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
What are your thoughts on Congress giving themselves a pay raise seeing how the economy is today?
To all the Democratic candiates:
How does your campaign's staff composition, management style, overall philosophy, and responses to adversity reflect your Presidential leadership style? How would you contrast your campaign's approach to the rival campaigns?
The manner in which a candidate runs their campaign can say a lot about how they will lead the country, and we have three very different approaches among the front-runners.
I live in a state bordering Mexico. I have 2 college degrees and a large student loan debt. Despite having 2 degrees, I'm not being considered for jobs because I'm over qualified and/or I don't speak spanish. The majority of these jobs are being offered to spanish speaking individuals without degrees or diplomas. Most of the individuals I've spoken to are here on work permits. There are thousands of graduates in the same position in my state. Most of us are homeless or living with our parents because we can't afford anything else. The only jobs we hold are temporary ones. What is going to be done to help this situation?
ITS TIME TO CONSIDER WHO CAN WORK WITH
CONGRESS I DONT THINK REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS
WILL WORK WITH CLINTON, THEY HAVE A VENDETA
WITH THE CLINTONS
WHO CAN WORK WITH BOTH PARTYS
AND GET SOMETING DONE
Ask Barak Obama, why does a healthy, young, good looking, and accomplished person such as himself, want to put himself and his family through all of the unfair criticism, the older people's idea that America can't elect him, the Republican slime machine, and the Clintons? Is it worth it? I do not see a benefit to him. I think if given the chance, you would make a great president, but I have been in Barack's position on a lower level. It is very hard and very stressful. I moved on to a different position and my life is much happier now without trying to break down everyone's ideas of how I am "suppose" to be. I am so ashamed of Bob Johnson, but forgive him he is just a man of his era. I will be so glad when the young take over. I really believe our generation will be the greatest because we do not have the baggage of the older generation. What are your thoughts?
Judging by the present and future financial out looks, Would any of the canindates be willing to repeal the Bankrupcy Laws pass by our current president and do you think the governnment is doing enough to protect American consumers from unfair business practices from corperations in regards to restablishing credit.
I want to know more about socalize medicine. Is it the same as they have in England where you can wait months to get an appointment? How much would people have to pay, because, we know it is not free.
Is it both Bill and Hill that is running for office?
Are you serious?
I read through many of the questions posted, and about 90% of them fell into three categories:
1) Question designed to directly attack a candidate they didn't like
2) Random rant about murder/corruption/criminals in office
3) Question about completely irrelevant topic
But it brings to mind the real issue in your debates, which is that all answers must be limited to a minute or two.
Your citizenry is trained to respond to soundbytes and one-liners and they don't think beyond that, partially because no one ever talks beyond that.
Now that there's only 3 Democrats, I'd ask you to give them Each 10 minutes uninteruptted to lay out in detail one change they intend to make, in detailed terms not broad statements about change, but actually what they'd seek to do and how, then actually explain
I am curious aobut Hillary Clinton's political experience. She has stated in mny interviews that she has the experience to change Washington. It seems to me that she's attempting to rely on the political experience of her husband and not her own. Perhaps this may be the information I need to make my decision on whom I will vote for in the next election.
I also question the character of a man who has admitted cocaine use. I could not in good faith support such a man for election to the highest office in our land.
And to think that so many made such an issue over Bill Clinton's remark "I tried it but didn't inhale."
Granted, that was a silly remark, but essentially he was saying he did NOT smoke pot.
Now here we have Obama not only saying he smoked pot, but also used the narcotic cocaine.
To me, it calls into question his personal character and judgment.
Will CNN ask Obama more about this?
Certainly the Republicans will raise this as a serious character issue should he get the nomination.
Question For Edwards.
Have you been running for VP for Obama since you .5% win over Hillary in Iowa? You seem to try and side with him on EVERYTHING he has to say as of late. You even jumped on the Hillary bashing? Why do you think we would want to vote for you when you have no spine of your own?
