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. Evan Denman

    As a teacher, I am very concerned about the No Child Left Behind Act. While accountability is certainly an admirable goal, the implementation of this program has in fact damaged our nations educational system. Instead of encouraging critical thinking skills, the standardized tests that the NCLB forces upon the states make it necessary for a teacher to teach by rote memorization instead of using a more inquiry based method. Would you as president urge congress to overhaul this law or repeal it altogether?

    January 13, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  2. joeisrightstill

    Would you support Joe Biden's plan to federalize Iraq?

    January 13, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  3. Lynn

    Ask a question of your choice to each candidate the day of, and ask them to submit the answer to you in writing. The same question. This way we can get one authentic view, and know that they are not just copying off of one onther with the answer. You can read each answer live, and then they can have some debate about the answers...but at least we'll know that their answers are independent (as much as they cn be?)

    January 13, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  4. Marc Kutylowski

    Ask Obama why he doesn't believe that substance isn't important.

    January 13, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  5. Marc Kutylowski

    Ask If they would support Joe Biden's plan to federalize Iraq?

    January 13, 2008 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  6. Jim Nicklin RET. Navy CPO

    My suggestion for Obama.. Let people know that you are 50% black and 50% White . this way you will have the best of both races .

    January 13, 2008 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  7. Jim Nicklin RET. Navy CPO

    My suggestion for Hillery is, Go home and take care of Bill , Show him how you can cook and clean the kitchen . Maybe he won't have to eat out .

    January 13, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  8. Michael from CT

    John Edwards continues to claim that he is out to help the middle class and the poor. I want to know why he is making those claims when as a investor he has ties to lenders foreclosing on hurricane Katrina victims. As far as I'm concerned I see him as a big fake.

    As far as Senator Barack Obama goes he has said numerous times that he has been against the Iraq war from the start. What I want to know is why in 2004 did Senator Obama say there was little difference between his position and President Bush's position on Iraq.

    Last but not least Senator Hillary Clinton seems to have a good plan to help boost the economy based on what I know, I would like to hear more about this and how it will help the average everyday American.

    January 13, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  9. Mark NC

    We want to know what can really be done about jobs going overseas? ( any canidate) all you have to do is drive over that beautiful bridge in Charleston and watch the container ships lined up to unload there cargo from China. 2 We already have a government sponsered heath plan it's called MEDICARE and MEDICAID and you see how well it works just ask one of our senior citizens! So there is a lot of work ahead of whoever is lucky enough to win the popular vote or the Electoral College votes? Just do me this favor instead of reporting on what Brittney Speres is doing tell Americans to go out and VOTE. We love you show WOLF keep up fantastic work you do at CNN.

    January 13, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  10. Apollo

    How will you enforce carbon offsets in China?

    If you can't, how can American companies compete?

    Which departments in the federal government will you eliminate?

    How will you make social security solvent? Real dollars.

    What will you do with the violent criminal illegal aliens? Pardon them? Let them stay here forever?

    January 13, 2008 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  11. Susan

    I would like you to ask all the candidates: Do they feel the selection for the best Democratic candidate is being overshadowed by the history making of either the first African-American or the first female President?

    Because personally for me, I don't care what race you are, or what sex you are, I what to know WHO you are and WHAT you stand for and SPECIFICS on what you are going to do to lead this country to a better more prosperous, and safe future.

    January 13, 2008 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  12. C Spurgeon

    I would ask them to outline their differences with the Republican party and the current administration. I am very tired of hearing them attack each other instead of Bush policies.Why should I vote Democratic instead of for McCain or Huckabee.? Try that one!

    January 13, 2008 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  13. AW in Santo Domingo

    Ask if any candidate favors a National Service Program that will guarantee at least 2 years of community/certificate/vocational college

    (investing in the human capital of our young adults, a spirit of service, promoting college w/o accumulating as much debt)


    emergency preparedness, community policing, water resource patrol, etc., are ALL component parts of a National Service Program. Education/community health care services, and military service could all be options for service as well.

    January 13, 2008 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  14. Zoe Artemis

    I would like to ask how Hillary Clinton can justify a Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton dynasty? This sounds more like a dictatorshop than a democracy....why isn't the press questioning this?

