in a recession, can you provide specifics about how your plan would help us avoid/dampen this crisis? Thank you.

    This question is for Senator Edwards:

    Like Obama, you also talk about making change in Washington. When I hear Obama speak, he doesn't just talk about implementing programs and adding more social programs, he seems to speak to a change in politics. I hear him discuss about having more transparency and less partisanship. I know one of your main points is keeping the lobbyists out of Washington, but if you become president, will you also support the type of change Senator Obama is advocating? Will all the candidates, if elected to the presidency, respect opposing party views, become the president of the whole United States (not just your party), and make a genuine effort to reunite this country and find compromises with opposing parties? Thank you

    Good luck to all the candidates

    January 15, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Frantz

    Wolf,

    When it's come to US foreign policy it appears that Haiti the poorest nation of the western hemispher have been forgotten. My question is for all the candidates:

    The UN has more than 8000 troops over there in which 3000 of them are from Brazil to help stablelize the security situation. What will be your plan to help with the economic situation since they have a democratically elected President?

    January 15, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. Nancy Bell

    I am still waiting for Jeffrey Toobin to correct his error in saying that only Republicans will vote in the primary on Jan 29. We Democrats ARE voting -absentee and voting early and casting votes on Jan 29. Those votes WILL have an impact on the national race, whether you want to admit it or not.

    January 15, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. Kate

    Question for Hillary.

    1. Given your past relationship with the Republicans in Washington. How do you plan to make it work this time around?

    2. What do you say to people who think you are a poralizing figure and especially after what has happened between you and Barack Obama?

    January 15, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. varakehdi

    Pakistan having nuclear arsenal with political stability at stake & terrorists having a field day, what will be the strategy of the presidential hopefuls to to ensure peace in the region.

    January 15, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  19. Joyce

    I posted a question Monday evening and was surprised to see it had disappeared from the list this morning, so I'll post it again.

    To all the candidates: You've said that you will raise taxes on the rich to help the middle class. Please tell us where you draw the line between rich and middle class. Is your definition determined by income or by total worth. Thank you.

    January 15, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  20. Jason

    It's funny that Wolf Blitzer blogged about all the submitted questions in a blog titled "Blitzer: Stunned by readers' response". Well, I'm stunned by the responses as well. Grammatical errors, spelling mistakes ... it's rather embarrassing. About the questioners, Blitzer goes on to say "I know you are smart" and "our viewers are intelligent and that certainly came through with your comments". I'm not so convinced.

    I have a question for the Democratic candidates in South Carolina. "How can citizens of a country like America, with resources and riches second to none, receive such a poor educational experience compared to citizens of other countries in the world?"

    January 15, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. Jackie

    What will you do to stop major corporations such as United Airlines from reneging on employee pensions? What will you do to revamp or at least rename the PBGC – Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp? Receiving only 40% of a promised pension is not what I’d call a guarantee.

    While most of the attention has been focused on medical coverage, as it should be, the cost of dental coverage and procedures are astronomical. What will you do to make dental coverage more affordable?

    January 15, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  22. chemist42

    My question is for all the candidates who have a plan for healthcare reform. I am a chemist in the "evil Big Pharma empire" that it has become so fashionable to demonize. Contrary to popular belief, the scientists in this industry went to school, got our degrees, and entered pharma because we wanted to make a difference in people's lives. As sappy and altruistic as that sounds, it's the truth...but if some of the candidates have their way, it certainly sounds like I'll be out of a job. Does the notion of preserving pharmaceutical innovation in this country have any place at all in your plan for reforming healthcare? Or should the scientists here just give up trying to cure cancer, and move on to less costly pursuits, such as inventing the next new flavor of Froot Loops?

    January 15, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  23. Connie K. in New York

    Hi, Wolf–

    Love the Situation Room! Thanks for the opportunity to suggest questions for the important debate before Super Tuesday. Here's one for your consideration:

    I am uncomfortable with Mr. Obama's admitted cocaine use in his youth and Ms. Clinton's much-publicized marital problems. We cannot afford to elect anyone this time whose personal issues may distract us from the important work we need to do. How can each of you assure the American people that any embarrassing personal problems you encounter in office will not interfere with the tough job that lies ahead of you as President?

    Thank you.

    January 15, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. Nick

    Keep it simple .

    Will you pull out of Iraq now or committ to staying another 10 years.?

    Will you seal the border,have no amnesty,sanction employers who knowlingly hire illegals immigrants?

    How will you fix health care?

    How will you guarantee that the will of the American people will prevail over the special interest groups and the military industrial complex ...?

    January 15, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. rg

    Topic is Cuba

    Can you and senators answer this question::::

    Why are the American People threatened by the Government if they would travel to Cuba they will be punished by law, prison time, and fines. This is suppose to be a free country to travel anywhere you want but we can go anywhere but are threatened by our government if you go to Cuba....Where is the justice for the american people at the government dictates to us where, what we can do and go. So we are told what we are allowed to do and where to go not any different then Cuba, China and the other 3 world countries do to their people. Explain the justification of this to us.....thank you......

    January 15, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
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