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. Rick in Florida

    Do you believe there is wasteful spending in government? If so, then tell us which programs or agenices you will work to scale back or eliminate. Please be specific.

    January 12, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Angela

    Please ask Hillary isn't she afraid people will think she is going to steal the furniture from the WHITE HOUSE again? you see she is old school and the nation is tiredof the same old stuff. The Clinton Team had their chance already. Now ii is time for a change. does she understand this??

    January 12, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Courtney

    Mr. Blitzer,

    I am a Wellesley-educated African-American woman whose career has twice been sidetracked due to nothing other than racial discrimination in the workplace. Along with thousands of African-Americans in upstate New York, I have been fighting a legal battle against Kodak, a company with a long history of racial discrimination against African-American employees. Given the country's current economic woes, I believe it is all the more disgraceful that people should find themselves out of work for no reason other than their racial identity. With respect to Martin Luther King Day, I'd like to know what the candidates plan to do to enforce civil rights, and in particular, Title VII, so that people who invest in their education (and those who otherwise can't afford to – not that I can) don't have to find themselves out of work (in an already depressed economy) simply because of the lack of respect for the dignity and civil rights of others. It seems that if we are going to strengthen the economy in this country, everyone should be afforded the absolute right, without let or hindrance, to work in a safe and inclusive work environment regardless of their race.

    January 12, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. public transportation

    Do any of you realize the imminent need in this country for public transportation, light rail, buses, trains, etc. and its role in conserving energy and getting people from spending hours of their day in traffic.

    All over the United States this is an issue. What do you plan to do about this as President of the United STates?

    January 12, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Liz

    Obama, your camp has wrongly accused Clinton of making statements that are racist. If you are a genuine change agent and want to unify the country, how do you explain your silent tacit approval of such accusations. A true leader would not tolerate such divisiveness.

    January 12, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  6. Alex Davis

    Two question, first what has Mrs. Clinton ever done for black people. Next, why is okay for her to criticize Obama and Edwards, but when they do it to her they are gaining up on him. How can she be ready to lead this country if she cannot even stand up to her critics without playing the gender card. I have not seen Obama doing this. I hope you ask her this question. And tell her husband to shut up for me.

    January 12, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. Eve

    Mr. Blitzer,
    Please ask the candidate Mr. Obama: Aside from promoting bi-partisanship and not taking money from lobbyists, and other than"No child left behind", we want to know what are other specific "Changes We Can Believe In" that you think the other candidates don't have? How would you implement these specific changes that would improve the lives of the poor and the middle class?

    What steps would you take to stop nuclear proliferation that differs from the other candidates and would you choose preemptive attack without Congress and UN approval versus diplomacy if the US is directly threatened by a nuclear power?

    What changes have you implemented in Illinois as a US senator and what specifics have you done to alleviate poverty in the state you represent?

    What are you going to do about the trillions deficit and what solutions would you put in motion to prevent us from sliding into a full recession, where and how would you start?

    January 12, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. josh

    who will be your vice-president? since everyone is talking about change, would this not be a good time to have a vice presidetial canidate from the other party? would that not be a true bi-partisan administration?

    January 12, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. Scout

    Senator Obama & Senator Clinton:

    Why do you feel the need to imitate southern baptist preachers when you're addressing predominantly black audiences? Don't they deserve the same respect that you give everyone else?

    January 12, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. Derek

    Ask the candidates what they will do with millions of undocumented immigrants here.

    January 12, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. Mrs. D. Vaughn

    Hillary Clinton:

    On the first day of your husband’s first term administration, he hosted a receiving line for visitors. My husband and I were watching CSpan, and noticed that every time he spoke to black visitors he commented on how “sharp” they were dressed (you really should go back and look at the video). We found this to be extremely insulting, as he did not do this with anyone else. If you are elected, will you make the same patronizing mistake?

    January 12, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  12. Amanda

    Question to all:

    Year after year there are empty promises after empty promises in politics. What makes you any different?

    January 12, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  13. Ivelisse

    I would ask Obama what he would do if after he have hugs and kisses to all the republicians they diluted his bills to the point of impotence and how would he handle the pork that the will surely flow on both sides which is another syntom of bipartianship.

    January 12, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  14. TR in Colorado

    Why should americans support yet another political dynasty?
    The Clintons were in charge for 8 years, and the Bushes for 4 year before them and 8 years after.
    Does it really make sense to now have the Clintons back for another 4 to 8 years?
    How in the world would that be "change"?

    January 12, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  15. Cathy

    The Republicans talk about building a fence along our southern border. What are your views on the fence? What methods do you think would be most effective in securing our borders?

    Would you put more emphasis on stopping illegal immigrants at the border or on stopping terrorists from entering the country? What about entry from our northern border? What about entry from the east or west coast? What methods would you put in place to secure our ports and stopping the importation of materials used by terrorists?

