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. Margaret, Cincinnati OH

    I would love to ask the candidates you advocate pulling out of Iraq by a date-certain what is their picture of Iraq and the Middle East a month, six-weeks and a year after the American troops leave?

    It all sounds good, but there are consequences to the decision to pull out that I have not heard discussed.

    January 11, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Tristan Penton

    I would ask the Democrats in South Carolina – PLEASE, think deep and hard on these very crucial, controversial, but necessary issues:

    1). Black, White, Green, Yellow, Purple of Blue – what does it mean that Obama has admitted to not using cocaine once in a while – but actually abusing cocaine and that he is speculated to have sold the drug? What does that mean, please, as an American, black, white, green, yellow or purple – that if I ask you to request for him to be honest about how long he snorted cocaine and if he sold it that I run the risk of being called prejudiced? I am not at all. I am only asking for the best in the office. The most qualified and someone with experience and who has a lifetime of achievement and who has led a life that will be a role-model for a nation and those around the world.

    I also ask the South Carolina voters to think about how drugs, cocaine, marijuana, etc. have affected young people. That most people don't have the luck that Obama did with cocaine. That most people when they are caught serve time in jail and please tell me why we can't ask him this. Why is it that if we want to ask him this and bring this up into the forefront of the news we can't?

    2). I would like the voters in South Carolina to ask themselves honestly if they are voting for Obama because he is black or because he is the most qualified.

    3). ARe they voting for him because he is a good speaker and you identify with him or becuase he is the most qualified?

    4). I would like the voters in South Carolina to know that Obama has been in the senate for only 3 years, and has been present for only 50% of the voting in the Senate. The last year of his senate campaign he has been campaining.

    5). I would like the voters to know that we are all Americans, white, black, green,yellow purple and it is important that you see Obama is not qualified.

    His past is not a past of shame. I believe in people turning around.



    January 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Frank D. Elkins

    If your were president,how would you transform the Dept. of Homeland Security into a workable agency to protect our security? I won't accept the answer that it works now! It doesn't!

    January 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. BenB

    In the midterm election, we elected Dems to replace the failing Repubs. They have failed at achieving anything significant, due in part to a Republican president. If a Dem is elected, with the backing of the house and senate, what can you specifically guarantee to have signed into law in your 1st couple months as president?

    January 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Stephan Jorgensen

    All of the Democratic hopefuls pledge to withdraw US troops from Iraq. What will they say in response to conservatives who will charge that the new president is "cutting and running" ?

    January 11, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Al in Wpg

    Can any of the candidates name all states?

    January 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Emily

    One could argue that Partisanship is ruining our nation. You are all talking about change. How do you propose to be the change that you envision in terms of unifying such a politically divided nation? How do you plan to get Congress to work together and to work with you?

    January 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Lei An

    Mr. Blitzer,

    First of all, I want to say that I'm a great fan of yours.

    I'm really glad that Senator Obama has generated so much excitement during his campaign. He talks about bringing people together and changing the country.
    My question is when he does bring us together, where we are going? To do what? And how?

    Thank you very much and looking forward to the debate.

    January 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Margaret, Cincinnati OH

    Sorry – who advocate, not you advocate

    January 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. OpEdna

    Mr. Blitzer,

    I commend you for solliciting questions from the public.

    My question would be this.

    Hillary Clinton has repeatedly and publically told supporters that Barack Obama was opposed to the Patriot Act in 2001 and voted in favor of it in 2006. That is incorrect; Senator Obama worked with Senator Russ Feingold (WI) to revise the Patriot Act Renewal in 2006, a seperate bill from the 2001 act, and only after revisions had been approved did Obama (and Feingold) vote for the 2006 legislation.

    Yet she is directing attention away from her own voting record. She voted unapologetically for both for the Patriot Act AND the renewal. How does Senator Clinton feel it is fair to criticize Senator Obama on his vote when she voted twice in favor of the bill?

    Thank you.

    January 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Robert, Gastonia, North Carolina

    In light of recent events with Iranian speed boats antagonizing U.S. naval ships how do you stand as far as labeling the iranian guard a terrorist organization? Has your opinion changed, yes or no and give examples to back up your opinion.

