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. space guy

    I would like to hear every candidates plan of how they plan to reduce the 5 yr gap of the shuttles successor, especially Obama's plan to delay the Constellation program another couple of years. What are their committments to NASA and the support of science and engineering. Also ask of how they think the media portrays the space program these days. The only time that the media gets interested when there is only a catastrophe or when NASA is under somekind of investigation.

    January 20, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Gary K

    One reason for the President's initiative to go back to the Moon and on to Mars was to excite students and to encourage them to study in the areas of science, engineering and technical subjects. All of the Democratic candidates, if they have said anything at all about space exploration, have said they would curtail or defer President Bush's Vision. How will you encourage the students ? What should they strive for ?

    January 20, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Connie Ciekanski

    To: Senator Clinton . 50 million Americans are without healthcare as you know. When you were the first lady you wanted universal health care, then went silent for 7 years. Some say the lobbyists paid many senators in Washington money to keep quiet. Is this true? Did you drop it because Washington lobbyists are that powerful?
    I would like to know how Senator Obama feels as well.
    Senator Edwards, I have heard you on this matter, and as a small business owner I cannot afford to pay for my employees to have health care. Making it mandatory just closes small business.

    January 21, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  4. elziax

    Name one thing, that, as a candidate for president of the United States of America, you would NOT do to get the nomination of your party.

    January 21, 2008 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  5. Priscilla

    To all candidates: Where do you stand on autism I see a few candidates have a couple of sentences in the autobiography. Please tell us what you plan to do with the insurance companies to get our kids the therapy we need. My husband and I are a middle class family and we can't afford the therapy that our daughter needs. Will you designate money to this cause?

    January 21, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  6. Autism Advocate

    The diagnosis of Autism in this country has reached epidemic proportion. Parents are faced with a multitude of treatment options. However, paying for treatment for an individual with Autism is quite costly and insurance companies are discriminating against individuals with Autism by denying coverage. As President, what are you planning to do to address ending this discrimination and getting families living with Autism the help they need and deserve?

    January 21, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. Jeffrey Jones

    Senator Clinton: On the cover of the Jan. 21 issue of Newsweek you were quoted as having said, "I found my own voice". I can understand publicly supporting your husband's positions while he was President however, as a seven-year United States Senator shouldn't you have been speaking with your "own voice" long ago?

    January 21, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Liz

    What steps would you take to help individuals with Autism. Today, 1 in every 150 child is being diagnosed, and the numbers are still rising. These children are our future and the future for them is not promising without intervention from all levels of government.

    January 21, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. steve

    How will your NASA space policy differ from the Bush space policy?

    January 21, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. joel

    I hope this issue below gets addressed:

    The question of how to handle Iraq is no longer as simple as 'Pro-war' or 'Anti-war'. How votes were cast, or would have been cast, in 2003 will not pursade me to vote one way or the other. What is each candidate's solution to ending the Iraqi conflict in such a way that will not leave the region vulnerable to terrorist encampments or our country to future terrorist attack?

    January 21, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Russ

    A Question to all candidates:
    The US is in need of a plan to reduce our dependence on oil. Prior administrations talk about the same approaches of conservation, ethanol solar,etc. These are good but minimal solutions. Space related technologies such as space solar energy can provide a significant impact on the problem. Will any of the candidates treat the energy problem by pursuing tecnological solutions like space solar power?

    January 21, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. Thaddeus

    On this day of reflections on equality I would ask a question about education. Specifically ,how do we address the inequality of public education afforded to children who live in areas of poverty. As a public school teacher, I am against public funding of charter schools because I feel we need to fix our current educational system

    January 21, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Shirley, Summerville, SC


    They want to be president of this country, right.

    Ask them to tell you what disability is striking one out of every 150 births in this country today (predominantly males)?

    It's AUTISM Wolf !!!!!!!!!


    What do they propose to stop the spread/continuation and help those already affected?


    January 21, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. Moi

    Re: NCLB – I would like to know if any of the candidates are going to get rid of NCLB, and if not, WHY not? Also, for those who are going to keep it, yet "overhaul" it, where are you going to get the funding, how much will you allocate? How will you fund the schools?

