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. Vicki

    Mr. Blitzer,

    I would appreciate you asking Hilary Clinton If she has accomplished so much in her 35 years of experience, why are things as bad as they are for Americans? Does this imply what the progress or lack of will be if she is President for 4 years.

    Thank you.


    January 13, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  2. msueeck

    I would like a response from each candidate as to wether or not they will be pardoning Bush on his way out.

    January 13, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  3. Will

    Have any of the candidates thought about asking any of their current competitors to be their second in command should they win the nomination?

    January 13, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  4. Polticien

    What role will Bill play in your administration? How do you think voters will feel about Bill living in the White House again after he embarrased the country? Will you release the records currently sealed in the archives? Do you believe you are simply more experienced than the Sen. Obama and Sen. Edwards or simply the only one with the necessary experience?

    January 13, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  5. Will

    Hypothetical Situation...

    The year is 2010 – 2011 and Iran has just conducted an underground nuclear test to the surprise of the international community. As president of the United States, how would you handle this situation.

    January 13, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. Reyes Carranza - Palm Springs, CA

    To all of the candidates:

    What will you do as President to restore the balance of power in Washington D.C.? And what steps will you take to ensure that no future President has the ability to create an Imperial Presidencey?

    January 13, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  7. Ed K.

    Wolfe, love your show.
    I would like you to ask them to explain in detail their health care plan for all Americans. I am 54 years old and in the great middle class. I talk every day with people like myself regarding health care and everyone agrees, we are tired of all the complicated plans to get everyone health insurance. People just want it simple, get rid of insurance and drug companies. With the money we pay just for insurance we could finance a good health care system. Let the government run it so the people can at least regulate it with their vote. we have no say at this point.

    First ask your buddy Lou Dobbs why he doesn't spend some of his time on health care. Beating the immigration drum is easy. You get a lot of support from viewers, like myself and CNN can't loose Ad dollars, It's a sweet win win. Now health care is a different subject. Lou, I love your show but get some balls.
    1. Is there a candidate among you that can get all Americans health care that doesn't put them in the poor house?
    2. Please explain how and when.

    January 13, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  8. David

    I would like you to ask Hilary Clinton why she cannot run an honest campaign without trying to portray her opponents in a negative light by looking for issues to discredit them. Is she afraid that if she runs an honest campaign she will not be able to win?

    Also, why does she think the American people are not smart enough to see through her false smiles, tears and concern she is now trying to show since her teary eyed display.

    OKC, OK

    January 14, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  9. Joe, Dallas, TX

    Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court should uphold the Federal Appeals court's ruling striking down of the Washington D.C. gun ban? (District of Columbia v. Heller)

    Do you agree that the D.C. gun ban was unconstitutional?

    January 14, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  10. Brian W.

    Question for Senator Obama:

    We know you didn't vote for the Iraq war. Okay, so that's something you DIDN'T do. But what's something you HAVE done in your political career that would make me want to vote for you?

    Brian W.
    North Hollywood, CA

    January 14, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  11. Joe, Dallas, TX

    What current federal spending do you believe is unconstitutional?

    January 14, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  12. Tekle

    I would ask the candidates on how they will consider the U.S. policy towards other countries should be based on. As you may know, today there are several countries under tyrinical governments that oppress their citizens in the name of the so-called "war on terror." For instance, the cases of Ethiopia and Pakistan are of significant importance. The dictatorial governments of both countries decry to fight terrorism along with the U.S. and receive several millions of dollars in financial and military support that in return are used not to fight terrorism but rather to violate human rights of their own citizens, undermine democratic institutions. This is while they are reappropriating the support they receive from the U.S. to strengthen their millitary in order to fight their neighboring nations, in this case Ethiopia fighting with Eritrea and Pakistan fighting India?

    So, the question again is, would these candidates continue to give a blind eye and support repressive regimes regardles of due attention to human rights and democratic institutions? Will they continue to give a blank check without any accountability of how the U.S. support is being used? Would they emphasize the respect of human rights through out the world or would they simply ignore it and continue dictators?

