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. Nobody

    To Hillary:

    1) You're taken the most lobbyist money of any candidate in any party, more than Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson combined. Your opponents haven't taken any. Are you for big money, or the little guy?

    2) You've claimed that your experience is an important factor in this race. In 1992, your husband, who was younger than Barack is now, ran against George Bush, a sitting president. Who did you vote for?

    To Barack:

    1) The Clinton campaign sent a mailer to NH voters claiming that you are "Unwilling to take a stand on choice." Is this true?

    2) Your speeches have been praised, but you have been accused being all talk and having no depth. Senator Clinton asked, "Where's the beef?" Where is it?

    January 11, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Matt

    i have question wolf are you a Democratic or Republican? or none

    January 11, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. John

    I want details of Obama's accomplishments in office and his real voting record. As Oprah always says, "Hope is not a plan."

    January 11, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  4. Shon

    I would ask the Dems what you would ask the Republicans. How come no one ever does that? Or visa versa?

    January 11, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Tammy

    I wish I could ask .What about the people in america trying to live on disability.
    I am 42 and have been disable since I was 21. I thank God ,for the check every month, but how could you live on $ 560.00 dollars a month.
    They offer a ticket to work, but if I was able to work, I would be working.
    The sad part is my husband is disable too.

    January 11, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  6. Christina

    It's reasonable to assume that if a candidate takes money from corporations and/or lobbyists during a campaign, he or she is indebted to these individuals or corporations while in office. How can the candidates who take money from these groups justify doing so and how could it be possible for these politicians to be unbiased when making significant decisions that involve matters such as U.S. Consumer Protection? For example, Hillary Clinton has been linked to the multi-billion dollar corporation, Monsanto. Monsanto is responsible for the production of the Bovine Growth Hormone, the pesticide Roundup and genetically engineered foods, all of which have negative health impacts on humans and other life forms. Monsanto has put pressure on politicians and farmers to succumb to their wishes and the pressure was intense enough to even influence the media (Fox) in 1997, when presenting a story on the harmful effects of one of their products (Bovine Growth Hormone). Please explain how U.S. citizens will be protected when a politician has a link with such a powerful and harmful company.

    January 11, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. d

    This is for you Wolfe....................I would like to see you ask every candidate present, questions that are hard and tuff. I want to hear from ALL candidates, not just the TOP TIER. I believe we the people NEED to hear comments from each and every candidate. Isn't that what the American Process all about??? I don't want to see the individual candidates blast another candidate. I want answers from EVERYONE...........and equal time to EVERYONE..........I strongly feel this is very important. I am tired of the polls, and the news media trying to sway us into only looking at the "TOP TIER".

    January 11, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. Jeff Adams

    President Bush, during his Administration, has repeatedly undermined the intentions of Congress by issues an extraordinary number of signing statements that negated the intention of the law he had just signed into existence. Would you pledge that within the first 100 days of your administration you would examine every single signing statement and Executive order issued by the Bush administration with the goal of reversing the effects this practice has had on the rule of law and Constitutional balance?

    January 11, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Norma

    The Medical Marijuana issue is just one example of the conflict between the Federal Government and those of individual states. How do the candidates view this important relationship between Washington and individual states?

    January 11, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. bryan, san francisco, CA

    I would like this question to be addressed to Barack Obama:

    It has been widely reported in the media that African-Americans have been skeptical about your viability as a presidential candidate – mainly because of your race. Since your win in Iowa, many people in the African-American community have decided to give you another look.

    Why do you think it's the case that most of the African-American community seek 'permission' or 'approval' from whites to deem you viable enough (rather than just voting for who they want to vote for) and do you think this need for approval is justified?

    January 11, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Alex

    I agree with Jared's post [January 11, 2008 7:46 pm ET] and want to know why not to go one step further and re-examine the two-party system. They need to expose Americans to diversity of ideas!

    January 11, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. larry hullinger sr

    dear wolf; which candidate will not attack social security or medicare. as it has been in the last 15 years? as in age extension and medicare cuts. larry ind.

    January 11, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. jorge

    I would like Wolf if you can ask them about educational issues such as college expenses seeing that they are increasing every year, not enough financial aid to give out to students. So can you please ask the candidates on what they will do to help fix the rising costs of tuition.

    January 11, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. Eddie Perez

    On 01/11/08, Ms. Clinton said "No Woman is Illegal" and it appears that she will say anything to get elected. Please ask Ms. Clinton to explain, in detail, how she plans to provide a solution for illegal immigrants. Specifics, please – no more vauge answers. America's future is at stake.

    January 11, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Sam


    Curious: why not a word about Hillary's remark, "No woman is illegal....No man is ellegal, either," while giving Bill Clinton more time than any candidate?

    (I am talking about your TV program, not this blog.)

