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
A question for all candidates: As we all know, the drought in the south has really hurt farming this year, and is putting alot of farmers out of the buisness; yet i havent heard the first thing proposed about how to provide assistance to the farms, and how any candidate plans on helping whats provides this nation with its food and is a billion dollar industry?....thanks for considering my question.
Mr Blitzer,I have a question for all the candidates.What are your position on Executive Privilege! The Bush Administration has put a veil of secrecy around its actions domestically and in foreign relations using this privilege !
Please ask Mr. Obama how he can justify being a member of the inherently racist Congressional Black Caucus whose membership is limited to African-Americans. I do not want a President that belongs to a "Blacks Only" club. Racism is racism, no matter who practices it.
What will the candidates do about the sorry state of our nation's public schools? Will they commit to increase funding?
I'm interested to know how in touch the candidates are with the reality of the middle/lower class voters. Although during a debate they can't be challenged to grocery shop for a family of 4 with $75 for the weeks worth of groceries and cleaning products but I would like to know if they know how much a gallon of milk, loaf of bread, pound of beef and jar of formula are in their towns of legal residence.
Also they clearly know how to pander to voters nationwide but can they assemble a US map puzzle or name the states?
It is well past time that we have someone in office that is in touch with the middle and lower class. Perhaps were this to happen our domestic problems could take precedence over interfering in world matters.
This question is for Rudy Giuliani. You bring to fore your experience on National Security based largely on the events of September 11. What did you do on that dreadful day that any other Mayor wouldn't have done on that dreadful day?
Obama, please explain to the American people who have lost a child to drugs or have had their child's life ruined because of drugs how your drug use as a child is justified becasue of a father wound and emotional healing.
Also, and in light of George Bush's cocaine abuse and alcoholism, and how arrogantly he has managed this country and has side-stepped his responsibilities, I would like for you to comment on what you believe the social connotations are of this cocaine use.
I know cocaine is a frightening word to say in the media, especially when associated with the President of the United Stats, but I am a little bit confused because I think that a lot of people can say, "Oh, Bush snorted cocaine and he's president, this isn't a big deal. I'll get out of it."
It's hard, I know and I am in no way saying that you are disqualified entirely in my eyes, but my heart, my mind and my feelings cannot process this.
What response to have to tell someone who feels very strongly about this and feels that you are running too soon to know better.
Question to all candidates:
How much more free loot from Uncle Sugar's big gubmint coffers will you promise to give me if I vote for you? Bonus points for those who don't require me to get off my ever-expanding duff to earn it.
When will the government institute a policy of national "Universal Single Payer iPods?" Also, what line will I be required to stand in, in order to qualify for the 80 gig model?
When will the policy of nationwide extermination and systematic execution of anyone more conservative than, say, Noam Chomsky, begin?
(Teddy Roosevelt, where are you when your nation desperately needs you?)
I would like CNN to answer if they would be willing to run public transportation campaigns for the President of the United States to help change the hold and paradigm the automobile has on the American identity and Ameircan lifestyle and sense of worth.
Advertising works! Media works! How can you help the President of the United States move forward the awareness of such an important issue and help create a movement?
A question for all: All of you have preached the virtues of bipartisanship. Of all the current Republican candidates for President, who do you most respect (or admire, support, etc.) and why?
The Budget Plans from the Candidates are Unacceptable!!!
The War on Middle Class Citizens who are now currently undocumented Citizens; how are any Presidential Budget Proposals from any of the Candidates (Democrats and Republicans) will resolve and solve this problem when these undocumented citizens do not fit into any of their budgeted areas for relief?
A citizen (this exist) who is currently unqualified for unemployment insurances, unqualified for Social Security Disabilities, unqualified for Food Stamps, unqualified for housing, unqualified for medical insurances, unqualified for employment, unqualified for all Social Services Benefits …etc after the age of thirty-five (35). How are their budgets proposals or any for that matters, be beneficial to this undocumented citizens and relief this person from poverty, homelessness…etc?
I would like to know who and which Presidential Candidate can resolve this issue since, no current Governmental Agencies, State Political Leaders and the Presidential Offices has no solutions? Not even the more experienced and qualified Justices of the Law could come up with a solution. So what would make these Candidates for President, who is inexperienced, be able to resolve this issue when these are the same individuals who had premeditated this problem at their prospective job levels and State Levels and the issues are in existence today??? They ignored the option for resolution at their Job Levels and Governmental Offices, what would make them think they would resolve it when they are in the Presidential Office?