    Re: The arts in education: The unfunded mandate NCLB is KILLING public schools, taking money and forcing teachers to teach to the tests, and schools are cutting arts programs left and right. It has been proven over and over that the arts are more than beneficial to a child's education. What will you do to restore the arts programs – whether or not you keep or get rid of NCLB? Kids need to learn to think – and arts programs help them do this!!!

    Re: Special Education: I would like to know how you plan to help the schools with funding for special education needs? They will continue to fight the parents as long as they cannot get the money elsewhere; our school is rural and does not have the tax base to support the huge influx of special needs children that have entered in the last 8-10 years.

    Re: Autism: I have a 16 year old son with autism who might be able to go to college, yet cannot (due to the nature of his autism) take SAT-type testing. He has straight As in school with no adaptations. I would like to know how you propose he get into a 4-year college (we are rural and do not have a community college near us, and he cannot drive). It would be nice if he use his mind in a job that pays enough to support himself, and be a contributing member of society, instead of ending up living in a cardboard box.

    Re: Autism services for adults: I would like to hear details about plans you have for services, housing, health care, etc. for adults on the spectrum. Many of us have no one to care for our children after we are gone, so this is important.

    January 21, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Moi

    Are any of the candidates intending to get rid of NAFTA?

    January 21, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Kady from California

    FOR all the Candidates-both parties: How is space development and exploration contributory to the US and world, and what is your position for current and future funding, and for what purposes? (Note to Wolf Blitzer: This question is unfiltered and non-partisen to find out how much our candidates understand how space programs have contributed to our economy and the American standard of living)

    January 21, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Dave Hamilton

    How will you challenge insurance carriers in such a way as to return health care to a system whose democratic goals help all citizens achieve and maintain health and not a profit driven commodity . What is the legislatures role ? Why not a government health care system for everyone without health insurance ?

    January 21, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. Robert Hill

    Please ask Hillary: If elected President, what role will Bill play in the White House? Will he be as active as you were when he was President?

    January 21, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Roger Kuhlman

    Wolf, you should ask Hillary Clinton what she specifically means by saying that "No woman is illegal." That statement is powerful. At the very least I see it is as a pledge by Senator Clinton that if she is elected she is going to seek amnesty for all illegal aliens in our country, expand legal immigration to reunite all members of the extended families of those illegal aliens, and increase the numbers of other foreign workers legally entering America to work even further. Yet this statement could have even broader applicability if Senator Clinton subscribes to the philosophy that nations and borders are arbitrary constructs and that citizens of nations can not decide who can and can not reside in that country. 'No woman is illegal' would then mean the United States can not tell any foreign woman she can not live here. Only she can make that decision.

    I think the American voters deserves a clear explanation of the views and programs each of the democratic candidates has on the subject of illegal immigration and immigration reform.

    Roger Kuhlman
    Ann Arbor, Michigan

    January 21, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. amanda bailey

    What has happened to the separation of church and state? Why are so many decisions being religiously based nowadays?

    January 21, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Ed K.

    To all candidates. Would you set up an agency like NASA that's main goal is to find a new source of energy? If yes, when.

    January 21, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Isaias

    Autism is an epidemic that affects not only afflicted but also their families and their communities. In the 70's the incidence is 1/ 10,000 and now it is 1/150. The Federal law provides protection and rights according to the IDEA Act but does not provide for any funding. For most parts the individual states have to finance the costs which means underfunding and lack of the much needed help for the students and their families. If you were elected, how would you remedy this problem?

    January 21, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Mike

    A series of unfortunate events has left you stranded, presumably for life, on a deserted island with one of the other two candidates on the stage. Which of the other candidates would you choose to be stranded with, and why?

    January 21, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Katie, PA

    Wolf, I would like to ask the candidates how they intend to turn around our failing educational system. Would they leave the "No Child Left Behind" policy in place or scrape it and develop a new plan? Please give specifics.

    January 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. Shelly

    My son was recently diagnosed with autism. Until now I never knew that insurance companies in Illinois do not have to cover any care related to autism. And very few insurance companies offer these much needed services without being mandated to.

    With the quickly increasing rate of autism there are going to be thousands of children unable to get the therapies needed to insure their ability to function as adults.

    Are you willing to make laws mandating these services be covered by insurance companies?

    January 21, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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