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)


    January 12, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. CDJ

    ask them whether as president they would close guantanamo bay?

    January 12, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  3. Hilarious

    Hillary what do you plan to do about the homeless people in America? Will your health care plan cover the mentally challenged? What plan do you have for our major security system?

    Hillary what do you plan to do about crime and violence. You are a senator of New York how do you plan to stop gang violence in states as such?

    Will you raise the minimum pay rate?

    Hillary what will you do to lesson the price on public transportation and gas?

    Do you plan to raise teachers salarie?

    What do you plan to do to make sure we have more healthcare providers both in rural and non rural areas?

    Explain your plans on AIDS and other deadly deseases that are affecting our society.

    Adoption and donors rights?


    January 12, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Anonymous

    I would ask whether their universal health care plans would cover illegals.

    January 12, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. Gaurav

    This question is especially for Edwards – If he were to lose the primary and is not on the Democratic ticket what does he plan to do after that?

    Need a specific answer, unacceptable answers are: I am going to win or I'll continue to fight for the people. Would he go back to his hedge fund job? Would he retire to his million dollar house? Would he go back to his trial lawyer cases? Would he run for Senate? Would he go to Washington as a lobbyist?

    January 12, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  6. Derek

    As a Canadian, I would like to ask the candidates why the Democrats want to put up more barriers that will make it harder for our two countries, Canada and the U.S., to continue as the worlds two best trading partners. We are allies, Canada has almost always supported the U.S., (maybe not in Iraq, but we are helping in the real war in Afghanistan), and there is too much talk of protectionism coming from the Democrats these days. It makes alot of us uneasy that barriers are going to go up if one of you is elected.


    January 12, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. Gaurav

    This question is for Clinton – How will her Presidency differ from Bill Clinton's term? (don't need a joke as an answer).

    January 12, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  8. Robert P., Milwaukie, OR

    I would ask Obama if his health-care plan covers everyone in America, or if it will only "lead to" everyone in America being covered. His advertisements say his plan will cover everyone in America. Does he stand by that assertion?

    January 12, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. Amy Moorman

    My question for the candidates: While the emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming have gotten a lot of attention in this campaign, we also face other serious environmental problems, especially after 7 years of the Bush administration. What do you believe are the most grave environmental concerns that we face domestically, in addition to global warming, and how will you, as President, lead efforts to address them?

    January 12, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. Travler

    Please focus the cameras on each candidate (spilt screens) as you ask this question: "How much does a gallon of milk cost?"

    This question alone if very telling. It might seem small and trivial, but the adverage American knows what I'm driving at. Do the candidates suffer real life decisions like: "Do I buy the day-old bread and a gallon of milk, or should I buy a half gallon and get the fresh bread for my kids for their lunches?"

    The reason I want the cameras on all their faces at the same time is to see who reacts with knowledge of our plight and who seems shocked and unsure.

    Thank you.

    January 12, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. Jenchika

    Ask Barack Obama

    if he could not convince the Kenyan different political parties/tribes to sit around the table to resolve their differences , why would we trust him to convince the pharmacitical , the insurance companies to enact the kind of changes he is talking about on the campaign trail? Doesn't he sound just like an other politician making promises he cannot keep?

    January 12, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  12. Gaurav

    This question is for Obama – Would he invite Hamas for talks?

    January 12, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  13. Reet Jann

    What would Barak Obama contribute to solve the problems in Kenya in terms of U.S. troops, U.S. taxpayer money, or immigration of refugees from Kenya to the U.S.?

    January 12, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  14. Horace


    Regardless of what is asked, please do not allow them to doublespeak their way out of answering a question.

    Please do not allow them to answer questions that weren't even asked.

    Just about every candidate uses these "debates" as their own platform where they talk and talk but never say anything. It's all just posturing.

    Please keep them on topic and shut them down when they get evasive. The United States needs to know exactly what they are getting when people vote for these people. Now more than ever.

    Please keep them on topic and call attention to it when they do not answer the question.


    January 12, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  15. Carlos Morlock

    Concerning the "Root Cause" to most of the world's problems (Addiction to fossil fuel). I hear vague promises about improved energy policy from all of the candidates left to right. But for the life of me, I do not understand why ON ONE is specifically talking about the late Dr. Bussard's Polywell WB-7 fusion reaction test's that will occur near March 08 in New Mexico (DOD Project)???