To Congressman Kucinich:
You stand before us at the podium only after a Nevada judge forced MSNBC, GE, and ABC to honor their initial debate invitation to you. How does your attempted exclusion from the debate relate to your relationship with corporate interests, and how are you different from Senators Clinton, Obama, and Edwards in terms of corporate connections?
This question is directed at all candidates:
As a college student from a middle class family, my parents are struggling to pay my tuition. My mother even spent the majority of her inheritance from her parents to ensure that I get a good education. The Bush administration slashed funding for student loans and PELL grants, leaving many students in worse economic situations than I am high and dry. What do you plan to do about the rising costs of education, and how do you plan to ensure that every student who is willing to work hard can get the college degree(s) necessary to compete in an ever diversifying job market?
To Senator Clinton:
How is your universal health care plan better than Senator Obama's?
Please make sure that Obama is grilled this time. I and many other Americans are tired of him getting a free pass in these debates with no hard questions asked or him not answering the question's.
If American's are in his cult, I think they should hear what he really stands for and his lack to answer the questions.
Mrs Clinton - You have talked a lot about your 35 years of experience. What experience are you talking about and how is it relevant to the Presidential race?
To former Senator Edwards:
How is your universal health care plan better than that of Clinton or Obama, and how does this reflect your superior commitment to the poor and working classes?
Hey "Bambie," you are incredibly uninformed. Barack Obama's "hometown" is not Kenya. If it was, he wouldn't be able to run for President, because one has to be born in this country in order to be a Presidential candidate. And Kenya is not a "town," it is a country in Africa from where some of Obama's relatives hail. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!
To Senator Obama:
How can you continue to refuse to support same-sex marriage when marriage by any other name is just another form of "separate but equal"? How can LGBTQ voters feel like you have our backs when you, like every other candidate here except Congressman Kucinich, are complicit with our second-class citizenship?
To Obama, Clinton, and Edwards:
Do you support the attempts of MSNBC, its parent company General Electric, and ABC to exclude Congressman Kucinich from the debate tonight?
To all of the Candidates:
Please be clear on your definition of midddle class-
What is the highest dollar amount of of annual income a middle class family can earn before they are no longer considered middle class?
This is for all the candidates:
What would you consider an impeachable act for a president or vice-president?
To all of the candidates:
If you believe a tax cut is a tax cut for the rich, do you then believe that a ciggarrette tax hike is a tax on the poor?
It is so sad we have Johm McCain saying "we should be in Iraq for a 100 years the same as Japan and Korea" Why? why should we control a Country (Iraq) that it is fact their was no reason to go there?. This is not Nation Building or Freedom this is building an Empire, look up the word Empire, we cover it with the word democracy.
What would it cost to occupy Iraq for a 100 years? and why do we have an Embassy the size of the Vatican and cost over a Billion dollars? last count 750 million, but it was not done yet.
CNN nor Fox gave this any attention.
We are 60 trillion in debt, including Social Security and medicare, the dollar is dropping, gold is over 900 an ounce, oil almost a 100. The fed is printing money as a fast as it can, Greenspan gave us" Sub Prime" or the real word "bad Loans"
No one goes to jail over this no CEOs not the Fed not Wall Street
Now the govt wants to bail out the banks, the specualtors, and make us pay for their mistakes. We can not afford it!!
Please other than Ron Paul that has real answers to these problems please make these candidates give real answers not this "get a vote" answer but soemthing that says they understand the economy and the Consitiution. Which again other hthan Ron Paul none of them could answer a question on the Constitiution.
Please no more questions on religion or the Bible, It is the Economy We are broke!!!
For all the candidates:
Autism is an epidemic in this country. Research is underfunded and narrowly focused while treatment is difficult to secure through insurance. What will you do to address this staggering health issue? Will you be willing to face down the insurance industry over treatment? Will you be willing to face down the pharmaceutical industry about thimerosal and live virus exposure as contributing factors to the rise in Autism?