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

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

 Weigh in on the South Carolina Democratic debate.

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. Art A

    1. Ask all how is the Irag war being Financed.
    2.If they say the World Bank, ask at what rate.
    3. Then ask who are the Major investers supporting the World Bank.
    4. Ask why any good Business enity would support a losing investment.
    5. Ask, Does the American People realize how the war is being financed?

    January 15, 2008 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  2. Gerald

    Mr Blitzer, Mr Johns and Mrs Malveaux
    I commend you for your transparency regarding the questions to be presented to the democratic candidates. But also caution you to understand the seriousness that many of us on this page take the questions that we are asking. An thus please do not make the mistake of failing to address the questions that have been posed in a representative manner, and run the risk of alienating many of you most avid viewers.

    To all candidates; Many of you campaign on the promises to the American people yet no doubt have deep desires to bring change to the entire world. Which, in your role as president you will have the power to influence. It might seem like a easy answer while on the campaign trail, but what will guide your decisions while in office. The promise to unite the american people behind your reforms or using your "good judgement" to make tough decisions internationally even if it sometimes forces you to be a unilateral decider?

    Isnt trumpeting your desire for unity at the same time as your desire for change
    a unrealistic promise in America today?


    January 15, 2008 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  3. Kim Friedrich

    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.

    Thank you,

    January 15, 2008 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  4. Tricia Cunningham

    I want to know what the canidates are going to help fight chronic diseases when 7 of 10 deaths in the US are due to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., 75 cents of every health dollar we spend in the US is spent to treat chronic disease, and One in three of today’s first graders will develop diabetes in their lifetime if we take no actionThis is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

    January 15, 2008 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  5. James Brown ( Independent )

    Wolf ,

    I think the entire country want's Hillary Clinton to explain in "DETAIL" her claim to 35 years experience , and if she goes into her years of being the first lady ,have her explain just who was running the country , her or Bill.

    January 15, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  6. Pat Hanley

    Recently congress passed legislation that required automobile makers raise the MPG of all cars over the next several years. Part of this bill also called for extending the tax breaks oil companies are now receiving. I have several questions;
    1. How did Obama and Clinton vote
    2. In this time of raising budget defeciets and oil companies making record profits how can anyone justify giving an extention of tax breaks to these companies

    January 15, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  7. Jeremiah

    I would ask the candidates: Why did you oppose the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, a piece of legislation that a large majority of americans wanted and the supreme court upheld, and which banned a gruesome procedure in which a fetus is delivered until only its head remains in the woman, its skull is punctured, and its brains are sucked out?

    January 15, 2008 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  8. Tracy Lorraine

    America is hemmoraging middle class jobs. The ease of opening plants in foreign countries and the imbalance of imported/exported goods has crippled industries employing hundreds of thousands of citizens. The country's current economic situation is a direct result. What specifically would you do to encourage growth in this sector?

    January 15, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  9. Victoria

    Why has so little been mentioned regarding the fact that Senator Obama was raised as a Muslim. Surely this is of great concern to the people who may or may not be considering voting for Senator Obama. I would like to hear the answer regarding the truth about the Senator's relious beliefs. America does not need a future President of Muslim faith.

    January 15, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  10. Michael

    I am newly married. My wife and I have our first baby on the way. I own a small business; incorporated, and it is operated solely by me. I have no healthcare because I am told that it will cost more than my mortgage to insure my family.
    All I hear from these candidates is how going to "fix" healthcare so my child will be covered. And they are going to do it by taxing the corporations to gain funding and ease the burden on me the individual. OK...so now I am a corporation who can't afford healthcare for my employee; me, because my business is now taxed to the point that I have to pay myself less. Tell me again how you are going to "fix" things?

    January 15, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  11. Jason Kiss

    To All Candidates:

    I am a son to a widowed Middle Class Mother and she has just lost her house to foreclosure and declared bankruptcy due to credit card companies unfairly raising interest rates. How would you handle the housing and interest rate issues here in the US?

    January 15, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  12. Julie

    To Senator Obama: Do you think that the civil rights legislation would have been passed without a president like Lyndon Johnson, who had all the connections and power he had in congress, twisting the arms and getting the job done? ( I am old enough to remember this time and in fact was a VISTA Volunteer in 1966 and 67 – and I am a huge fan of Martin Luther King, Jr., however, Senator Clinton is correct, it wouldn't have gotten done without a president like LBJ. Shame on the Obama campaign and the media for taking her comments out of context,)

    January 15, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  13. Samar

    Please ask: will you all use the Pro Israel card to win votes rather than adopt a fair policy towards the whole issue of the Israeli Palestinian question that hurts our foreign policy the most?

