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. Michelle Caples

    I'd like to know what everyone's favorite candy bar is. Then on a more serious note, I'd like to know who would each candidate endorse if they didn't win the nomination. Thanks.

    January 11, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  2. Deborah Johnson


    What as president would you do to help the poverty level poor not middle class familys of all color/creeds to achieve a better life, one that would raise them from the poverty level to the middle to upper class. what would you do to redirect minorty teens from turning towards gangs,crime and prison and turn them towards education and good paying jobs instead.

    January 11, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  3. Jim Nicklin RET. Navy CPO

    Wolf, I would have you ask the following question. Do you think the Iranian boat crisis could be a repeat of the Tonkin Gulf phoney story in VIET NAM? 2nd, could you make all Retirement Pay tax free , And give all active duty Military a Surge in pay That is the only Surge they are interested in. What do they think about having George W. build A new Army Hospital, A new National Cemetary, And a Vets. Retirement Home . All of these should be built on the Bush ranch in Crawford Tex. they must be completed before ever thinking of a Bush Library. VETERANS DON'T NEED LIBRARY'S.

    January 11, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  4. Brian

    Ask Hillary Clinton
    "You said in the New Hampshire debate that you have taken on the big oil companies and medical companies as part of your experience. Does the current prices with these companies reflect what we have to look forward to if you are elected?"

    "How can you expect America to believe you are concerned about the middle class if you will not commit to refusing lobbyist money? Have you already made commitments to the lobbyists and can't get away from it?"

    January 11, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  5. John S. Maine

    Mrs. Clinton your demeanor scares my wife and kids what would you do to improve your ability to communicate effectively!

    January 11, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  6. Caitlin

    I would like to know, from each of the candidates, what their views are concerning the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community. For example, what do you think about gay marriage and civil unions? The Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy?

    January 11, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  7. James E. Johnson

    Bill Clinton is a wonderful man and Former President. However Hillary is Running for President.

    My question is when the chips are down and Hillary is having a bad day, will the country look to Bill to deliver the answers to the issues that concern the country like he tried to in N.H.?

    January 11, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  8. Ali


    January 11, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  9. Michael

    The Alaskan pipeline was built and one of the largest oil deposits in the world is in our own Country. My question is how much of this oil do we get from this supply? Why is this not the main supply of oil for the United States.
    Do you dare open up this can of worms or does Lou Dobbs have to ask the question for us?

    January 11, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. Alejanrdra Fuster

    I would ask the candidates which issue is REALLY the most important to them- what is the first thing that they will do when they become President, and why is that issue a greater priority than the others?

    January 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  11. Nuke

    Obama, talked about drug company's and insurance company's gouging people, how about the non profit hospitals in his home state?
    That would be the not-for-profit The University of Chicago Hospitals

    In 2006, this not-for-profit hospital reported making a profit of $74,236,000.

    Just 12 months later, profits almost doubled, coming in at $143,158,000.

    That’s almost a 13% profit margin.

    To break that down, compared to 2006, money from investment income (banks) was actually down by $4 million, while profit from operating income (patients) increased by better than $72 MILLION.

    One other thing of note.

    The fact that Michelle Obama has cut back her hours helped a lot, as the total amount spent on salaries, wages and benefits in 2007 for the entire hospital increased by only $1 million compared to 2006.

    January 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  12. margaret

    Mrs. Clinton,

    Please explain your 35 years of political experience. Have you ever ran the white house? Are countiing being the wife of the president as a part of your experience?

    As an African-American I do not know your civil rights record.

    This is to all: what is your civil rights record where minorities (hispanics, african americans and women) are concrened?

    Really, what have you done for us lately?

    January 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  13. chien Ng

    In Amarica affrican amarican about 14% assume you have all their vote.How much confident you are? Can you get 37% of the rest?

    January 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  14. J Lyon, Silverdale, WA

    I would like to ask Clinton why she said she cannot answer questions that give hypothetical situations of what she would do if President. Isn't that what people want to know? It tells us what your values are. I feel like she is simply giving platitudes without telling who she really is, what she stands for. Lay it out!

    January 11, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  15. A Concerned Citizen

    Sept 11, 2001, We and the World (since there were citizens of other countries in the world trade center) were attacked by Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organization. We delclared War on him and his organization and our President rightfully sent troops into Afghanistan to go get this maniac with World support.
    Our President promised to bring this man to justice (dead or alive). We/He has failed in that promise, in that cause. We pulled troops out, split our forces to go after another countries leader who had not attacked us or even declared war on us, while this devil Osama bin Laden is left alive (comfortable or not). I admit Sadam Husien was a bad man, but there are many bad men in this world, look at Africa, China, North Korea, and yet we do not declare War on any of them, and hundreds, sometimes thousands die each day and we sit by (Why?). No bearing on our money? They are too strong for us? Or their skin is to dark for us to care about? I don't care, what I do care about is my Country was attacked, my brothers in arms at the Pentagon were killed, and the very center of my Military Command structure was hit, and we have not done enough to fix it. If we take all the troops that are currently in Iraq, and send them to Afghanistan or Pakistan and go mountain whole to mountain whole blowing those wholes up as we check them, like we would have had to do during World War II against the Japanese if we didn't drop the bombs, and flood those montain areas with troops like fire ants then we will find him and get him. We have have allowed our selves to be deverted from a just cause, to get mired in a Civil War, because that is what Iraq is now, the War in Iraq was over in 2003, when we took the capital and Sadam Husien was ousted, now we are caught in a civil war (check Websters definition for civil war). I get tired of people saying War in Iraq, all our goals for the War were accomplished in 2003, now we flounder around in the stink and mire of civil conflict. Sorry fot the long disertation to get to my question to all our candidates Democratic and Republican alike: the question is, if elected President will you show the true Strenght , Courage, and Leadership of the most powerful nation on the Planet and pull our troops immediately out of Iraq and move them to Afghanistan or Pakistan to get Osama bin Laden and his cronies there, becuase if we had done that in the first place there would be no Al Qaeda in Iraq now and I and my family could truly feel a little safer about the world and my brothers in arms could finaly rest in peace knowing the cowards that plotted/planned and attacked them are now all dead!

