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. Jeremy Fisher

    Please answer this question with a yes or no answer. Everyone knows that you believe that you are the best person for the presidency. Put that aside for a moment. Do you believe that your opponents on this stage are "qualified" to be President of the United States of America. If your answer is no, who would you support for the presidency if you do not win the nomination, an Independent or a Republican?

    January 14, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. casey

    Please ask Obama as the first African American President, how he intends to lift up the rest of his community economically and will that be his priority the first year he is in office? Thanks.

    January 14, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Buses, Light Rail and Trains

    Dear Mr. Wolfe:

    I would like for you to ask all of the candidates the following question:

    Why do you believe public transportation is not well developed in America? What effect do you think that our dependency and love for the automobile as a huge guzzler of oil says to the world? How in your eyes has this affected the design of our cities and ultimately our economy, small business growth and cultural cohesion?

    As President will you lead the way to move public transportation development forward?

    January 14, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. What was Obama doing?

    I haven't read his book?

    I've heard it's about his healing his father wound, his being on drugs and his emotional healing and maturation.

    What was he doing while Clinton was involved with the black community and community activism?

    January 14, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. CLB, Atlantic, VA

    To Hillary ..... why should I believe anything that you say? Your 35 years of service is really 6+ years of elected service, which is what really counts. You have:
    * agreed 100% with Spitzer on illegal immigration, and then changed your stance 2 more times.
    * started a racially charged issue & then blamed it on Obama.
    * Voted FOR the war, the same day Obama gave a great speech against the war, but you still try to twist his words as if he were for it.
    * claim to be for the working class, but send IT jobs to India due to lobby money from India companies.
    * months ago spoke and acted as if you were the inevitable candidate, but then cry for votes
    * have a 12% trust rating versus 75% for Obama in the polls.

    People are not just considering him because of the "change issue', they just believe he is a MUCH better leader.

    January 14, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Republicans and Obama

    I would like to ask Obama if he feels that he will be able to stand up to the political and personal attacks the Republicans are notorious for using and whether he feels that with a muslim background he will be able to woo the evangelicals in this country. If he were an outsider, would he feel that, given his past, he is the best democratic candidate to finish the race to the white house?

    January 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. mass transit

    I would like to know why public transportation in this country is so poor and what corporate forces in Washington are aiding this neglect?

    January 14, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. To all candidates

    Would you believe that having a working rappor and experience dealing with the corporate forces that have immense power in Washington will help or hurt the President of the United States? Do you they believe that understanding the motivations, processes and nature of those corporations will have any impact on their ability to lead more effectively or their temptation to succumb to political pressure?

    What form does that political pressure come in and would you need to have a lot of experience to understand the intricate nature of how a corporation would put pressure on you?

    January 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. To all candidates

    1). Would you believe that having a working rappor and experience dealing with the corporate forces that have immense power in Washington will help or hurt the President of the United States?

    2). Do you believe that understanding the motivations, processes and nature of those corporations will have any impact on their ability to lead more effectively or their temptation to succumb to political pressure?

    3). What form does that political pressure come in and would you need to have a lot of experience to understand the intricate nature of how a corporation would put pressure on you?

    January 14, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Dave

    What are you going to do about the current down sizing of our Military? We have been cutting it to the bone for the last ten years. And doing more with less has become doing more with nothing.

    January 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Jeremy Fisher

    John Edwards, you were in the Senate for 6 years. Hillary Clinton, you have been in the senate for seven years. Those are the only elected Offices that the two of you have ever held. Barack Obama, you have been a Senator for 3 years and served as a state senator for seven years. All three of you have about the same amount "Official Elected Experience". Why is it that both Senator Edwards and Senator Clinton are considered experienced and Senator Obama is not?

    January 14, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Danny Belcher, TX

    To candidates that propose an immediate end to or deadline for ending the war in Iraq:

    How does pulling out the troops before peace is restored and before the Iraqi police have the proper training to restore peace on their own benefit the various stakeholders – American soldiers, innocent Iraqi citizens, the fledgling Iraqi government, other countries in the region, etc.?

    January 14, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. What civil rights Obama?

