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. JOY

    Please ask Obama how he can take care of the American people when his own grandmother in Kenya cannot even afford a television to watch this historic moment and has to share a broken radio to listen to the election. How do we trust a man that can't take care of his extended family?

    January 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  2. John Demmler

    Please explain how being the wife of a governor or the wife of a President makes a person qualified to be President. My wife works at a hospital? Would anyone like for me to conduct a heart bypass surgery on them?

    January 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  3. Lawrence Gwyn

    Hi Wolf. I wouldn't watch television if there wasn't a CNN. Thanks.

    Please ask Democrats to address why the Republicans seem to be getting so much steam from the Iraq War which turned out to be nonessential, when the architect of 911 is yet to be captured. Don't the Democrats see this as an achilles heel of the GOP?

    January 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  4. Janet

    Please ask Barack Obama to elaborate on what he has done to improve healthcare in Illinois?

    My sister is 63 and has cancer and is uninsured. Her treatments have been delayed at 2 institutions in Rockford, IL.

    I am 59 and have Type 1 diabetes. After being down-sized and after COBRA expired, I was paying over $10,000/year for health coverage through the state program ICHIP!

    Also ask the Senator about VA benefits and the Social Security "Notch Babies" plight. My husband is 81, and his scripts through the VA keep going up, as do doctor visits. He feels that everyone is just waiting for the Notch Babies to die!

    What is the Senator going to do with all his plans for change, when he can't cut it on his home turf? We see no evidence of what he talks about on the campaign trail?

    January 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  5. Steve, Texas

    May I suggest you give each candidate 2 minutes of uninterrupted time to outline details of his/her policy. Let's see some substance, so the voters can make an informed decision.

    Quality of media coverage to date is not much better than coverage on American Idol.....

    January 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  6. James E. Johnson

    I am concerned with the appearance of Dynasties being formed in the Presidential arena. Just as a Monopoly does not allow room for innovation and creativity in buisness, Having our country ran by two prominent and politiclly powerful Families is equally detrimental for the well-fare of this country. Even in a Democracy with checks and balances Power corrupts.

    So my question is How will a third term for the Clinton Family be benificial for the country and not just the Clintons?

    January 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  7. Chrles McAlister

    THEIE STAND ON: The Law of the Sea Treaty–Citizens for Global Solutions formerly know as the World Federalist Association-The Enunerated Powers Act introduced by Az. Rep. Shadegg with a 103 co-sponsors in 1995. and submitted in every Congress since.-Food First organization also known as the Institute for Food and Development Policy–Voter ID Law-Senator Lamar Alexander bill ,Protecting English in the Workplace Act of 2007-The Save Act H.R 4088–How would they stand on a required 10% budget reduction across the board on the 136 Federal Agencies and Commissions supported by the tax payers?

    Would they support a PARTIAL S.S. private investment in Government Bonds to be held (with compound interest) until age 65 and to be redeemed at a stipulated rate per month. Any balance going to the estate? Cut down borrowing from overseas. I will be listening Wolf.

    January 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  8. mARILYN

    I would ask Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, what would they to do to get more jobs for African Americans that pays well. Most all of the job in the Lexington County area are given to Mexicans because of the farming, Poultry, construction, and landscaping business. the only thing that is available is minimum wage jobs, like walmart and fast food establishments. All of the factory industries that use to be located are over seas and that eliminated good job for the poor, and particular African Americans. What can you do to get jobs in this area, Batesburg-Leesville, Saluda, Aiken, and Lexington counties?

    Also, on another subject. Ms. Clinton, the Children's behavior in our school system is beyond repair. They are get worse by the day. I substitute and I am thinking about quiting because the children are uncontrollable. A student who wants to learn in the classroom cannot. Since cameras are allowed on the school buses, why not in the classrooms?

    January 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. Tyler

    Question to Obama: Sen. Obama, you have mentioned that you would like to sit everyone down at a table and have a discussion to solve the problems in the Middle East. How exactly are you going to do this with countries such as Iran and the political group Hamas, which would be vital at a meeting of this nature? Do you expect everyone to just hold hands and sing "Kumbaya"?

    To Clinton: How do you feel about people who discrimate against since you are a woman running for president? Men seem to be uncomfortable with a woman in power as they seem to think someone of that position is a you-know-what.

    To Obama: How do you feel about the picture that the media paints of you as being some sort of saint?

    To Obama: Earlier I heard that you said that you werent sure if you would vote for or against the resolution that began the war in Iraq. You said that you leaned toward voting against it. Doesn't this question the truthness to your statement that you were definably against the war in Iraq the entire time? Doesnt this raise the question "At least we know what were getting with Clinton, but do we know what were getting with Obama?"

    January 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. Colleen McNutt

    The first question I submitted asked why Hillary wanted to outlaw flag burning? This is a continuation on that question. What will you do as President to restore our "rights", "liberties, that I feel have been stripped from us by the current President. I would like a list. Also, would you keep the power Mr. Bush has "restored" of the President. Meaning, for example, using executive privilege, executive power, and keeping as many secrets from the citizens. How open would you be? Everyone could answer all of the above. Thank you, Colleen

    January 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. Anna

    Voters concerned about our foreign policy might be able to better judge your intentions in this arena if they knew who you would name as Secretary of State. If you've been thinking about what you would do as President, then surely you have thought about this. So, name at least three people that, if you were to become President, you might consider for the position of Secretary of State.

