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. Jon

    To All:

    Is preemptive war ever justified? If so, under what circumstances?

    January 11, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. David Belger

    What does experience do for a canidate? How necessary is it?

    January 11, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. A. Carter

    My question would be as follows:

    "Clearly, as presidential candidates each of you thinks you are the person best suited for the job. That said, as an American citizen thoroughly engaged in politics and well-informed of the various issues, with yourself exempt which of your two major counterparts would you vote for and why?"

    January 11, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Dan, NJ

    Ms. Clinton,

    Your campaign slogan has continually changed throughout the campaign, most recently settling on "The experience to bring change." At the same time, you are widely viewed as closely tied to the political establishment. You tout 35 years of experience as an asset.

    What changes, if any, do you think need to be made in the way politicians run for office, including the roles of lobbyists and PACs and transparancy of contributions? You did not call for this type of change during your husband's reelection campaign or either of your Senate campaigns. After operating in the same old system for 35 years, why have you chosen now as the time to call for that change.

    January 11, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Robert

    ask what singular quality makes them better to serve as president than the immediate guy or gal standing next to them.

    January 11, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Coop

    I'd like you to ask them how the voters are supposed to take them seriously. They campaign on the promise of change and overturning the abuses of power of the Bush administration but when they face a stiff challenge such as the confirmation of a new Atty. General they cave in to the administration even though he refuses to answer basic human rights questions.

    January 11, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. RUBEN


    January 11, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Ashraf

    I think one of the paramount issues in this election is the topic of experience, and the topic of experience in making change. I would like all candidates to elaborate on their experience, and how it is relevant for the biggest job in the country.

    When I see Sen. Clinton alluding to 35 years of experience, I can only think of 7 yrs in Public Office. I would like her to tell us how the time not spent in Public Office makes her more experienced than the rest of the field. Also, I would be interested in knowing if she is appending her experience as first lady and more importantly, her husband's experience to the balance.

    Thank you

    January 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. Steve Andrews

    For each candidate:

    Would you support or oppose a constitutional amendment which would limit the terms of future Supreme Court Justices to 15 years? Please explain.

    January 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Barat

    Ask Obama if had initiated any changes that have made positive differences in the lives of people during his career so far in Illinois State senate and U.S. Senate . Ask for a specific example and have him explain the process though which he went about making that change.

    January 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Chris McCarry

    Ask the candidates about inner-city violence and poverty. With violent crime and murder rates in many of our largest cities shooting through the roof, the causes of the violence must be removed from the equation. I want to know what the candidates for president plan to do about the crippling strife and despair claiming the lives of people our cities.

    Thank You Wolf,

    January 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Frank

    Please tell us what qualities you are looking for in a Vice Presidential running mate. How will you make this crucial decision?

    January 11, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Grace Marshall

    Please ask Senator Obama about his experience. It's nice that he can lead cheer leading chants to crowds and that Oprah Winfrey has endorsed him,but I am deeply concerned about his experience to run this country. We need more than rhetoric. With so much on the line: the economy, the war, immigration, we need experience, not :"Are you ready, let's go!"

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Jay Rehak

    If elected, will you instruct the Justice Department to review the actions of current administration officials as they relate to the Iraq war?

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Kevin

    Thanks for the opportunity.

    My question has a preface:

    You all have laid claim to being agents of change if you become President. Well, for 7 years now, the current administration has repeatedly claimed that no expense would be spared, and all necessary resources would be used to bring the planners of the 9/11 attacks to justice.

    And for 7 long years, Osama Bin Laden and his gang have been thumbing their noses with impunity at the families of the thousands who died on 9/11.

    My question:

    How do you propose to change the status quo on this specific issue if you are elected?

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. Mulamba, Titus

    1. The problems that we are going through as a nation today, is due to what:

    a) Lack of experience in Washington
    b) Too much experience
    c) Partisanship interests
    d) None of the above

    Let every candidate explain his answer.

    2. Obama can you alaborate on two aspect of change you will bring if elected?

    3. Clinton can you give us two positive aspects of your experience independantly from your husband's presidency?

    4.do you think that your message sometimes pitches the poor and middleclass against the rich?

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  17. Heather

    I would like all of the candidates to address the state of education here in the United States, specifically the great divide between low income and middle income public schools. Do they really believe simply having the same textbooks makes the education equal?

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Jaanum

    Barack Obama said he's Christian and not Muslim which is fine. I've liked Barack since he gave his speech at the DNC in 2004 and will vote for him in 2008 but I want to know if he would be embarrassed to be Muslim because when he answered the question of what religion he is, he never mentioned that religion shouldn't matter and that it is ok to be a muslim running for president.

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Solomon

    How does Senator Clinton expect to bridge the party divide when she is so unpopular amongst Republicans?

    The Government mismanages basically everything they get their hands on, why should I believe a National Health Care system will work any better?

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Mike Crawford

    Wolf –

    I would like to hear what the candidates have planned to reduce the cost of a college education. To complete both an undergraduate and a graduate degree, I had to finance over $150,000... most of which was at interest rates over 10% despite perfect credit and a co-signer with a $80,000 salary and perfect credit. The government portion of the loans was at over 6%. Young individuals are taking on significant debt in order to "get ahead" but few are able to be fortunate enough to afford the loan payments despite jobs with salaries befitting college graduates.

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Will

    What, specifically, do you propose we do about current economic problems relating to th subprime crisis?

    For anyone, but more Obama, since he has a narrative of "no detail."

    January 11, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Brian

    To all the candidates – If you where faced with a decision where you were convinced that the right decision would be unpopular and almost certainly prevent you from winning a re-election, what would you do?
    Follow up question – Can you name a specific example of where you think you did this?

    January 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Ethan

    What do you plan to do for education and the affordability (or lack there of) of college?
    How would you turn around the economic crisis and the looming recession that we are heading to?

    January 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. CitizensFirst

    Why don't you bring up a question about the HYPOCRACY of the Democratic position on immigration.......

    Why don't you quit pandering and put American CITIZENS first?
    Will you stop the hypocracy and support decreasing trade with China and increasing trade with Mexico?

    I'm a 20 year Democrat and appalled by the party position with regards to immigration. The issue to me is one of cost and hypocracy.

    Cost: Education is only one aspect of this issue. The dropout rates for our minorities are shameful. I would gladly have my tax dollars pay for schools, teachers, anything and everything to resolve this. I hear talk of an energy revolution. What about a minority success revolution? I support the use of my tax dollars to guarantee minority success in this country. I do NOT support the use of my tax dollars to anyone illegally in this country for ANY reason. Making someone legal does not solve the problem.

    HYPOCRACY: to those south of our border. I support decreasing trade with China and increasing trade with Mexico. What about the Dems? Who would have thought trade dollars sent to China would be used to build a huge military? Duh! I'm sick of Dems pretending to care about immigrants while screwing Mexico. It is hypocritical. If you truly cared about our neighbors you would shift our ridiculous trade policy.

    January 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Liz Welti

    Well, my of my friends posted a very interesting blog about welfare. It suggested making welfare recipients take random drug tests. If they were caught with illegal substances in their system then welfare would be denied. I would like to know what they think of that and the welfare system in general.
    It also seems like (and I could be wrong) that Obama and Edwards have a plan for social security, but Hillary Clinton does not. Is she even working on a solution to the inevitable social security problem we're going to face?

    January 11, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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