January 11th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Blitzer: What would you ask the Democrats in South Carolina?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/11/art.sc.debate.cnn.jpg caption=" Weigh in on the South Carolina Democratic debate."]

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.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: South Carolina • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (2,911 Responses)
  1. LMorgan

    Wolf: Thank you for inviting voter participation! America will be watching, and in this instance, YOU will be our voice. :~)

    Before I get to my questions, I would like to plead for the response time limits to be adequate for the candidates to provide a full answer and to allow the viewers to gain a true sense of each candidate’s opinion. Please don’t let them evade the questions you ask (yours or any of the ones you might choose from among these posts.), ask for specifics and don’t let them be vague/rhetorical. This election process is far enough in now that America both wants and needs full explanations.

    The following issues and questions are the ones that I most desire all three of the Democrat candidates answer:

    1.) Describe in detail what your plan is for turning around the nation’s economy, and how/why it will work.

    2.) Describe in detail what your plan for healthcare in America is, and how/why it will work. Please also advise how it will benefit people of all socioeconomic levels.

    3.) Describe in detail your position on the issue of Global Warming, specifically your stance on nuclear energy and why. Please also describe the correlation between your policy and its effect on the nation’s economy. What, if anything, have you in your personal, private life as a citizen done to impact global warming?

    4.) Give an overall view on what your administration’s philosophy will be on foreign affairs. Advise America how you would have responded differently, or the same, as President Bush to the 1/7/08 incident with speedboats owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard attacking our warships in the Strait of Hormuz.

    Once again, thanks to you and CNN.

    January 11, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. dan, tx

    Obama has extensive and detailed plans to answer everyone's questions. Anyone who says he doesn't give details and doesn't have a plan has not taken the time to look.

    If you really want to criticize Obama go to his web site, look up his stand on the issues. Listen to his speeches on the issues. Then come back here and criticize his plans. But to just say you don't know the details is simply to say that you don't care enough about this to simply look at the information that is already available.

    Don't comment about Obama's lack of plans or experience until you go to the web site and check out the answers.

    I'm not asking you to vote for Obama, I'm asking you to be fair. Go to the web site. Not finding the answer to the question you have. Ask on the blog. There is no question that you have that can not be answered. Don't choose ignorance over knowledge. Inform yourself.

    January 11, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Tasha Jenkins

    Amalgamated endorsed Hillary? I want to know if she will stand up for public transportation! Oh my God – I know she must have a plan and I'd like to know what that plan is.

    I agree with Tristan Penton – America's first choice in conserving oil is developing our public transportation!

    I'd like to know how she intends to lead public transportation to the level that Europe has so that so many children don't die in cars, we stop guzzling gasoline and stop living in our cars.

    Republicans and Democrats spend hours in their cars every single day and I'm pretty sure that car accidents are the #1 cause of death for teenagers in the United States!

    Oh, please! Ask this question!!! I really want to know!! I'm sure all of AMerica wants to know! This is so important!!

    January 11, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. RW

    I want each candidate asked what their specific solution is to the economy. I don't want general answers. I want their detailed plans for expanding the economy. And I want their solution to the inevitable recession.

    January 11, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Pierre, NY, NY

    Be like Gibson on ABC. stay out of the conflicts, let the candidates handle themselves. The ABC debate was far and away the most informative debate that I've watched so far in the process.

    January 11, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Connie, Tn.

    What do you propose to do about bring manufacturing jobs back to this country?

    Do you think we can survive as a "service" country?

    January 11, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. RUBEN


    January 11, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Henry George Wolf VII

    According to The Political Compass, all Democratic candidates (except Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel) are quite authoritarian. The Republican candidates (except Ron Paul) are all more authoritarian, but why would the American people support any candidate that would interfere in their daily lives? Especially when they are not infringing on the rights of of anyone?

    January 11, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Rob, Shrewsbury, MA

    Gee, Wolf, this is fun...thanks for the invitation. How about another one:

    What is the "right" marginal income tax rate?

    Follow up: Why not one percent higher?

    Follow up: Why not two percent higher?

    January 11, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Jim Russell

    1) Point out that the Republican Party wants Clinton to win. Why? Because they don’t think they can beat Obama, and 2) Obama is half white and half black. Why does the press always refer to him as black? By doing so, he is stereotyped in a negative manner. Why not refer to him as a white American and skip the Black inference.

    January 11, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Abe

    Two questions:

    1) Back in November the candidates were asked whether, if faced with a mutually exclusive choice between the two, they would choose a course of action most valuing human rights or national security. Barack Obama said that the two were not mutually exclusive, but missed the importance of the hypothetical question: which imperative is paramount? I would like to hear a definitive answer from him on this.

    2) Barack Obama's domestic policies include the proposal of a STOP FRAUD act, punishing mortgage fraud as one way to address the subprime mortgage crisis. He also proposes the use of antitrust laws to crack down on insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Would he also ramp up private rights of action as a way to address these problems? Would he allocate a portion of punitive damages recovered, if any, to public trusts devoted to remedying the health care and credit crises?

