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. James , Jackson ,GA

    The Democratic party says it will help the middle and lower class by raising tax on big business. How does this help us when the raise the price of products and cut back on employees hours to make up the difference and maintain their profit margin??

    Would it not make More sense to cut taxes on people making under $70,000, since these are the middle and lower classes today. ??

    January 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Emory Mayne

    I would ask them to answer this;

    Bush – Clinton – Clinton – Bush – Bush --- Clinton????

    Are your ready for, OR are you afraid off - CHANGE?

    January 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Nicole


    As a voter, I would like to hear the candidates responses to the actions of Vladamir Putin in Russia. The absolute disappearance of democracy and rights under the Bush Administration is deplorable. What would they do to change this dangerous path and how? I have heard very little in this campaign.

    Thank you.

    January 12, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. J.C.

    I as a democrat remember 1993 when the Clinton's started to try and make these huge changes that they ran their election on like Universal Healthcare happen.. Hillary quickly found out and continued to learn for the rest of their time in Washington exactly what "Trying to Change" Washington means...She was not even allowed to bring up Universal Healthcare for the rest of Bill's term....
    These SPECIAL INTERESTS, LOBBYISTS, AND CORPORATIONS have the power to ruin someone, especially if they do not have the many years of political experience that Hillary and Bill had when they were elected...I would like to ask both John Edwards and Barack Obama IN DETAIL how they plan to take on these very powerful entities... Again not a generalized pandering answer, but a detailed answer... that is true! Obama was caught lying at the last debate about his LOBBYIST policy and this in fact proves he already lost against them, because all the politicians have to do is stand up and eat for their free food... I for one don't buy the fancy speeches. Reality and the past tells me that someone claiming to change something that they have no idea what they are up against is living in a fairy tale! I have saved this question for you (as a moderator) because I believe that you are fair, balanced, will not allow a vague answer, and are truly looking out for the American people..
    Thanks Wolf,

    January 12, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Chaz

    Ask all the candidates. Would you consider Bloomburg as a VP? And if so – why? and if not – why?

    January 12, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. Ruben

    ask hillary how being the first lady of arkansas and the white house qualifies her? she's only ever held one elective position..

    and if she is trying to take credit for being part of her husband's administration, then how is that a forward looking change and not a return to the past?

    January 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |

    A significant number of the voters who support your candidacy are between the ages of 18-24. Having done a sample survey of this age group, we found that most participants (who are your supporters) could not identify where Iraq was on a map, what the thirteen original colonies were, how many ammendments to the constitution there are, and what is the term limit for a supreme court justice as well as many other basic US and world facts. In addition, none of the 150 participants could answer any specific questions about your plan and stance on issues when asked. The overall response was that "Obama stands for change."

    Number one, given the scenario, what will you do to improve the education system in the US, and, number two, does it concern you that at least this sampling of your supporters is following you based on a slogan rather than knowledge and acceptance of your proposals and specifics for America?

    January 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. Inna

    To all:

    Health care is a big topic this year. One of the ideas that has been circulating is that the government guarantee that "no family, however high its income, [should be] required to spend more than 15 percent of its income on health care in any one year.” (Graetz and Mashaw) Do you support this premise, have another and better idea, or do you prefer the traditional Republican/Democratic divide where Democrats would have the rich subsidize the sick and the Republicans would have the healthy subsidize the poor?

    January 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Holly East

    Under the Bush administration, we’ve seen Presidential powers expanded to include torture and abuse at Abu G’hraib, warrantless domestic spying, the death of the writ of Habeas Corpus, executive privilege asserted to refuse information and ignore subpoenae, the outing of a CIA agent and the subsequent protection via pardon of an administration official involved, the politicization of the Military and of the Justice Department, and the use of misinformation and propagandae to justify preemptive war (to name but a few.) My question is:

    What will you do to address each of these attacks on our constitution if elected President?

    January 12, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  10. Fatima

    My question is to Hillary Clinton. Please give me 3 precise examples of your 35 years of experience in an executive capacity, things that you actually did, in the areas of economy, foreign policy and education.

    January 12, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Aaron Weisman

    Ask their position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and how they plan to proceed if Bush fails to get a treaty.