    January 15, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. ROBERT BROWN JR, Warner Robins, Ga

    Question For All Candidates

    Black Americans and others rioted in the 60s and 70s for change, more rights, and a chance at the American Dream in the pursuit of happiness. Business and home ownership loans, better jobs with pay and better opportunities were attempted, many were rejected because of ill policy, practices and trust (1) Do you think that the main cause and effect of drowning of those dreams in the 60s and 70s is directly related to the perpetuating apathy in the Black Community today coupled with a lack of involvement of their younger Black Americans in the political process has spread to all people and in all societies nationwide caused by a lack of trust in political leadership to solve/resolve problems and (2) Can you support a policy of broad decision-making input-inclusion with change.

    January 15, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  15. Chris

    All of the democrats seem to be discussing some form of universal health care. I recently spent some time in the UK, and think there are some serious problems with the socialized medicine system they have in place, and it frightens me to think that the US could be on the same road. I would like to know the candidates' justification for wishing to implement universal, government funded healthcare, and if they have any thoughts on avoiding some of the pitfalls seen in other countries.

    January 15, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  16. Rodney Gaspard

    I would like to ask the Clinton campaign to make a pledge that they will no longer make attacks or remarks towards the Obama campaign by using Bill Clinton, supporters, Black politicans, Black celeberties, Pastors, or any friends of the Clintons. As a registered democratic I need to take a serious look at all the candidates to choose who will truely able to fix the major problems of education, economy, healthcare, environment, immigration, tax system, and poverty

    Thank you
    Rodney Gaspard
    Flushing, NY

    January 15, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  17. Ed

    For Senator Clinton

    In a region of the world, where they show no respect to women, what makes you think that you wou;d be effective?

    January 15, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  18. Happy, Bellaire, Texas

    Please ask the candidates this: If their healthcare insurance plans are put into effect whereby everyone is covered and has to pay something for insurance , who is going to pay for the treatment of illegal aliens at public hospitals? Are we going to stop them at the border and require them to pay for their medical care before they are allowed to continue on to the interior of the country?

    January 15, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  19. Frank

    My question is to Senator John Edwards.

    Sen. Edwards, I found it rather strange that your campaign offered a fiscal stimulus package for the econmony a few weeks before Sen. Clinton. However, while I have watched CCN everyday during that period, I did not read on its website or see on its coverage any mention of your package until Sen. Clinton offered one followed by Sen. Obama. Do you think that some media outlets are biasly trying to pick the issues and thereby the peoples' candidate by not giving you your due?

    January 15, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  20. BG

    If she were elected, does she think that the historical impact of her election as the first female president is diminished by the fact that many (if not most) of her support comes from those who view her as a surrogate for her husband?

    January 15, 2008 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  21. Ben Lightfoot

    A question for the candidates: Given that we have a great volume of imports from China (formerly referred to as Communist China) and a ban on imports from Cuba, to what extent would you normalize relations with Cuba if you become our President?

    January 15, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  22. Laurie Sampson

    Will you prosecute the Bush Administration to the fullest extent of the law for their many crimes...illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, illegal warrentless wiretapping, Katrina, and on and on? Or will you say "We must move on" and allow the criminals to go free, like Iran/Contra and Watergate?

    January 15, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  23. Tom in Greenville, SC

    Thank you for the forum Wolf and CNN.

    1) Should voters really care about who was president when the Civil Rights Act was passed? Would there have been a bill to sign at all had it not been for Martin Luther King, Jr.?

    2) With high-school kids creating cars that run on soy-bean oil, what specific initiatives does either candidate have in mind to create a completely environmentally friendly automobile in the very near future in the U.S.?
    Are we not the same country who safely sent man to the moon? Shouldn't we be able to mass produce an engine that runs on something other than crude oil.

    Thanks again,

    January 15, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  24. MO

    What is your biggest personal regret? Not something political, but personal.

    January 15, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. Rudy

    For Senators Barack & Hillary:

    Please explain why all U.S. Citizens cannot have the same, identical health insurance coverage as you. I do not want to hear about your specific plans. I want to know why we are less entitled than our government officials; our employees.

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