    January 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  16. Seth(Kentucky)

    I would ask Hillary Clinton, She has been Senator of New York only for few years. How come she is claiming she has 35 years of experience?

    January 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  17. John Haigh, Arbor Vitae, Wi.

    Wolf- Can you investigate what all the internet talk about a 'voting fix' in the New Hampshire election is about? We are being told that on "the hand counted" ballots, Obama won handily (as per the pre-election polls) whereas on the optical scan votes, Clinton won – by exactly the same percentage that Obama won manually – right down to the one one-hundreth of a percentage point. The odds of that must be one in a million or better. Can this be a hacked computer election?

    January 11, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  18. Nathan Barker

    Is not illegal immigration the root cause for many other problems in our country? Illegal immigrants are putting unnecessary stress on our education system, our healthcare system, our welfare system, and our economic system as a whole. They take American wages, do not pay American taxes, but yet reap the benefits of our American government programs, but are not American. This always seems to be an issue in the Republican debates, but I have yet to hear much from the Democrats since the infamous New York drivers' license issue in a previous debate months ago. Where does each candidate stand on this issue, and does each candidate have a plan to address illegal immigration?

    Nathan Barker
    Indianapolis, IN

    January 11, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  19. Ilene


    Here's my question.

    It seems everything in our country is about the oil. What are you going to do to break this cycle? Nothing in our world is ever going to change until we break our dependence upon foreign oil producing countries.

    January 11, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  20. david W. Lewis Houston Tx

    Wolf: Ask them to be very specific about how they would reach out across party lines and end the gridlock once and for all.

    January 11, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. Bernard

    My question is for Senator Clinton: When will you tell your staff and supporters to stop making racist comments?

    January 11, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  22. LetsGetReal

    Please Ask Barack Obama how it is even plausible that his campaign manager would accuse the Clintons of being racist, when for the last thirty years, they have fought for civil rights, and Mrs. Hillary Clinton is endorsed by respected Civil Rights leader John Lewis?

    January 11, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  23. Jack Crawford

    For the three remaining candidates: do you consider the REAL ID to be an appropriate use of government power to provide security or do you see it as a civil liberties violation and/or a violation of state rights?

    January 11, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. Natasha

    Funny how Tristan Penton rhymes with Hillary Clinton – sort of. If I didn't know any better I'd say she wrote that one herself.. lol.

    I for one am a democrat from South Carolina (white and female, for the record)who will be voting for Barack Obama. I have read his books and honestly I find him to be intellectual, creative, realistic and honest. The sky is the limit for this man. He has a huge heart and though he appears too soft at times, you will find that the times when he appears short on words he is merely listening and considering the situation from different angles. It's not that he backs down when the going gets tough, he merely chooses not to speak too hastily out of ignorance. This is why I honestly believe it doesn't matter if he is "experienced in Washington," he has wisdom, and wisdom is the ability to apply the experience of your life as well as others to any situation that comes before you. He would be willing to treat any mistake that the seasoned Hillary has made as his own, and not repeat it. It's also knowing when to talk and when to listen. If there's one thing Hilliary seems missing to me, it's this little sliver of humility. Obama is in it to help everyone, not just the browns or the whites or the rich or the poor, Americans or foreigners, Democrats or Republicans, gays or straights, etc.. When have you heard him say an unkind word about any one group to make him sound more convictive? He recognizes in his writings that no one can be blamed for the way they have been raised or treated, but everyone holds a responsibility to the rest of society to let go and rise above what caused you suffering and to make a change for the better.

    He has no need to rebuke all the petty comments about him being a drug dealer and an Islam enthusiast and an African nationalist and a clueless newcomer because he realizes that while he's not any of these things, some people are and cutting them down won't make him look any more of a man. I have to admit I really admire him.

    January 11, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  25. James E. Johnson/California

    I think for the most part our nation is ready for a Woman President as well as A Black President. My concern is that neither the Candidates Nor the media need to emphasize the Racial or Gender differences as a means for failing support. We the American people will not support a candidate based solely on the basis of color or gender. So if it is not a Handicap please don't use it as a crutch.

    I do however feel that it is inappropriate for Former president Clinton to attack Obama when he is not running for President. I have never seen a Spouse take the stage in an outright attack on another candidate when there spouse was losing in the polls. I do not remember Hillary making speeches for her husband when he was running for President.

    My Question is to Hillary. Do you feel that the people will be voting for you or for Bill with your name on the Ballot?

    January 11, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
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