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. Bob McD

    Barack wants to get people to think he is for finding ways to secure nuclear waste but among his other contributors are executives of Exelon Corp., the largest nuclear power operator in the nation. In 2005, Obama talked in a Senate hearing of leaving "on the table" the building of new nuclear power plants – the kind of change that has Exelon ecstatic. How can he speak out in opposition to nuclear programs but take Exelon's money?

    January 11, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Brian from Alamo, CA

    As a person in my early 30's earning a decent living and paying my taxes, it saddens me that I've pretty much given up hope that I'll ever see any of the money I've contributed to Social Security. Most analysts predict the well will be dry before the majority of the voters in this election reach retirement, forcing those of us who can afford to save some money to provide for ourselve through 401k's and IRA's. Those who do not have the means to save are in more dire straights. Assuming that one of the candidates actually fixes health care as they say they will, there will be more people living longer and further taxing the system and exacerbating the issue.

    I would like to know if the candidates agree with the above assessment, and if elected, what would they do about it?

    January 11, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Joseph, in Syracuse

    Why can't any canidate say what should be said. I know no one like taxes. But, how does any one expect the government to pay for all the programs we need? They need taxes. I am willing to pay my share. Yes the wealthy need to put theres in 10 fold. Also with univeral health care. I know this sounds dumb but why wont any one mention Michael Moore's Sicko? People say Socialized medicine is so bad and we will not have top noch medical care and cures wont be possible. It works for Canada, England, France. They are the healthiest in the world? Open your mouths and stop being afraid. Speak up for America. Democrates and Republicans.

    January 11, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. realworld

    Why is CNN so bias with the democratic candidates. All your reporting shows that you support Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama is leading with total votes as of yet and every report on here you mention hillary first before Barack Obama and edward. Isn't this supposed to be in the other in which they stand right now on the democratic result board????

    January 11, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. David W

    One issue that has had very little discussion is education. I know it is a state's rights, but thanks to No Child Left Behind the federal government has stepped in. We compare poorly internationally in education. We have good teachers leaving the occupation in droves due to low pay and a negative perception. We have colleges spitting out new teachers in no time who have good intentions, but just aren't ready for the classroom without some proper training. (How much money did Carson Palmer earn while sitting for a year learning how to play quarterback for Cincinati, and yet we throw teachers in right away.) And finally our schools our on an antiquated agrarian calendar.

    Is there a fix for our nation's school systems?

    January 11, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. citizen

    public transportation. Why haven't I hard any candidate talk about it? I'd like to know if someone on that platform has the courage and has a plan to take our cities back from the automobile.

    car accidents are the #1 killer of teenagers, they guzzle gasoline and they eat up the landscape of a city.

    God, I spend so many hours in my car every day listening to advertising for cars on the radio!

    I dream of living in places where I can walk. Can a presidential candidate help do this? Our architecture is not that good and it's so important too.

    I'd like to know what they'll do about it.

    January 11, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Stuck In The Middle

    Thanks for asking, Wolf. I am fairly technolgoy savvy, but am not quite up to submitting YouTube debate questions just yet! I am a middle of the road voter highly concerned about our national image, but also concerned with our national security. I will vote for Democratic change, but don't understand the candidates position on national security.

    As the next President, how would you CHANGE the Patriot Act, foreign and domestic wiretapping and other terrorism prevention/national defense measures instituted by President Bush? As highly informed current leaders, you must have some opinion on what should stay, what should go and what can be improved.

    I am truly hoping for some insight into how the candidates would address these valid issues involving in our national security – not a tirade against the current President. Feel free to evolve my question as needed to make it pointed.

    January 11, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. jack miller

    to mauve , who thinks only college people deserve to live without stress, do you realize how many people that would help and put a serious decline to crime. people who think only college people deserve to live with money makes me sick inside, because theres a lot of people that believe that.

    January 11, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. lluluadorl


    January 11, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. irma

    What was Sen. Obama's title and what information did he have that qualified him to make him take a definite stance against the Iraq War at the time it began?

    January 11, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. John Covington

    For all Presidential Candidates

    As a 15 year old, I want a future planet that is not been devastated by my parents generation. A planet to raise my children on. One without higher that high sea levels, one with glaciers and rainforests, with polar bears and clean air.