    Wolf, I just do not get it. I am sitting at the edge of my seat, knowing that if they are able to replicate the results of the WB-6 reaction, unlike the Tokamak they will in affect have answered the physics questions necessary to solve the energy crises in revolutionizing way. Cheap, Clean, Compact (non-radio active) fusion that can rapidly replace nuclear, coal, oil plants, around the world. Not to mention ship, train, rocket, tractor engins, etc.

    Wolf, I promise you that if you check this out and do a little DD, YOU WILL ASK, not only the candidates, but a lot of people, why are we not talking about this?

    Thank you,
    I love CNN 🙂

    January 12, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. Linda

    As a NH resident, I had the oportunity to see many of the politians that are running for President. The nagging question I have through all the town hall meetings and debates is-Most of these politians have been elected to office–they all talk about change and the many problems we are facing in the country–What have they been doing????? If they all know about the problems, get to work and fix it!!! It seems as though, they all tell you everything we want to hear...they all have the solutions...stop wasting tax payers money and get to work...go do the job that the taxpayers elected you to do.

    Another issue I have that no one wants to speak of is the NAFTA highway...How this effects our security, jobs and safety on the roads...not to mention who is funding this?

    January 12, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  17. Yakov Epstein

    Please ask Barak Obama to explain to viewers what he learned from being a community organizer. Ask him to tell what he did as a community organizer, what skillset he used as a community organizer, and how his experience as a community organizer can help him lead the country as President.

    January 12, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  18. Mike

    Ask all the candidates if they weren't running for president, who would they vote for?

    January 12, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  19. Sal,,,,,Illinois

    Me and my African American friends want to know........How does Mr. Obama represent the Struggle and the rise of African Americans with centuries of proud history in this country written with our sweat, blood and priceless sacrifices of lifes when his Daddy just came to this country a few years ago......

    January 12, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  20. VA

    I believe that Obama is the very best candidate for President. The USA has had a multitude of years that we have not all come together and worked as equals. It is major that we do so to save this country.
    Woman have come along way and we can take care of ourselves and are very fortunate to live, where we can be independent and strong.
    Woman in the USA are safe, unlike many other areas of the WORLD, but bringing the racial differences together is still not safe. It needs to be done, to move forward. We need to prove that we can grow as individuals that have progressed in our way of thinking. It has always been about working together...As a human race...UNITED WE STAND.....DIVIDED WE FALL!!!!!
    OBAMA AND THE PEOPLE can bring HOPE back to the USA.
    Written by a WOMAN!!!

    January 12, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    Ask Barack Obama and John Edwards "How would you be ready to be President on day one?"

    January 12, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. JBH


    As a potential employee working for the American people as their president, and your acknowledgement of hard, ILLEGAL drug use in the past, would you be willing to undergo a drug test?

    January 12, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  23. Ron C., Florida

    Wolf, a question for Sen. Clinton:

    Sen. Clinton,

    I am finding the state of our nation in much the same shape as it was when President Bill Clinton took over in 1992, actually worse. How do you intend to turn the economy around and restore our overburdened middle class. Also, please describe the differences between your healthcare plan and Sen. Obama's and why you feel your plan is better.

    Thank You....

    January 12, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  24. Aaron Calhoun

    The Democrats voted for the wars, they continue to finance the wars yet they say that they will end the war. Why should anyone trust the Democratic Party to step up and end this war?

    The Democrats have voted in favor of laws that have chiseled away at the Bill of Rights. Do they believe in the rule of law and will they uphold the Constitution?

    How many Democrats are currently tied to companies that are profiting from the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan?

    Can anyone really bring about change when they take large sums of money from special interest groups?

    January 12, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  25. bridgett, lansing

    I would like to ask Hilary Clinton about her experience. Where is it coming from and what did she accomplish. It is easy too look up John Edwards record and Barak Obama's, but, how do we look her record up. And is that 35 years in politics or just in life in general.

    For Mr. Obama, why is it does he think that people keep wanting him to say that he is black. Because I can look at him and see that he is black. Are there people who don't have a tv and can't see what he looks like. I don't believe that the average black person walks around telling people that they are black. I think people can see that. What does he think about that.

    January 12, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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