    January 11, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. waibi alex

    Let candidates ask each other one question.

    Ask Hillary and John why despite the loyal support over the years of black voters to the democratic party, they won't allow the black candidate with a credible crack at the presidency allowed a free pass at the nomination so that he focuses on the national race.

    January 11, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. Jordi from Princeton


    As a general question to all candidates:

    In an interview appearing in the year-end issue of TIME, Vladimir Putin suggested that NATO "is a leftover of the past" and suggested that joining NATO would be a restriction of Russia's sovereignty.

    In an era when nations such as Russia and the U.S. engage in unilateral military action with minimal international support or interference, how effective do you feel our NATO membership is and *as President* what changes, if any, would you make to our participation in international defense treaties?

    January 11, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Kim

    Wolf – Ask the candidates "Will you pardon the two Border Patrol agents who stopped an illegal alien from bringing in a million dollars worth of illegal drugs, and now face 11- and 12-year sentences while the drug smuggler was given immunity from prosecution?"


    Which is more important – a political endorsement or union endorsement and why?

    January 11, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Gerard de Rosnay

    My question would be :

    What are you going to do to restore the USA credibility around the world ?

    January 11, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Jason Brown

    For all candidates:

    First let me say I like all the democratic candidates (including Richardson who recently resigned) a great deal and believe they all have something to offer our federal government. Given that my first question is, in the spirit of uniting, would you be willing to have the others in your cabinet if you won, or be in the cabinet of the others if you lost or resigned?

    Would you commit to some republican appointments if you won, to make sure your administration reflects a wide array of American positions?

    It is easy to talk about uniting America and bringing change until details are provided because it is the details that differentiate us. Since you all want us to differentiate amongst the three of you, however, we require details. Based on the current environment, what are your top 3 goals to accomplish in the 4 years after you are elected, with details PLEASE!

    Thank You.

    January 11, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Ora

    Ask the candidates how they plan to deal with the $9 trillion debt that Bush and his "spend and borrow" buddies will leave the country. If they answer 'cut wasteful spending', have them identify exactly which programs will be cut and how much will saved from each program.

    January 11, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Fred

    Yes, Can you please ask Obama why he hasn't told anyone yet that he is actually black? The American people don't all realize this and it's not fair to some voters out there who are unsure which race he is. I mean, it's really hard to tell if he is or not and skin color is critical in an election. Also, could you ask Hillary if she is really just another rich white Democrat? Since, she was only claiming to be a Democrat last I heard.

    January 11, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. RUBEN


    January 11, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. S.K.M. Boston Mass

    "Senator Clinton, you compared Barack Obama's calls for untiy with those spoken by George W. Bush in 2000. As you know, there is no greater insult in the Democratic party than comparing someone to George W. Bush. Yet at the same time you have run a campaign with aggressive tactics. On Monday the 7th of January, you said that we face a real chance of having our next President tested with a terrorist attack in his early days, much like what almost happened in England when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister. Two of your surrogates compared Barack Obama to JFK and RFK, and in the same breath, they both mentioned that 'they were shot'. You had an ad out called 'Stakes', which is a similar name to the infamous add George W. Bush used in 2004 called 'the Stakes.' Is there any hypocrisy here?"

    January 11, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. MIchael Parodi

    It seems as though every administration from Kennedy to Bush has been involved in a major scandal. These scandals take the focus off of key issues by bringing the scandal center stage. In turn, it creates gridlock in Congress, moves the needs of the American people into the background and further diminishes the credibility of our politicians. If elected president, will you do everything in your power to maintain a scandal-free presidency by enforcing the forgotten ideal of "accountability" within your administration?

    January 11, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Chris, NY

    Barack Obama has attacked lobbyists, stated that they would have no place in his administration, and told voters he does not take lobbyist funding. Yet he had a state lobbyist as his New Hampshire co-chair, his co-chair in South Carolina is a state and federal lobbyist, he has now stated he could have lobbyists in his administration if they adhere to his rules, and he takes state lobbying money claiming that it is somehow different than federal lobbying money. Without attacking other candidates for taking lobbying money how does Obama square his words and actions and how does he explain the inconsistencies in his words? I also would like him to explain how taking state lobbyists money is some how better than taking federal lobbyist funding?

    January 11, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. JoshDC

    If each candidate was a member of the current U.S. Supreme Court, how would each vote on the challenge to the Washington, D.C. Gun Ban currently before the court and why?

    January 11, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Jimmy

    What is the full name of Obama and what unions support him. What religion does he have. All speak about CHANGE but none say what and how and who pays. I'm paying enough taxes now. Why are the Dem's for Universal healthcare? They should speak to the thousands that cross the border to the US from Canada each year for there health needs.

    January 11, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Annette Altomare

    MILITARY: What role can you play in helping to build our military and make it stronger? I think with the on-going war in so which many have disagreed, Americans need to be reminded, more than ever, the importance of self-sacrifice and duty to country. We need a stronger military! What will you personally do to assist that?

    January 11, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117