    January 11, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Sharon Ray

    For Hillary:

    You keep touting your "experience" and accomplishments. Many people believe that being married to a president does not qualify as hands-on experience. What things have you accomplished on your own (not just worked toward) that you think qualify you to be president?

    January 11, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Al in Wpg

    Environment, environment, environment.... talk about it. PROBE!!!!!

    January 11, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Karen

    Ask John Edwards about the lack of news coverage of his campaign; Does he think it is fair? Why should the media have so much power in chosing the news it reports.

    January 11, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. Marc

    Mr. Blitzer,

    I am a legal gun owner. I am a hunter and competitive shooter. To say the least, shooting and gunsmithing are a hobby. My question for the candidates would be whether or not my rights as a gun owner will be severely altered if one of the respective candidates is elected into office. Specifically, I am inquiring about assault rifles which many decent people in America use for sport, hobby, and home defense.

    All the best,


    January 11, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. James Riswick

    I haven't heard enough about the environment in this campaign. Global warming is a problem that could have dire consequences on the United States and the world in general, but not much attention has been paid to it.

    What specific plans do the candidates have to combat global warming, and would they be prepared to ask Americans to change their daily routines, purchasing habits and basic energy use to help with the greater cause?

    January 11, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Jason

    I don't think any of the candidates have been asked yet about presidential signing statements. What do the candidates think about such statements, and do they think Bush's use of them threatens the rule of law?

    January 11, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Frank D. Elkins

    As president,how would you get the Shiittes to work with the Sunnis & Kurds for unity so we can get out of this mistake? The answer that the war was not a mistake is not acceptable!

    January 11, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. john hatfield

    I have watched over the last few years how people went out and got crazy bubbliciouse mortgages on houses they should not have been able to afford. Which in turn drove up prices to unresonable amounts. I have sat on the side lines waiting for this ponzi scheme to collapse in on itself... Now you want to bail out these people that didnt have the common sense to read what they were signing....
    I am concerned that we are going to bail out people who should learn from their mistakes.
    Who is going to give me money since I was smart enough to know that "housing doesnt always go up".. who is going to help me out for staying on the side lines waiting for this bubble to come to a end?

    What's next are we going to bail out people that cannot pay there credit card bills?

    January 11, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Ann


    The above candidates have been talking about their varying degrees of experience. The math for two of the candidates adds up – though I think Edwards' is a bit fuzzy. What really blows me away is Senator Clinton's math. She says she has 30+ years of experience. Is she counting her years as First Lady? I would really like to understand her math.


    January 11, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  21. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    Each candidate proposes raising the federal minimum wage to $9.50 (Edwards) or to match the inflation rate (Obama and Clinton). My question is this:

    Based on how the economy works, if one were to raise the minimum wage so drastically, and in return the unemployment rate goes through the roof (which it inevitably would), how would you explain that to those unemployed americans?

    How can you assure those workers jobs when clearly the employers could no longer afford to employ them?

    What, if any, incentives would you offer employers to keep these jobs in America and not outsource them to much cheaper labor abroad?

    January 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Joe


    I think it would be great to ask the candidates:

    What would you do, in light of recent legislative actions, to ensure the right to privacy while living in an age of fear of terrorism?

    January 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Larry

    -Ask Obama how he will harmonise the democrats to work with rep
    -What did Obama do during the recent comflict in his fathers home land in Kenya?

    January 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  24. Marnie

    What are you going to do for the education and funding of our schools? My son's school has had to let the teacher aid's and special education classes go due to budget cuts. Trying to catch up to the rest of the world is not going work if the ones who need extra help are not receiving it. I actually had a teacher give me the results to a test so my son would pass! No child left behind or just close your eyes and pass everyone?

    January 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. Thom Thacker

    To Wolf Blitzer:

    Question for debate:

    For many years, Americans have "enjoyed" a lifestyle that has incuded using a disporoportionate share of the earth's resources.Are any of you willing to tell the American people the hard truth that the future of the planet dependson the nation as a whole decreasing consumption and increasing conservation of resources?

    January 11, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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