    January 13, 2008 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  15. Zoe Artemis

    I would like to ask: Hillary keeps talking about her 35 years experience....experience at what? eight years as first lady doesn't qualify one to become President. The only thing I can recall is her failed health care plan and her miserable embarrassment of her husband's philandering. As a native New Yorker, she has not accomplished anything for the people of NY, especially those living in upstate NY. Where's the beef?

    January 13, 2008 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  16. AW in Santo Domingo

    Should Bill Richardson be considered for Sec. of State? John Edwards VP or Attorney General? Would anyone consider NYC Mayor Bloomberg for VP (the best democratic mayor that city's ever had, even though he ran as a Republican)?

    How would your reach out to former presidents Carter and Clinton, as well as former VP Gore? What roles/access would they be given as advisors to your administration?

    January 13, 2008 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  17. Tim

    Obama has said that he opposes federal gay marriage legislation because it would violate church-state separation, and yet he supports the states' ability to legalize gay marriage if they so choose. These positions seem to imply he supports states' violation of the separation of church and state, so I would like to know how he reconciles these policy stances.

    January 13, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  18. Sue...FromCT

    This question is for all three candidates:

    Not everyone has the ability to become well educated, we all learn in different ways. What as President, would you do to help uneducated workers gain job training? I know I've been unemployed and the local unemployment office is no longer here. Are we just supposed to live on the streets? We want jobs. We are all not "lazy" people.

    The minimum wage needs to be higher and someone needs to tell the corporations to stop lying about what losses they would inherit with paying higher hourly rates to employees. The United States is becoming all about how much greed corporations can make.

    January 13, 2008 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  19. Fredo

    As the saying goes "It is easier said than done!" A few years ago we voted for someone who promised to CHANGE THE TONE in Washington, but it appears it has rather been fine-tuned. I would like to ask the candidates why I should believe in their message of change and why should I trust them??

    January 13, 2008 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  20. Cathy

    In the New York Times Jan 13 article, Senator Clinton said:

    “I don’t think either Senator Obama or myself want to see the injection of race or gender into this campaign,” she continued. “We are each running as individuals. I think it’s absolutely extraordinary that the two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for president are an African-American and a woman.”

    WHAT!?!?!?!? In the New Hampshire debate, she said with gusto something to the effect.... a woman getting elected president would represent the biggest change.

    She is always bringing gender into the discussion.

    This is so typical of Clinton posturing and saying whatever she thinks will sway people to her side.

    So which is it Hillary? No mention of gender and stay neutral? Or play it as your trump card?

    January 13, 2008 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  21. Rebecca Rhodes

    1) Please ask all candidates whether they have chosen to accept monies from lobbyists or political action groups, and how they justify/explain their choice. (For those who don't know, the Obama campaign is the only democratic campaign not accepting money from special interest groups)!
    2) Please ask all candidates what their perspective is on the future of USAID foreign aid-will we continue as we have under Bush and Rice to let our department of defense be increasingly in charge of our development aid?

    Thanks and good luck.

    January 13, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  22. liberal leaning middle age female

    Just since becoming US Senators, ask Senators Clinton, and Obama to outline their votes on war funding.

    I like both candidates. I wish the Clintons had been more careful in their language.

    I do believe ,however, it is just as likely that their are just as many people not voting for Hillary Clinton, because she is a womans, as the likelyhood of someone not voting for Barak Obama because he is black.

    January 13, 2008 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  23. Nico Syren

    I would like to know why is each candidate the best candidate for the interests of the black people of this country? Also, anything about illegal immigration?

    January 13, 2008 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  24. LJ

    will you please ask any one of the Dems an immigration question of anykind...PLEASE....that was so great when that evil T Russert did last time....I haven't seen that kind of flip floppin , pandering to the illegals,....hemming and hawing in a while....and please outlaw the word Change, and don't let Edwards asy the word .....Why? I still will make sure I am not eating while watching the Dems act like they have ever done anything in their career that qualifies them to be running anyway

    January 13, 2008 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  25. ANON

    Wolf, why is Obama not being ask what kind or type of Change he wants to bring to Washington. Please find out if he will Change the White House name to American House? To me that's what we Blacks wants to see changed. Until then his effusions about change is nothing more but cymbals.

    January 13, 2008 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
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