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. AnnAloha, PA Independent Thinker

    Could we get a list of total endorements for each candidate and see the totals and breakdowns to compare who supports who?

    January 13, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  2. Kendra

    Whether or not you supported the Iraq war do you believe the US now has a responsibility to ensure stability in Iraq? What do you think the probably outcome in Iraq, and the region, will be if the US leaves? How long does this responsibility last?

    January 13, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  3. Bill

    To all.

    What are your plans for dealing with illegal immigration?

    Why do you talk about a secure border when , at the last second , a provision was put into the budget that was just passed ( and agreed on by all) to CUT funding for the fence. ??

    January 13, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  4. glenda greek

    we hear what this candidate will do for us and that candidate will do for us. i would like to hear what each one of them would ask us to do for ourselves, something concrete we can do for our country to help it to be the best we can be. one president cannot make any of these plans take place without everyone working together. is that even possible??? what would they have us do to help?

    January 13, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  5. Richard

    Keep the pressure on the candidates to address their specific plans to: end the war in Iraq & Afghanistan, bring our troops home; bring economic assistance & relief to the middle & lower classes and end the recession, and bring jobs back to the US; provide healthcare for all citizens; improve education and make it available to all citizens; and secure our borders, deal with employers that give jobs to illegal aliens, and identify and deport illegals.

    January 13, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  6. Bonnie K

    My question is this? all the politicians talk about health care ? please define health care? also sen obama , it's not what i can do for u, but it's a question of what can you do for me? As an American, as a single person living with no health care ( medical insurance ) ....so i ask again . what can you do for me?

    January 13, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  7. Carlos

    I would ask senator obama and senator clinton what they think about rising problems in the middle east and africa and how will they solve them.

    Also what will be their reaction if another terrorist attack hit the US.

    Also how they treat the problem between US-Venezuela and US-Cuba.

    And how will they plan to end the war on iraq since taking out soldiers is not really so safe because air strikes might happen and another terrorist attack in the US also might happen.

    What will they do with corruption problems in the US Government

    January 13, 2008 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. Aileen W

    We are currently operating in a debt based economy. Federal, business and personal debt are underpinning any economic growth. The banking and financial services industries are the only large growth businesses. What would you do to make sure that we have a sustainable economy that is based on real work output and value added to the GNP?

    January 13, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  9. Eileen Hamilton

    The Republicans spent the entire 8 years that Bill Clinton was in the white house trying to bring him down. There was never a second during his incumbancy that he was not under investigation. Over 70 million of our hard earned dollars was used to destroy him. (you know, spent by the party that is constantly telling us that it is the Democratic party who are wasteful with our tax money) The theory was, presumably, that even if there was nothing provable, enough people would believe that if there was an ongoing investigation, there must be some guilt.
    I would like to know, especially for Hillary Clinton, why she thinks it would be any different for her, especially because the Rebublicans and pundits started dragging her down with rumors and inuendos and have authored quite a number of bogus books about her. In other words there are a lot of people who have been working very hard for years to convince people that she is an evil woman .
    That is why I believe there are too many people who would put all their efforts into preventing her from accomplishing anything. I'm sure she would fight hard, but I have witnessed the techniques that have been used and it isn't pretty. Frankly, I would like to hear how Hillary imagines she can do anything about the gridlock that is currently in Washington. Yes, I know she has worked across the aisle to get bills passed, but frankly, I think the bills went forward because they were what the Republicans wanted not because they were for the good of the people. For the past 10 years our country has been moving backwards and we are losing a lot more than status in the world. I feel we are desparate for somebody who can really start breaking down the barriers that are preventing us from moving forward again.

    January 13, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  10. charlotte

    WOW a lot of questions, MOST OF MY QUESTION HAVE BEEN ASKED BY SOMEONE ELSE. How do you determine which to ask? If it is how many ask the same question, then I should ask. Otherwise, we all have the same questions, just some aren't as mean spirted. I have one question, The same people will be there to greet the NEW PRESIDENT. How will you make a significant change giving the status quo. We've heard, " reaching across the isle" Who in the congress will be your go to guy? Unless we are having everyone up for re-election at the same time, I don't see much changing, except at the veto stage of the game.

    January 13, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  11. Patricia Babel

    Dear Wolf, We keep hearing about change and now the economy is the number one issue. Please ask any and all of the candidates what kind of jobs they will create? Will they be "service jobs" at a lower wage scale or will they try to bring back manufacturing jobs so that the US will be independent and self-sufficient again?

    January 13, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  12. Jack K.

    For Clinton and Obam:

    I've heard lobbyists and special interest groups who support the Democratic Party have pressured the DNC leadership to distance itself from John Edwards because of his policies against accepting donations from them, as well as the GOP supporting special interest groups? And that some of his colleagues in the Senate have given their support to you Mr. Obama and you Ms. Clinton–because of arm twisting by the DNC leadership.

    If you were aware of such activities by the DNC leadership or members of the Democratic party– would you make it known to the American people and the people of the Democratic Party?