    Thank you for providing us these opportunity

    January 14, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  13. Steven Kline

    Each of the candidates has outlined their plans for health care and how to give to most americans. But these plans are all reactive in nature i.e. cover you once you get sick. As the father of a six month old daughter with a terminal brain tumor. What are the candidates plans as president to fight the #1 killer of our children–cancer.

    Albuquerque NM

    January 14, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  14. concerned citizen

    Hillary Clinton voted for the resolution that was later on used to wage war against Iraq under false assumptions. She said in NBC Meet the Press today (1/13/2007) that she voted for that resolution because she was told by Bush and others that the resolution will not be used to actually wage a war but only to put pressure on Saddam Hussain.
    Any person with some judgment and insight should have known that the Bush Administration was going to use the resolution to go to war. By voting for that resolution, Sen. Clinton has shown that she was too naive and gullible to fall for whatever was fed to her.
    How can we now believe that as the President of USA she will put more thought into the reports that foreign or domestic intelligence sources present to her because her decisions may affect millions of people in the whole world and saying that “I was given wrong information “ is not going to be a good excuse?
    Sorry for the long comment and question but I think it is very important and need to addressed.

    January 14, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  15. Natalie


    1. Please ask Senator Clinton what leson (s) she has learned from her husband failing to stop the genocide in Rwanda, and what effort (s) she has made to stop the genocide taking place in Darfur.

    2. Senator Clinton has said that electing the first woman president brings about change, please ask her how that benefits the American people.

    Thank you

    January 14, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  16. Richard Dickerson

    I have a couple of questions to ask?
    What are you going to do to help restore, rebuild urban America?
    What is your plan to address to reduce crime?
    What are the demographics of your senior paid staff?
    If elected what are the specific sacrifices that you will ask Americans to make?
    Does race matter today in America?

    January 14, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  17. Ron C., Florida

    Wolf a question for Sen. Obama:

    Sen Obama:

    You seem to be making your opposition to the Iraq war from the very start, a key point in your current presidential bid. At face value and by your own words you seem to be the only one that has opposed President Bush's position on this very unpopular war. In fact in 2003-2004 while campaigning for the Illinois Senators seat, you spoke out against President Bush's position and vowed not to vote for an additional 87 Billion to fund it. Yet since being elected in 2005 you have voted on 4 separate occasions to provide an additional 300 Billion in funding, thereby supporting the presidents position and ignoring the majority of the constitutes wishes that voted for you based on your opposition to the war. This seems to be at the forefront of the Congress's low approval rating. This doesn't appear to us as representing any significant "change" in Washington, just more of the same. One of your opponents, Sen. Clinton, recently acknowledged to voting for the additional funding and in doing so, seemed to show us something that has been missing in Washington for far to long. Accountability. So we have to ask why you continue to insist on being the only one that has opposed the war from the start, even when your voting record shows glaring inconsistencies to that stance? Your record also shows that you voted no to S Vote 2766 in June of 2007, which would have set firm withdrawal dates to get our soldiers out of Iraq. The media has not really made the public aware of these issues, so I was shocked to uncover these differences in what you said in relation to what you actually did. I have witnessed many politicians get called to the carpet for much less. As this very important election looms near and many Americans are trying their best to make an educated choice for who is best suited to lead us out of these very trying times, we really want to know how you truly feel about this issue, once and for all. If you are for leaving our troops overseas or cannot see a clear way out of the predicament, then please stand up and tell us so. If you are as opposed to the war as you speak of, then please outline your plans on how we can start to distance our soldiers and our great nation from the horror of the past six years......

    Thank you...

    January 14, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  18. KC, Florida

    Wolf question for Senator Obama:

    Sen. Obama:

    We have been watching the news this week, including the horrific situation unfolding in Kenya. Considering that you have many relatives, including your grandmother, in some of the affected villages, what would be your intentions towards Kenya, if you were to become President?

    Thank you.....

    January 14, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  19. Rosie


    For Obama: Internet buzz about your church, the Trinity United Church of Christ, suggests that it has a fundamental premise of black supremacy. Please address this concern, and tell us more about your faith and, in particular, the church you attend.