    January 12, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. John William

    Here is a great question that should be asked: Who is the first woman to win an American Presidential Primary?

    America 08

    January 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. John William

    So will posing the above trivia be posted? Exactly........

    January 12, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Mike

    I need specifics!!! They all want to provide Americans with health care, but how much will it cost for each family? For example, I'd like to know the monthly premium for a family of 4 that makes $30K, 60K, and 90K. Also copays, deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket numbers..

    Second, they each talk about tax cuts for the middle class. What do they consider the middle-class and what kind of cuts (e.g. tax credits, larger income brackets, etc)?

    How will they ensure that other countries will pay fair wages and meet the same environmental regulations as American factories?

    Also, I'd like to know what their plan is for peace in Israel-Palestine?

    January 12, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. Miriam

    I'd like to ask the candidates if they intend to hold the current administration accountable for any crimes (war crimes, high crimes and misdemeanors) they committed while in office.

    January 12, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. SFC Parker

    I hear a great deal about helping the "middle class" my question is "who do you consider the middle class” what is the income level that makes a family or person middle class?
    Many people who bought a home with adjustable rate mortgages did so willingly and knew the rate would climb after the initial time period expired, why should we as tax payers have to support these people with financial aid for not having the common sense to stay within their means.
    Why not allow the market to correct their mistake? If they have to sell the home and buy something more affordable won’t these people be better off in the long run?
    How do you feel about the resent trend of Cities and Towns trying to sue lending institutions because they charged higher interest rates for people with less than perfect credit to buy a home? People with less than perfect credit pay higher rates for auto loans so what is the difference?
    Cities with high minority populations are saying the high rate of minority foreclosures is proof of discrimination, if a City has a higher minority population it stands to reason more minorities will be in foreclosure, how is this discrimination?

    January 12, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Anthony

    Mrs. Clinton,

    If you are confident of the record of you and your husband in the 1990's why do you think the race between Al gore and now President George Bush was so close? I mean even if you go by the popular vote Gore did not win by a substantial amount. Why did half of the country not agree with you?

    January 12, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. greg jacobs

    I would like to ask how all the candidates would approach the energy crisis. Given 100 dollar per barrel oil, what legislation would they offer to help America move toward sustainable alternative energy sources.

    thank you....

    January 12, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Maria L. English

    To all of the candidates
    The Republicans are doing a very good job by using racial hatred of our Latino Community to win the election what are you going to do about that anti Latino Immigrant laws that are being passed on most States,What would each one of you do so that in an immediate future we wont have to carry trucks full of documents to prove that we are not illegal aliens

    January 12, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. Shawn Weiske

    I would like to know what the fundamental policy differences are between the candidates, particularly Obama and Clinton. I dont want to hear about experience or new faces, but the actual policy differences. I think the voters need to know more than the usual political rhetoric discussed during the debates.

    January 12, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. patientdad

    Why should we continue the failed dual dynasty of the past 20 year? Bush (Sr) Clinton and Bush (Jr.) Doesn't sound like change to me.

    January 12, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Ed Posey

    I would like to know what each of the democratic candidates plan is for stopping american business from taking american jobs out of this country to overseas countries where labor cost is lower and where child labor is being utilized.

    I would also like to know what each candidate's plan is for leveling the playing field for american business against imported products made by overseas manufactures.

    I would also like to know what each candidate's plan is for protecting the american consumer from the imported products that are produced by overseas manufactures that are not using or meeting U.S. safety standards from being allowed to be sold in this country.

    January 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. renegadefella

    John Mccain took a hard stand on immigration, he sufffered in the polls and yet has been redeeming himself lately. How come none of the Democratic frontrunners are actively addressing this issue, and when are you gonna try to resolve this polarizing issue?

    January 12, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |

    You stated that weakness was shown when Senator Clinton showed emotion during her time in NH, and, when asked whether you show emotion in this way, you said "no." I find this even more frightening because it could be interpreted as having no feelings at all. Please explain your reasons for calling Senator Clinton weak.

    January 12, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. carol

    Why did you give social security to immigrints? And how can you stop this as it is going to run out for those who paid inot it.? And how is medical going to be sovent in the future if we are all on it?

    January 12, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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