    January 13, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  13. Aristocat

    If Hillary Clinton is elected, aren't we getting darn close to an aristocracy?

    Why should two families, Bush and Clinton, be able to control the most powerful political position in the world?

    How would another Clinton presidency constitute change? Change back to the combative 90's with the never-ending partisan bickering?

    January 13, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  14. John

    To each candidate: What steps will you take to restore the historic strength of the dollar?

    January 13, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. Jerry

    To all Candidates :

    With the power that comes with the Presidency, and the Presidents decision making that affect most everyone of us, How Do you separate Fact from fantasy in when making decisions in your privet and professional life ?

    January 13, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  16. Travis Gaddis

    The democratic party has been about making it possible for the less fortunate members of our nation to acheive the 'American Dream.' Every child a meal, every family a home. Do they ever go to bed at night wondering if – instead of spending millions of dollars to win a presidental race, where they may or may not make a difference, they should take that money and invest it into programs that will most likely have a more lasting positive affect on our nation and it's people that their presidency?

    January 13, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  17. Eunice A- N. Uganda

    I am Ugandan but I would like to ask by virtue of being a world citizen who cant ignore America's foreign policies -sometimes dirty- and impacts on countries like mine. These days – and for long running before – the catchwords for America are "terrorists-hunters" turned 'terrorists'! And for obvious reasons. True to your country's whimps, your rating in the world, even from my third world corner of the globe has gone down considerably. I personally find it hard to think of the current America as sober, pace-setter, big brother etc kind of image for the rest of us to credit. Everyone knows that America did the entire globe GOOD when they came to the world rescue in the 1940's and the rest is history. Racial abilities not withstanding (and I personally think Obama is more of a hybrid – not black, not white-and possibly with hybrid ideas (?)), please inform all the 3 candidates that the world is enthusiastically watching all these developments with bated breathe and ask each what manner of policies they plan to engage across the globe in correcting the current 'hypocritic' dirty image some outsiders have and building stronger bridges with a human face across the globe. They way clinton is portraying herself is currently the way America is portrayed to some outsiders like us: arrogant and looking down on others. America, wake up big brother/sister!

    Make the best choice for yourselves but also realise that sometimes your choices step awkwardly on other people's toes, (...and you start worrying about terrorists). Good luck all the same. We love you America!

    January 13, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  18. V. Van Dyne

    Give details on how they purpose to make changes

    No earmarks allowed to a bill unless it pertaints to that bill.

    January 13, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  19. Deb, Riverview, Fl

    Why are you running?
    Why do you think you are qualified?
    Clinton has already been vetted but lets hear from Edwards and Obama:
    Obama – Tony Rezko? How did he help you and since you are from Chicago how could you not know.
    Edwards – Why were you just a one term senator? What did you do for the Hedgefunds?

    Should and is race an issue?

    Please bring up immigration to all the candidates.

    January 13, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  20. jean

    Looking at the democratic party this election and in particular, Obama and Clinton, one cannot escape to notice the difference between the democrats and republicans. This fact alone, one African American, one Female, both highly qualified, both passionate to do good for their country, surely says something about how democrats as a whole do believe in change. This said, there are some good folks on the Republican side as well, however the obvious diversity is not.

    Concerning a question, I think we as Americans need to ask ourselves, why do we expect our candidates to be perfect when what we most want is for them to be human?

    I would hope that the debate will allow each of them to exhibit this. Even President Bush, right or wrong in so many ways, has the best interest of this nation at heart and the troop surge has been pointed out to be successful. Can we allow all the candidates to have the opportunity to speak to this, honestly, without fear of us attacking them should they agree that the surge is showing progress and what this means to us all.

    January 13, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. Phil

    I would ask Hillary whether or not she will give high level cabinet positions to any younger people who did not serve in her husband's cabinet. If she says yes, I would ask for examples to see who she knows and what sort of position she would consider. One issue people have with Hillary is that she seems to promise a repeat of Bill's 8 years. A willingness to appoint fresh faces would be a positive sign and also essential in establishing a new generation of democratic leaders.

    January 13, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  22. Deb, Riverview, Fl

    Wolf thanks for listening to us. Here's another one:

    If you were to become the winner what type of person would be selected as your running mate. We sure don't want another Chaney.

    January 13, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. 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 13, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  24. Arthur de Freitas

    An American President must do what is best for the American people. However due to the influnece of your country all over the world I would like to know what initiative you may take which may benefit me as a citizen from another country.

    January 13, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. Michael

    It is talked about that China is keeping thier currency artificially low so that thier goods are stay cheap in the U.S.. What impact does this have on our economy? If the U.S. is in debt to China for so much money and China is not allowing thier products to become naturally more expensive in America, then what would you do in order to bring our debt with China down? If what China is doing is hurting our economy so badly, then would you consider it a matter of national security? It would seem that making the U.S weaker economically in the world would decrease our overall power and influence.

    January 13, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
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