    January 11, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. Steven Rojas

    No matter what nominee the Democratic party chooses, the Republican party will charge hard and often with the typical raise tax, bigger government, and gay marriage issues through out the election. My question would be to all the candidates, are you willing to choose a Republican or conservative Democrat (such as Ben Nelson) as your running mate?

    January 11, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  13. Charles Schmitt

    To Obama: voting for you is a risk – you're inexperienced and our offering only feel good promises for change – what evidence do we have that you can deal with with problems that don't have easy solutions. For example, give us a specific plan for health care or peace in the middle east – and please don't just provide a plan for a plan (e.g., we'll assembly good people and put our head together to bring about just solutions – worthless dribble).

    To Hillary: You're viewed as an opportunistic person, where can we see evidence of taking a stand despite it hurting you in polls.

    January 11, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |






    January 11, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  15. Rossana

    Senator Obama

    Some News papers have said that you borrow John Edwards’s ideas; such as fighting for the poor, middle class etc.. Why do you adopt his ideas and make them yours? Do you think this is fear?

    Why do you deny taking money from lobbyist and yet accepts large sums from wealthy people? Do you think that this message sends hope and change to all Americans?

    Do you think Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are a threat to the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA, if yes or no;;;; why?

    Senator Edwards
    Hundreds of people have lost their homes and many more will continue to lose theirs. What would you do to solve the mortgage crisis?

    How would you unite the nation?

    January 11, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. Clarke Banta

    I'd like to see Hillary and Obama (or all the candidates for that matter) asked a question about their experience as follows: how would you compare your experience, education, intelligence and preparedness for the oval office to that of Bill Clinton when he was first running for president at age 47?

    January 11, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  17. CR

    1. How do you define negative campaigning?

    2. Do you view negative campaigning as the politics of change or the politics of the status quo?

    3. If you have such a strong record, why do you feel the need to participate in negative campaigning? (Senator Clinton)

    4. What one or two events in your life shaped your political philosophy and what is your political philosophy?

    5. What is your view of the emerging super powers China and Russia? Should our current policies towards those countries stay the same or change?

    6. For Senator Clinton: You have been touting your 35 years of experience as a reason you should be elected. First, if you have 35 years of experience why did you just "find your voice" in New Hampshire? Did that 35 years begin when you were 25, by that reasoning both Obama and Edwards have over 20 years experience each? Does it include your years as First Lady of Arkansas? Your 8 years as First Lady in Washington? The records from your years as First Lady in Washington are sealed. How are the people going to be able to evaluate whether that experience is "real"? What are you and your husband doing to get the records unsealed? Or would you rather keep the truth hidden?

    7. For Senator Clinton: Records show that you vote with President Bush more often than against him. Does that make you more of a Republican than a Democrat?

    January 11, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. Tyler

    Wolf, here are the questions that really need to be asked to all candidates:

    If elected president, what will you do to ensure that EVERY American has health-insurance?

    Do you believe there is a recession in the US and if so, what would you do to help the economy in this situation?

    What would you do if there was a serious confrontation with Iran that could require defensive actions...possibly leading up to a war?

    These are the questions I would really look foreward to the candidates on both parties being asked. Thank you

    January 11, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  19. Dwayne, Pa

    I would like to ask Senator Clinton, how can you assure us that you can unite the country, and Washington, when throughout your campaign you have consistantly mentioned your "fighting" with the "other side of the aisle"?

    January 11, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  20. Anna

    First for Senator Obama, what have you done, not talked about, but done for women in America? And then to Senator Clinton, what have you done for women in America?

    January 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  21. Terry R

    We all continue to demand more. Neither party has mentioned or addressed a 9 trillion dollar deficit. It is obvious that Bush's tax cuts have not worked. We will all see the worst recession already noted in many sectors. Look at your 401-K results.

    This administration has put this contry in the worst position since the depression.

    I don't want to hear that a republican can run on phyical conservation.

    I would pay more taxes for the returns I got on my money during the Clinton years.

    You don't have to like either. It is a debit and credit world..

    Be honest and get involved.

    January 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  22. Andrew, Columbia, MD

    I'd ask whether Hilary likes Pearls or Diamonds better. OH wait a second, you hacks already ASKED that!


    I dont care what you ask, but could you please screen out meaningless questions like this, and for the love of god, not HAND these questions to people? If I want to be amused, I'll watch Jon Stewart. I want you to do your job meaningfully, not like a bunch of hacks.

    January 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  23. Frank Mazzotta, Philadelphia

    I think it's unfair that Senators Obama and Edwards think that they can produce "change" in Washington while they claim that Senator Clinton cannot because she has been a part of Washington for so long. I don't buy it! Senator Clinton is just as and maybe more capable of producing change than her fellow Senators. She's performed excellently as a Senator from New York. I am picturing all three Senators sitting in the Oval Office on Jan. 2009, and I can honestly say that Hillary Clinton would be an absolute "change" behind that desk! I guess my question would be: Why do Senators Obama and Edwards think that they are such better agents of change than the first woman President of the United States. The first 42 men were pretty good (Sorry Bush), but let's give Senator Clinton the chance to make some "change" instead of judging her before she even gets behind that desk.

    January 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  24. kat

    What will dems do to get the big money out of politics...I believe we must have publicly funded elections to restore the integrity of our election process.

    January 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  25. mama

    I'd like to know why the candidates spend so much time criticizing each other when instead they could be telling us specifics of what they want to accomplish - and how they'd accomplish it.

    January 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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