    January 11, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. Eddie Perez

    On 01/11/08, Ms. Clinton said "No Woman is Illegal" and it appears that she will say anything to get elected. Please ask Ms. Clinton to explain, in detail, how she plans to provide a solution for illegal immigrants. Specifics, please – no more vague answers. America's future is at stake.

    January 11, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  17. Marisol

    Question 1: Based on your [Obama & Hillary] slogan for change, please tell me how you have designed, developed, and delivered on your slogan for "change"? More specifically, can you outline at least two national changes you brought about from finish to end that support your overarching campaign for change?

    Question 2: Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, what have either of you done to personally improve the lives of the poor, disabled, and marginalized populations? Please provide detailed examples that helped many and diverse populations.

    January 11, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. Michael

    Is there anyway to impeach Bush tomorrow.

    January 11, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  19. Tom Davie

    I still cant get over these IDIOTS who think the NH election was rigged.

    Its such a dirty political move like I havent seen in a long long time.

    Much like Ron Paul being a racist 16 years ago from a blank article he didnt even write but had his name on the top of the article. How long did those HEADLINES last?

    The voting machines were 'tampered' with -all by the Clinton camp, ALL coordinated over the HUNDREDS of polling stations? ALL specifically rigged exactly the same . HUNDREDS of plants all over the place pulling this off WITH NOBODY NOTICING.

    I guarantee you this. If there was no MASS 'cheetin' , it is going to SERIOUSLY HURT the Obama campaign.

    January 11, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. Tim

    I would ask the candidates how they feel about the U.S. govt.'s role and responsabillity for slavery , and would they be for or against paying a settlement to the descendants of slavery

    January 11, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. N Vik

    For Obama – Does he really believe that having chants of "Change" and "we can do it" can bring any change? Level with us, what exactly his version of change is!

    January 11, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. Peter Gold


    This is not so much a specific question I would like asked of Sen. Obama, but more of a comment that you may take to formulate a question. I am a political "junkie" and I watch every political program I can catch on CNN and MSNBC. Admittedly, I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, so I hope you don't discount my comments. My concern in listening to all the commentators and pundits is that Sen. Obama is getting a free pass because his canadicy is somewhat of a first (1st serious black candidate for Pres.), and that he is an eloquent speaker. The problem I see is that almost all of Sen. Obama's speeches or filled with glowing generalities with not much on specifics regarding programs he would like to change or create to solve the nation's problems, where Sen. Clinton is almost always critizised for not being as dymamic of a speaker. However, she is speaking to the issues; maybe not as "sexy" as the verbal gymnastics displayed by the Senator from Ill., but a lot more substantive. It seems to me that the establishment media is not challenging him on this clear difference and he is not having to face the tough questions in defending is policy positions. In addition, this story of possible improper dealing with a "shady political fixer" in Chicago and his possible connection to Sen. Obama and the puchase of his home in Ill. came out early Thursday, but I have barely heard a "peep' about it in the traditional media outlets, leading me to believe that they don't want to tarnish his image. I would "bet your bottom dollar" that if the tables were turned and these issues were swirling around Sen. Clinton, we both know this would be story #1 on the lips of every political AND non-political commentator throughout the country. Again, a clear sign of biased reporting. Again, I don't have a specific question for you to pose at the SC debate, but I will be watching to hopefully see more balanced reporting, questioning and challenging of Sen. Obama, equal to the treatment that has been given to Sen. Clinton.

    Thank you,

    Peter Gold

    January 11, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. Matt Helmer

    I would ask Hilary if she thinks it's healthy for a democracy to have 2 families, the Bushes and Clintons, running the presidency for what could be 28 years if she is elected? And also, why does she believe this has happened.

    January 11, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. Tom, Boston, MA


    don't embarrass yourself with racist questions, such as why Obama goes to BLACK church unless you are going to ask the other white candidates why they go to WHITE church, or

    sexist questions that imply experience as a wife doesn't amount to anything when Hillary always has been smarter and better (even if not more popular) about important issues than Bill, or

    compassion-less questions like why i should give my money to anyone who hasn't earned it (as if dollar bills fell from the sky with his or her name printed on them).

    please ask what their thoughts are about the dilemma between 1) trying to lead the masses who often drag their feet resisting change and progress and 2) trying to empower, listen to, and represent the masses in setting the direction of the government. i believe most of the politicians initially put themselves on the political line because they wanted to serve the people and later ran into the wall that is the people in the process of trying to serve the people themselves. how do you save the masses from themselves and still have a genuine democracy?

    "a truly enlightening life-time education" comes to mind as an integral part of the foundation on which we can build a meaningful democracy. see if any of them have any deep thoughts....

    January 11, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. michael

    While I understand the frustration of going into Iraq, how do we leave Iraq responsibly so that the genocide of Sunnis or moderate Iraqis is prevented?

    January 11, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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