    All of the presidential candidates have a stance on reducing greehouse gases and using renewable resources, but some are very very loose and leniant. They will not reduce enough carbon to offset the effects of global warming fast enought, like plans that only reduce carbon by 35 % by 2050 (Obama).


    ______John Covington

    January 11, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. tasha

    oh yea – public transportation! i wish I could ride the bus and train more! i spend so much money on gasoline and I have been to Paris and Madrid and I love that I can walk there!

    God, how many Americans spend their lives in cars!

    January 11, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Rodney

    Could we ask YOU something? Please stop calling it the Democratic party. It's the Democrat party. The word Democrat is both a noun and an adjective. Democrat primary, Democrat convention, Democrat candidates, ect.

    January 11, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. Jesse Arzate

    Senator Clinton:

    Two part question:

    1. If the surge continues to show success in Iraq, will you be as in inclined to conduct a large-scale rapid withdrawal of forces or will that withdrawal be based on key milestones?

    2. Assuming that forces are withdrawn, what would be your response if the region immediately begins to further destabilize and Al Qaeda (or other terrorist organizations) gain a foothold, which poses a threat to the US?

    January 11, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. Christian

    public transportation is right up my alley! I am an Architect and I want to see that happen!

    January 11, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. Joan

    I have two questions:

    1. President Bush sent John Bolton, someone who does not believe in the role or existence of the UN, as the US ambassador to the UN. Actions like these have not only weakened the UN, they have also eroded any level of trust or respect of the US in the international community.
    How important or significant is the UN to you? If it is important, what would you do to strengthen the UN?

    2. As we can tell from the Republican presidential candidates, there are serious differences between the Republicans and the Democrats on many issues like health-care, the economy, foreign policy and a myriad of social issues. So when you talk about bi-partisanship or post-partisanship are you saying that you would be willing to make concessions on your ideas and current or future plans, in order to make it popular across party lines.

    January 11, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  17. Joshua

    What the candidates plans for cities/inner suburbs are and how these tie into global warming. Suburbanites/country dwellers don't like these issues, but both groups represent about 50 per cent of the population, it's us city people got some acknowledgment.

    January 11, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Mike, Boston


    I would like you to ask Hillary about her plans to get her health care proposal approved by congress and actually enacted. In 1993 when she led the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, she created a plan that was never adopted by congress. Since then, she has mentioned her experience with health care and claimed that she has "the scars to prove it."

    I would like to know what she would do if her plan met the same opposition? What will she do differently from 1993 to avoid those scars? Would a compromise health care plan be acceptable or even effective? Does she think her plan is politically tenable?

    Thanks. It would be very exciting to see this question in the debate. I'll be watching.


    January 11, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Jack Jett

    Clinton came out with an amazing economic plan today. While you have not mentioned it once, you have mentioned a phone call Bill Clinton made to
    Al Sharpton (at this point) 8 times. Eight freaking times.

    I would ask Mrs Clinton, how do you manage a campaign when the press makes so much money from bashing you?

    January 11, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Javier A

    I want to ask Senator Edwards, why does he uses the names of people hurt by the insurace companies on his campaing? How odes that realtes to the rest of America and how does he think is the way to solve that problem?

    January 11, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. Ruby Gibbs

    I would ask them to ignore new anchors such as you who try to bend people's thinking by putting their own twist on the news.

    January 11, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Joe

    I would like to ask the following question:

    Politicians who take a strict constructionist view of the constitution claim that the right to privacy is not guaranteed in the constitution. Others claim that such a right is granted under the penumbra of several of the amendments to the constitution. Would you support a constitutional amendment codifying American's right to privacy?

    January 11, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. Brian Feldman

    What will you do to address the country's chronic obesity and diabetes problem?

    January 11, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. Mary

    Also would like to ask what they think about the North American Union and what will they do to ensure the United States remains the United States and is not merged with Canada and Mexico.

    January 11, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but what policies or issues that affect the US could you propose that would have a "cross-over appeal" to the Republicans. Most of us agree that change is the government and fixing the economy is paramount. Be specific, how can you expect to govern and get legislation passed with a divided Congress. How will you govern from the middle?

    Mr. Blitzer, I'm a proud Democrat and these are seriously troubling times in our country. We need serious solutions not empty rhetoric and non-answers. Your performance in the debate is just as important as the candidates on stage.
    So what ever questions you ask; make sure they are hard hitting questions and don't let them off the hook easy.


    January 11, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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