Under Mr. McCain’s plan of re-training at Community Colleges…etc. This is a revolving issue for disaster. Besides, these unemployed individuals are trying to use the money to pay for bills to stay from debts rather than paying for school, which was done once in their lives. Also, the Labor Dept re-trains everyone who are receiving Unemployment Insurances. The question is what happens when the unemployment insurances run out and the re-training they received from the Labor Dept. is not what employers/hiring companies want in an employee? These are the types of quagmire the Governmental Officials and Political Experienced Leaders have created. To summarize these are all out cries from the peoples which are unresolved and False Promises for corrections from Political Leaders and any/all Presidential Administrations, therefore is relief NULL?????Ms. C. Jugmohan
To CNN debate questioner :
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.
Certainly the Republicans will raise this as a serious character issue should he get the nomination.
How can Obama further explain his behavior/
Mr. Obama, every president seems to have a honey moon in his first year in office, one in which he can focus - and usually pass - one legislative priority to chart the course of his first term. Bill Clinton had health care (which failed), Bush had his tax cuts (which passed). What is yours?
This question is for Senator Clinton. Giving me a direct answer I need to know how you will improve the relations with other nations that will give us back our respect and standing in the world. Thank You!
How will you stop lobbies such as AIPAC from controlling the direction of this country and the decisions it makes? Will you be willing to give power back to the people of this country rather then fill your own pockets from contributions from lobbies with foreign interests in mind?
Atleast will you stop lobbies with foreign interests?
Why do we allow a foreign country such as Israel to have a lobby in this country, they have the intrests of Israel not America, all foreign lobbies should be stopped. Maybe then we actually be neutral.
A question to all candidates:
Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute (the appointed War Czar) recently said that a military draft is "always on the table" as an option. Several reports have discussed the fatigue on our soldiers and their families due to repeated deployments, reduced leaves, and embarrassingly low salaries, not to mention shady recruitment practices. Some officials have described our military as being at the "breaking point".
With no end to the Iraq war in the immediate future, and the on-going needs in Afghanistan, how will you repair the damage done to our military and increase enlistment without having to reinstitute a draft?
A question for all: As President, would you subscribe to Congress wasting it's time on frivolous issues like steriods in baseball when the economy needs their attention?
Why must it be CUT TAXES – OR – CUT SPENDING?? We want CUT TAXES – AND – CUT SPENDING.
Why must the questions be THIS OR THAT, when it can be THIS AND THAT?
Mary Snyder, on the border in southern New Mexico, watching the illegals walk down Highway 9.
I would like to know from Senators Clinton and Obama what the reason is for the fact that it has cost them so much more money per vote than it has cost Senator Edwards, so far in this primary season.
Please ask all the candidates,
Why was the "comprehensive" immigration bill which failed last year, not a form of amnesty for the many illegal immigrants in the US? After, this bill would have given these people exactly what they broke the law, or many laws, to get, which is, the legal right to stay and work in the US.
Why do the Democratic candidates support the rights of so many lawbreakers over the rights of legal, law abiding US citizens and legal residents?
After saying these words to General Petraeus:
“…your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, the report that you provided for us really requires a willing suspension fo disbelief.”
Ask Hillary if she owes Gen Petraeus an apology and is she willing to admit she was wrong about the surge?
Ask Hillary Clinton if she plans to reach over to the Republicans and compromise on contentious issues. Who does she see among Republicans as people she can work with?
What is Hillary's relationship with lobbyists especially when she takes donations from them. How do we know that these lobbyists will control her when she is President?
When will Hillary remove all troops from Iraq?
What if president would you do to address this epidemic of vaccine injured children, examples: autism, add/hd, asthma. bi-polar disorder, OCD, siezures, dyslexia, etc. Thirty million children, at least have been exposed to toxic levels of mercury and other chemicals used in vaccines required by law. Activists groups estimate that one in three children are damaged by mercury and these chemicals. Federal and state health officials, AAP, media, and many powerful political leaders have close ties to the pharmaceutical companies. How will you address this problem? Elaine Dow
Question to all Candidates:
You all speaking about Global Warming. Can we ask you, What you have personally done in your personal lifes to reduce Global Warming? One of the examples will be what type of Car or Automobiles you drive which reflects your life style change for the Global warming. If you are still driving that gas thristy Cars./ SUVs and you still speak about Global warming, dont think you been hypocrite?
As we become more and more aware of the effect of our presence on this planet, it is nice to see companies with new and innovative ideas to reduce this effect. With options like the MDI/Tata air powered car set to be released this summer, what will you do as president to make sure these innovative options are not interferred with by those who wish to maintain our current dependence?
I am a gay, 20 year old male from Rochester, NY and my question for the candidates is this: If elected, what will you commit to in regards to granting marriage rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender couples. And, beyond marriage rights, how will you ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans-gender young people in our nation are treated with respect and not ridicule in our schools and in our places of work.