January 11th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Blitzer: What would you ask the Democrats in South Carolina?

 Weigh in on the South Carolina Democratic debate.

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. Emil Chudnovsky

    The different sides of the political fence often talk past one another, knowingly addressing only those parts of their opposite number's argument wherein facts and statistics look favorable for their rebuttal. The partisan electorate listening only to "their" candidate and "their" candidate's allied talking heads. People then quote these incomplete arguments at each other and everyone remains convinced that "their" candidate has made an airtight case and that the opposition is ignoring what are, usually, incontrovertible facts.

    A wise course of action, commanding consensus, is thus avoided at all costs and the day is carried by either those with the loudest voice and PR machine, or some incomplete picture which has been presented as less frightening than the alternative.

    Bearing this in mind, could you please list the conservative arguments against Universal Health Care, and explain to why these fears are unfounded? For extra points, could you summarize the salient points of each of your UHC plans, emphasizing where they differ? (you may now turn over your papers and commence.)

    January 12, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Robert Sullivan, Greer, SC

    I am an Obama supporter and I agree with him on most issues. However there is one issue I would like clarification on that I could not find on his website; driver's licenses for illegals. I want to know why he supports this while his other collegues do not and explain the benefits of it.

    January 12, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Gregg

    Do you promise not to pardon anyone from the previous administration?

    Do you promise to enact pubicly financed campagnes?

    Thank you

    January 12, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Meaghan in Georgia


    Please ask each of the candidates to summarize what they would do in the first 30 days in office. Ask that the answer be specific to the question, no campaign speeches, just what they would do as President in the first 30 days.

    January 12, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Jen

    I see strong qualities in each of the three canidates. What do each of you see as your opponents' biggest strengths, and if elected president how could you utilize these strong leaders in your office to optimize your goals for the country.

    January 12, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. guy tiberio

    The candidates must be asked their opinion on all the benefits being given to
    the illegal aliens in the country, Its not fair to the hard woking taxpayers.

    January 12, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. jim provis

    I like to know more about:
    A) Healthcare and
    B) Economy.
    Thank you

    January 12, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. From Mayors in United States


    Mayors all over the United States are managing major problems with traffic gridlock and parking in their cities. Meanwhile, they are battling to develop public transportation. Although most american cities do not have the stellar public transportation that new york or san fransisco or boston has – there is one more element and that is the advanced and cunning and clever advertising for the automobile that people are constantly bombarded by.

    We live in a free country – people can choose how they want to get to work, of course, but what I want to tell the candidates is that the American people all over the United States are demanding public transportation. They've seen Paris, they've travelled – they know it's healthy for the economy to have cities where people can walk and where there are gardens and places to gather and just live instead of spending hours of their day in traffic.

    Obviously the state government and county and municipalities have certain jurisdictions over these issues and it is our responsbility to help move public transportation forward; however, I firmly believe that the Federal Government can help this along and help steer our cities in the right direction.

    Hundreds of millions of people in the United States are already requesting this from their mayors and states. And it is obviously the most efficient way of conserving energy. I would like to know what the candidates plan to do about such a crucial issue that has not gotten national attention.

    The #1 killer of teenagers in this country is the fatal car accident. Hours of Americans lives are spent enclosed, alone, in a vehicle. Guzzling gasoline happens in a car and the amount of money spent on purchasing a vehicle, paying for the insurance, car repairs and monthly car payments is astronomical. Not to mention the parking.

    I really need help from the Federal Government to move this forward. Our advertising budget for public transportation to change paradigms and inspire people is minimal compared to the automobile companies who can sell ice to eskimos! Advertising is a powerful tool.


    Dying in traffic

    January 12, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. alex

    The buzz wordis "change". If you are so much into change, and you are sick and tired of the political disunity in Washington, are you willing to choose a Republican to be your running mate? If no, why not since you are into change. If yes, who would you pick? A question to all three of the front runners.

    January 12, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. ross

    I was taken aback when Obama included nuclear energy in his plans for increasing alternative energy resources. What are the candidates feelings on nuclear energy????

    January 12, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Democrats and Republicans

    In my mind every American has elements that fall under the umbrella of a Democrat's approach and the elements of a Republican approach. What is important is that they work together and that the idea is discussed in a manner that engages thoughts and ideas from both spectrums, tied together and brought forward with truth, vision and practicality.

    My question to the candidates is this: what in your mind are the best qualities of a Democrat and the best qualities of a Republican? Can you name some examples where both parties worked together and produced good fruit? Where do Democrats and Republicans most differ and why do you think there is such a staunch divide and Republicans demonize Democrats and vice versa?

    January 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. John Gustafson

    OBAMA -What is your opinion concerning reparations to those citizens
    decended from slaves?

    TO ALL CANDIDATES: Governor Huckebee stated that without the 2nd
    Amendment, we would not have the lst
    Amendment. The NRA would support this idea,
    of course. Who is willing to stand up to the NRA and
    gun lobby and say, "Enough is enough"; that the
    proliferation of guns do not defend our liberties,
    but take away from them?

    January 12, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. diana

    I would ask each one of them that they all talk about change in health care, helping the middle class education but I don't hear how they will go about this and at what expense it will cost the American people. You can talk a good talk but I woould like to hear how they will start the change process. All I hear is what they would do and there backgrould however not one time have they talked how they would help the health care system to make it afforable for every American, raise the minimun wage so we can live on what we earn, the pricess are so high that no one can live on 7.25 an hour yet not one has said how they would raise it, education and make sure that every child can get the education they need to make it in today's world yet they do not talk how they would do it so no child is left behine no matter where you live.

