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. Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    I would ask if they are going to prosecute and hold accountable the people who took us wiht lies into this horrific war and who tortured, outed a CIA agent, illegally witretapped, destroyed emails from their offices against the law and ignored subpeonas to testify.
    This would include GW Bush, Cheney, Rove, Harriet Myers, just to name a few.

    All of the corruption must be accounted for and those who did illegal things should be punished! No matter what. No pardons. Just , are they going to uphold the laws of America or ignore the criminals?

    January 12, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Dan Jones

    Would you consider selecting Stephen Colbert as your running-mate?

    January 12, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Robbie

    Question to Senator Obama: How are you doing quitting smoking? Were there times during your stressful campaigning where you had to sneak a drag or two?

    January 12, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Jennifer B

    Ask Obama what makes him have expeirance. He has not been on congress long and has dont worked on to much of anything. So why him? Why do the rebulicans like him so much?

    January 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. TO Disgusted With American Voters

    TO Disgusted With American Voters:

    You are right; the photo of Barack Obama without his hand over his heart was not taken during the Pledge of Allegiance; it was taken during the National Anthem. Most Americans do show respect by placing their hands over their hearts. He did not, and when asked why he removed his American flag lapel pin, he stated it is a personal choice. Given the pattern, it is still of concern. It doesn't hurt to ask poignant questions.

    January 12, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Professor Richard Constand from Florida


    Just 40 years ago a cup of coffee costs 10 cents, a gallon of gas costs 30 cents, a new car costs $2,500 and a new house cost $25,000.

    Today a cup of coffee is over $1.00, gas is $3.00, the new car cost is about $25,000 and the new single family house averages $250,000 or more.

    Over the last 40 years, prices for all these commodities have increased by a factor of about 10 times or more.

    This means that in the last 40 years, the dollar has lost 90% of its purchasing power. Today you need $10.00 to pay for what you use to be able to buy for $1.00.

    The cause of this inflation is the Federal Reserve. They create too much money and the rapidly increasing money supply results in rising prices for everything consumers have to buy from gas to food.

    What will you do in order to stop this excessive money creation process that causes rising inflation?

    January 12, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Steve

    I was taught that if I got a good education, and a good job, I could afford to have a family and own my own home. I studied hard, got a computer science degree and a very good job, and I now have these things, but my interest only mortgage payment is killing me financially...it leaves me no money to save for college or retirement.

    How can the middle class be so hard up? Its time to fix this mess. What will each candidate do for mortgage reform?

    Can any of them make the "HOPE" thing that Bush tried to do actually help someone?
    Bush is an idiot for standing up and celebrating the fact that he got so many people into new homes...just a few years later he's watching them all get foreclosed upon.

    January 12, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. darrell

    To all the candidates: A Question on experience: in 1992, Governor Bill Clinton once said in response to President Bush senior’s statement on experience "the same old experience is not relevant" Bill was making his case for Change, in 1992. Do you think that applies today as well?

    Senator Clinton: did your experience help you when voting for the Iraq war? Did experience help you Senator Clinton in giving Bush authorization to exercise the option of war with Iran?

    Senator Clinton: Senator why did it take a Lost in Iowa before you listened to the Voters?

    Senator Edwards and Senator Obama: Will it take you that long to listen to the American people, Are you willing to admit mistakes, and apologize and Move on with the Country affairs?

    Senator Clinton: did you ever apologize for voting for the war, after admitting your experience did not guide your Vote in the right direction?

    Thank You

    January 12, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Adam D

    Relations between the United States and Canada have diminished since George Bush became President in 2000. I believe that a majority of Canadians feel as though the United States has taken a step backwards rather than forward with respect to foreign policy (Iraq, Iran, North Korea and Syria) and domestic human rights issues (gay marriage, immigration and the Patriot Act).

    What will your administration do to improve relations with Canada, your largest trading partner and northern ally?

    Thank you.

    January 12, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Silvio


    Please ask Mrs. Clinton why she has to use Martin Luther King's name to prove she has more experience than Obama and why her husband attacks his candidacy as a "fairy tale"?

    Does she believe this is the type of politics that will unite all Americans?

    Thank you.

    January 12, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Duop Chak, Colorado Springs, CO

    Hi Wolf, I have three questions for all candidates, bellows are my questions:

    a. Sen. Clinton, John Edwards, and Sen. Obama, to the best of your knowledge, were the votes in NH counted right?

    b. John Edwards, Sen. Obama, and Sen. Clinton, what can you say about the current situation in Darfur and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) brokered by President Bush administration in 2005?

    January 12, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. charles andrews

    i am concerned with social security and medicare. In our small city in Oregon, most of the large clinics are refusing new patients whose only insurance is Medicare. How can doctors refuse to provide health care to citizens whose age has entitled them to government provided insurance? What safeguards do the candidates support, especially when the fastest growing group of voters is this older group.