    For Clinton: In the wake of your surprising victory in New Hampshire, many pundits and bloggers speculated that the emotional cafe moment generated last-minute sympathy among women, and this is why you won. Do you agree with this assessment? If not, to what do you attribute your win against all the pollsters' predictions.

    For Edwards: Many of your comments have appeared to be critical of Senator Clinton and in support of Mr. Obama. This was especially evident during the New Hampshire debate. Do you favor one of your opponents over the other? If so, why? If not, why do you seem to side with Mr. Obama so often?

    Thanks, Wolf. P.S., I hope there will not be any references to Mrs. Clinton's clothing this time!

    January 14, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  20. heath

    I would ask obama and hillary how they plan to pay for their so callled stimulas economy spending plans and if they considered the fact that many economists think that thier plans might stop a small pull back in the economy just to create a much larger recession or eanve possibly a great depresion a few years later?

    January 14, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  21. Gabriel Rusk

    I ask all the candidates what they think is behind the surge of youth supporters and votes. Many youth even under the legal age for voting have sided with a candidate, at times opposite of their parents, or even opposite their parent's party. I personally support Hillary at the age of 16 and my parents support differen't candidates. Such as Obama and Edwards. I think despite the fact that we cannot vote, we could have a great voice for candidates and when second term elections come around, we will be there. So again I ask the candidates why even kids who cannot vote are so politically active in their community, and do you think it affects your campaign?

    January 14, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  22. susan

    Please DO NOT permit applause and boos during the debate. Your last debate was reprehensible because of that!

    Also, please do not permit "informal" Clinton advisors or former Clinton administration officials to analyze your debate! That, too, was extremely reprehensible and misleading to the American voter.


    January 14, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  23. bob

    senator clinton,

    did you learn anything from your failed attempt to pass a health care bill in 1993 when you had both the house, senate and white house under democratic control and leadership; when you conducted closed door meetings and excluded any person that wanted to provide constructive input and then were steamrolled by the harry and louise ad campaign which the GOP parlayed and took over congress in 94 as a consequence of your leadership.

    and subsequent to that encounter, i don't think the president assigned you a major initiative for the rest of his two terms? Operational excellence is about doing it right the first time so why do you think that after 14 yrs you could pass a landmark health care bill that would require significant GOP support from the house and senate to pass this time around when you couldn't even do it with your own party in the majority in 1993?

    January 14, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  24. Ernesto/Orange Park, Fl.

    Ms. Suzanne Malveaux,
    Before, I ask my question, I would like to preface my question by saying. I hope, the Clinton, Obama and the Edward's camp stop the bickering and start at this point of their campaign, to be positive. I hope, when these three began to answer the various questions being posed to them that they will contrast their answer not only between themselves but even the republican candidates. I have all of the respect for Senator Edwards. I know he stated that he is in this for the long haul, but I just don't see him winning the nomination and if remajns in the race, he will be taking votes from Clinton and Obama. I really believe he will fight for the Middle Class, but he doesn't have the resources to win the democratic nomination. Initially, Senator Obama started with the slogan "A Change, we can believe In". and all candidates both republicans and democrats are using it now. My question is a three part question.
    First, I want to know, if they win the nomination for the presidency of the U.S. would it consist of both republicans, independents, democrats, Latinos, White, Blacks Orientals male and females-the best this country can offer. Secondly, I want to know and understand what the comments made by Senator Clinton in reference to Martin Luther King and President Kennedy that Senator Obama tried to equate himself and how did Senator Obama responded in kind, and thirdly, Respond, to the allegations concerning the writing under Mr. Ron Paul's name.
    I am an Afro-Rican and an Independent and I have not made up my mind how I am going to vote.

    January 14, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  25. bob

    To all:

    President Bush has been justly critized for many of the campaign pledges that he made in the 2000 elections such as being a uniter not a divider but there is one pledge that he has followed through on and that was his promise that once he placed his hand on the bible to take his oath he would restore personal honor and integrity to the oval office... If elected president, will you make the same pledge?

    January 14, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
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