    January 12, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. Jenine Marnocha

    Obama: How will you bring the Repulican and Democratic party together on the issue of withdrawing our troops? You state immediate withdraw- that is not middle ground. . .How would you compromise on this issue, if at all?

    January 12, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. jim provis

    A lot of people that I know are very concern about Healthcare.
    Will that be a universal coverage, will people be able to buy medicare under some conditions(i.e.the spouce of a retired person) e.t.c. and how this is going to be financed.
    Also, the Economy.we see the gap between poor and rich getting wider.will that stop and with what plan.
    thank you

    January 12, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Danny Sneade


    You have secured your party's nomination for President. A strange thing happens on the way to the White House. Party rules have been changed and now state that you must select as your Vice Presidential running mate one of your opponents for the Democratic nomination for President. Who would you choose…Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Gravel, Kucinich or Richardson? Why?

    January 12, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Tom, Granite City, Ilinois

    To Hillary Clinton: I do not believe you have 35 years of experience. I believe you have known leaders that have experience. You were married to the governor of Arkansas, president of the country. That does not count as experience in making the tough decisions of leadership. My question: John Mcain and Barrack Obama are getting over 80% of the independant votes and this will probably continue. Independants want someone that can bring this country together and out of bipartisanship. Many republicans have stated that they would never accept you as their president. 50% of the people of Americans would not vote for you. Why do you think you can convince these Americans that you can overcome the attitude that you are a divider not a uniter?

    January 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Rick

    When the midterm elections were looming in 2006, a lot of democrats were touting a change in the way the oil companies profited at the expense of middle America was needed. Well,here we are over a year later and it's not even mentioned. What are you going to do about gas prices?

    January 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Laura Thompson

    I don't seem to understand why all politicians speak in the same " tongue ". I'm looking for that ONE who goes outside the box outside the script. They just don't seem to be genuine! I'm afraid to ask this question because I'm going to hear the same ol'thing but here it goes. The middle class is slowing but surely dying.... does anyone seem to care? If not don't answer this question. If you really really care then let's hear it. This is a major problem for our country we are the majority we need to be respected and not taken advantage of. We are the engine of this country and with the most pride ,so I ask anyone of the candidates to offer their most heart felt opinion.

    A middle class citizen

    January 12, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Ben

    An issue I haven't seen addressed so far this election cycle is intellectual property. I would like to know how the candidates feel about the current copyright system. Namely:

    1) What do you feel the purpose of copyright is, and do you think the current duration of corporate copyright supports this purpose?

    2) How do you feel about Fair Use, is ripping a CD to mp3 format for personal use a violation of a copyright holders rights?

    3) Can you discuss the implications of companies whose entire business plan is to horde patents? Would you support a 'Use it or lose it' approach to patent holding?

    Thank you Mr. Blitzer and thank you candidates.

    January 12, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. roy from d tn.

    they all talk about creating new jobs and bring jobs back to the us. What is their plan for doing this? Saying they are going to is just not good enough. We need to know how!!!!

    January 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Chris Wallace

    I'd like to know if and which of the republican candidates
    they would put into their cabinet if they were elected president and
    why they would do it, which ideas of the selected one the agree on.

    January 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Deb

    1. How will you improve US relations with the rest of the world?

    2. How will you improve our educational system?
    (see Alan Greenspan's book The Age of Turbulence re: the dysfunctional elementary and secondary education in the US, and Ben Bernanke's comments in his speech on May 1, 2007, Embracing the Challenge of Free Trade: Competing and Prospering in a Global Economy. Federalreserve.gov)

    January 12, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Danny Vestal

    Hold the presidential candidates up to the following litmus test and most all of them will prove to be hypocrites and liars. They swear vows of lies on the Bible to God. The Truth is not in them.

    The vast majority of people in the world, who claim to be Christians, don't adhere even to the basic fundamentals of Christianity. For example, a beginning test in the extremely difficult task of finding a true Christian is to try to draw out a person's real religious doctrine. This is done in question and answer. A person will speak from the abundance of his heart. Good starting questions are; Do you believe war can be justified? Do you believe in executing people in some cases? If either of these questions is answered yes, the person's profession of Christianity is in vain. He does not trust in or know God and Jesus. God's Commandment is "Thou shalt not kill."
    The person, in answering yes, has spoken against the Holy Commandment of God. He has committed the sin of blasphemy which is equal to breaking any and all of God's Commandments. The Law of God is "Do not kill." (KJV Luke 18:20), (Mark 10:19), (James 2:11) The Law of God is "Love your enemies." (Matt. 5:44), (Luke 6:27) "Thou shalt not kill." (Romans 13:9) "Do violence to no man." (Luke 3:14) The servants of hypocrisy will attempt to argue that there is a difference of meaning in the translations of the words, kill and murder. Jesus put this lie to silence when he said, "Love your enemies." (Matt. 5:44), (Luke 6:27) To hit, shoot, bomb, execute, kill, etc. are not in the definition of love. "God is Love." (1.John 4:8,16)

    online version: http://BuenaVistaMall.com/Truth.htm

    January 12, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. Mike

    1. As a small business owner who already pays 37 percent in taxes, and who provides a very good health care package to my employees. I get very concerned when I hear all the democrats say they will increase taxes on the most wealthy, and instate universal health care. Does that mean that I will have to drop the health care, that I provide, because I will not be able to afford both. I employ 40 people, some of which, I will have to lay off, and cut benefits, if my taxes get any higher. How can they assure me that this will not have to happen with there plan.

    2. They have all stated they wanted to be less dependent on foreign oil. Without telling us all about alternate energy sources that are 100 years away. Would they support more drilling and building new refineries, along with nuclear power.

    Please make them state there positions,

    January 12, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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