    January 12, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I like them to be asked why they are not blooking Bush administration from torturing people in a Cuba camp?

    January 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Tim

    To each of the candidates:

    Each of you have mention change and bipartisan efforts as part of your ongoing strategy to improve America. In order to accomplish this, you would need to listen objectively to your potential opponents as well as your allies which leads to my question: Which republican presidential hopeful has the best opportunity to create positive change within our country, and why do you believe he does?

    January 12, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. TO All Candidates

    This primary season has truly illuminated the process of electing a nominee. As a former citizen of NJ, where private all-day primaries are scheduled, and now a new citizen of Maine, where a caucus will be held, I am disheartened. It seems that the caucus system disenfranchises voters who for many valid reasons cannot attend, such as work, hospitalization, out of state business etc. It also seems that the caucus system plays to peer pressure and a sort of “do-over,” “let’s make a deal” scenario. The right to vote is precious. It is a right that was fought hard for; yet, a caucus seems to take that right away from many people. For instance, many callers to NPR in Iowa on the eve of the caucus were older citizens or people in the hospital who were upset that their right to vote was taken from them because they had no physical way to be at a certain place during a small time period. They had wished for the right to an absentee ballot or a private primary, which would have given them more time to get to the voting precinct. Workers also called in who were denied leave to vote because too many people had requested the specific caucus time off.

    The questions are: Is the caucus system fair to each and every eligible voter?
    AND, why is it fair that some voters get to actually “do-over” a vote and vote twice (if their candidate is not viable) while some others are denied their right to vote even once due to their circumstance?

    January 12, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Michael

    Question for Obama-What are the 3 biggest policy differences
    foreign or domestic that are different and therefore make you
    a better candidate than Hillary?

    January 12, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. A.W. Langston

    Ask the candidates about their respective plans for the U.S. Space Program?

    January 12, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. darrell

    Steve: Hope

    Without Hope what do we have?

    Hopelessness – Americas' thinking today!

    Hope is what brought us to America

    Still possible today.

    Obama 2008

    January 12, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. Jared Mollenkof, Chattanooga TN

    As a young African American voter I am excited by the prospects of a campaign where civil rights has had to play a large role in the discussion because of the people who are running. I am deeply saddened however by the lack of discussion concerning abortion in this election on all sides. My question for the Democratic candidates who are so certain of a womens "right" to choose, I would ask them whether they would be willing to sit in on a late term abortion before they were inaugurated. If they are the leader of a nation that is dramatically split on the issue of reproductive choices and the humanity of a baby within the womb, I think that they should have to observe the medical practice that they are willing to defend.

    My question: Senators, would you be willing to sit in on abortion and observe the medical procedure that you consider a womans right?

    January 12, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. Judy Kampf

    I would like you to ask the candidates why Americans pay double for perscription drugs that the rest of the world . Don't let them avoid answering the question saying that we have to pay for research. There is no reason that we have to subsidize the rest of the world. Wy has congress allowed the drug companies to treat us so badly?

    January 12, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Leah DiMarco

    Please ask Mrs. Clinton if she 'inhaled'.

    Also ask her why she thinks her experience as a Senator is not equal to the experience of Senator Obama.

    Also please ask her if she realizes that both she and Senator Obama both received 9 delegates in New Hampshire.

    What will the candidates do to reform the election process in regards to the voting machines.

    The American people need to ask themselves which of the two front-runners are more honest and have the most integrity and who is more apt to unite the citizens of the United States of America.

    January 12, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. davidrooks

    wolf: ask the major players(obama clinton and edwards) to make very clear the differnces in there health care policys and why they think thers is right for america!

    January 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. James Brown ( Independent )

    " illegal immigration" is the one issue that the Democratic nominee is going to hit a wall on in the general election. As an Independent voter that has always leaned Democrat , i can't bring myself to vote for open boarder policies.

    Question for OBAMA;

    Will you secure our Boarders ?

    January 12, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. darrell

    janet January 11, 2008 5:03 pm ET

    Obama, what experience do you have that proves you have the financial wherewithall to dig us out of the depression we are heading toward?
    Do you think Bill Had the whereeithall (like that word) to do It? He built an Administration of thinkers. Resulted in action.

    I hope we do not think these candidate are experts beyond being lawyers. They will have advisers that supports that "presidents mission statment"

    1992. Where was Bill's washington experince. you Remeber what he said, right.

    January 12, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. Mrs. America

    I would like to know the candidates' opinions on all questions asked, even those on topics that would be under Congress' control or would (or should) be left up to the individual states. In other words,"I would leave it up to the individual states" is not a complete enough answer.

    January 12, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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