    Obama said that if he is elected he will help move civil rights forward for black people.

    I don't understand what he is going to do. They are free. They have all of the rights and responsibilities of everyone else. A vibrant democracy and representation comes from social policies that foster interracial relations and America has a lot of those.

    Why is he saying this? This is already underway.

    January 14, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. JIM


    January 14, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. America in Provence

    I left America because I could not stand to live my days in a car. I am here and I love that I am not forced into living my life in one – to go get food, to the movies, to meet friends.

    As an American that has travelled, I can tell you that the entirety of the United States is upset with us because we guzzle gasoline to put into our cars and design our cities like art and beauty didn't matter. As President, how do you plan to move this forward?

    Believe me, over a cup of coffee, a chocolate croissant and perhaps a piece of fresh blueberry jam – we are not muslims, americans or jews – we are humans being tied together by art, beauty and need.

    America is missing out on so much when it does not give people a means to travel that allows us to be human – to interact, to eat together, to share.

    January 14, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. To: Obama

    Obama, if you were a Republican, which one of you do you think would be the easiest to defeat if they won the Democratic nomination?

    January 14, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Adam

    Dear Mr. Blitzer,

    Where (in specific detail!) do senators Clinton and Obama stand on abortion and on illegal immigration?

    Thank you.

    January 14, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. SManalli

    Mr. Blitzer, thank you for this opportunity to contribute two questions:
    The war reports we receive, and all the questions directed to all candidates, seemed to have focused on asking their positions re: the war in Iraq and whether they did or didn't support President Bush's actions. I want to know specifics as to the steps each Democratic candidate will take to address the war in Afghanistan, as well as their reactions to our increased military deployments there. Secondly, what is their stance regarding the United States' responsibility and suggested course of action regarding the tensions in Iran, and more recently in Pakistan?

    January 14, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Jose Chavez

    Question for Democrats:

    How will you work with Republicans in Congress to 1. Make things happen 2. Not compromise your positions. Can you do both?

    January 14, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. John

    there are a lot of suggests/question above, so i appologize if i'm re-asking something.. Actually, if i am, that's just more reason to ask it.

    If elected, would you pick a republican vice president?

    last time i checked, we were the UNITED states of america, and what better way to set a good example, then for the man (or woman) at the top to show that they work TOGETHER, not against each other, for the greater good of the people.

    January 14, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Kyle

    Wolf seriously....I don't care what you really ask them about as long as there is at least 1 question about education. People for some reason feel are not asking the canidates about it.

    Please Wolf, just ask a question about education...do it for my mom and sisters...both teachers.....do it for me....a college student....just do it!

    January 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. NewPatriot-Arizona

    A question for the democrats.....

    What are there plans to cut the U.S. deficit nearing almost 10 trillion?

    January 14, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Thomas, Orlando

    My previous attempt to post did not show, so I will try a different question.

    Everybody wants better fuel economy with raising fuel costs to keep their money for other important things. Why are people in Washington not really using these vehicles? Our tax dollars have to pay for gas too. I always see Big Big SUVs driving our people around. How many do you own personally even? I expect this will be a very honest 'none' answer, so how will you help motivate US consumers to do this when you can not do it. You either need to penalize us for driving inefficient vehicles (bad) or make incentive to take the risk (good). I think if you can answer this following question right, maybe you will know what it really will take for a good number of consumers to buy this and get us going in the right direction on fuel.

    What incentive would it take for you to buy a fuel progressive or hybrid vehicle for your family and use it?

    January 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Tom, Iowa

    I would like to ask:

    "Would you consider changing executive privileges to limit future presidents from abusing their office and using signing statements to enact legislation, even though it would limit your own power?"

    January 14, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Gordon Blackman

    Questions for Clinton and Obama.

    1) What have you personally accomplished that qualifies you to be the president of the United States?

    2) Current and future middle class retirees have invested much of their savings based on the current 15% rate for capital gains taxes. Will you keep this in effect or penalize them by increasing this rate if you are elected?

    3) Americans pay taxes all of their lives. Why should their remaining estates be taxed again when they die? What right does the government have to tax this money a second time?

    January 14, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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