    What is your view on a national ID card? Why are you for or against them?

    Olmert of Israel recently thanked Bush for the $30 BILLION in aid. Is it appropriate for the US to just give money to other countries? If you do agree with this policy, what should the criteria be for giving this money/aid. Is giving money really the best way to help other nations? Why should we continue to sell/give military weapons to other countries? Or should we stop doing this all together?

    For Hillary: 35 years of experience!? Break it down for me. Weren't you a corporate lawyer for many years? I agree that life experience helps, but does the role of First Lady of Arkansas and the US really count as hands-on experience or just observational experience. How do we know what you really did in the White House when all those records are sealed??

    For Edwards and Obama: Neither of you brag about a specific number of years of experience, but clearly you have been active in the private and public realm just like Clinton has been. Break down your experience.

    January 12, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  16. Siva Nara

    When Hillary says, that she is going to fix health care and she is experienced, why didn't she and her husband didn't fix the health care system, when Bill was President?

    January 12, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  17. ELM

    Tom – Traverse City, MI: My understanding is that Michagin violated a rule regarding the move of the democratic primary date. No democratic delegates will be awarded from your state this year through your primaries. This could be why you're seeing this change on the ballot. Sorry!

    January 12, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  18. Tomas Gordon

    For Senator Obama: Do you think President Lyndon Johnson should get more credit for passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act than Dr. Martin Luther King?

    January 12, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  19. Carolyn


    I would like to know if any of the candidates think that a person could run for president this year without making dirty politics a part of their campaign. To say that their ads and remarks are only comparisons is not true. I believe that most voters of today, are tired and resentful of candidates that run their campaign solely on the basis of how terrible their competitors are and how wonderful they would be if elected. The message of hope that Obama brings is encouraging. America as we knew and loved her is in trouble. There are no quick fixes that any one candidate can provide, however, it would help if they believed in a strong America that stands for principle and truth. Our military fights for our country under its flag. Isn't it time for a president that loves the flag and this country enough to fight for it as well? I would ask this question of the Republican candidates also. I am a card carrying Republican looking for a true American president. I guess that leaves the Clintons out. Been there and done that. Thanks for your Situation Room show. I am becoming a regular viewer!

    January 12, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  20. Brian Lofland

    As long as I lived in my Mother's house and took her money, I had to follow her rules. One of the few things I think most Americans could agree on right now is that lobbiests have undue influence on our government and specifically our elections. To Senators Clinton, and Obama: How can either of you promise change to the American people when the change that must come has to be demanded of the very people who have bought and paid for your election as they have the last 10 or more.

    To all the candidates with this in mind, isn't it about time to ask each American to pay a poultry three dollars a year so we can eliminate lobbyist money and influence from our elections?

    January 12, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  21. Belle

    For Obama and Clinton:

    1. Mrs. Clinton, you have mentioned that Mr. Obama's health plan did not cover everyone. How did you receive a copy of his health plan, and how did he receive a copy of yours? Can you post your health plan to your website?

    2. Mr. Obama, you are a gifted speaker. Where are you going to get the money to pay for a national health plan?

    3.Mrs. Clinton, are you planning to have any Republicans in your cabinet? If not, how do you plan to unite the country?

    4.Mr. Obama, specifically, what bills have you co sponsored or written in the senate that have been passed and have become law? And how have those bills helped the American people?

    5. As President of the United States of America, your employers are the American people who voted for you. What can you do differently to be accountable to the American people. (For both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama)

    6. What specifically are your plans for the sub-mortgage crises? (For both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton)

    January 12, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  22. Anthony

    To Hillary, you are arguably the most devisive political figure today and was also considered so during your prior administration. Your prior history suggests a strongly partisan, secretive, and heavy handed approach to getting things accomplished. How can you now consider yourself a uniter and not a divider? The country is looking for a fresh new perspective in government leadership. Why are you better suited to meet the voter's desire in the regards relative to any other candidate. This question has nothing to do with the experience question.

    January 12, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  23. Larry A. Martin

    I would ask why we are not discussing the
    opening of a Central Bank as part of the
    US Government?
    We could print money interest free, and pay of
    the debt in one or two years.

    We could rid ourself of fractional reserve banking
    and not enslave ourselves to the exponential curve
    of taking on more debt to survive.

    Why isn't this topic being discussed?

    January 12, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  24. Barry

    I would say, 'Yes having you, a woman, in the White House would be a 'Change', but many Americans still don't believe that's enough 'Change'. After the Bush/Clinton fatigue of 4years of Bush the father, 8 years of Clinton, back to 8 mores years of Bush Jr., why should the voters not turn the page and nominate someone other than another Bush or Clinton.

    January 12, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  25. Glenn

    Is the Current Account Deficit a serious problem and if so, what would you do about it?

    January 12, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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