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. David J. Ridley

    I know this hasn’t been a big political issue... maybe ever, but as president would you work to remove the ban on immigrants running for president?

    I'll be honest, I really want to see Arny run for POTUS, I think a lot of people do.

    You're Pal

    David J. Ridley

    January 14, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. david netes

    You each have proposed a universal health care plan. The cost will probably be outrageous since so many americans are in terrible health. What would you do to keep the cost down? ie a fat tax
    Pharmecutical drugs are also totally out of control, legalizing medicinal marijuana would inject direct competition into the field being far more effective, safe, and inexpensive. Would you legalize marijuana? If not, would you make Oxycontin and Xanax illegal?

    January 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. John Unkel

    I am 60 years old and have been interested in our political process all my life. Since I can remember, every candidate, in every election has promised to improve education; feed the hungry and homeless in this country; provide well-paying jobs to all who wanted to work and since 1973 to become independent of foreign oil. You (the candidates of today) are still making the same promises. Why on earth should we believe any of you?

    January 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Rick Tolin

    There are a lot of comparisons being made to prior presidents like JFK and to figures like Robert Kennedy and Dr. King and so on. Could each of you compare your own backgrounds to those of JFK, RFK and MLK? What have you done in your life, what is in your background, that merits consideration for the presidency of the United States?

    January 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. art jackson

    why do the candidates believe it's fair to compare and contrast hillary clintons record yet when valid points are made about barack obama experience, it is considered an attack. Also does mr. obama believe that as an african american i should be voting for him just because he and i share that in common. What has he done since being in the senate to eleavate the the cause of african americans. where has he been during the jena six or any other issues of concern to our community. say what you want about sharpton or jessie but when needed they are front in center to carry the torch at great personal peril for issues concerning our people.

    January 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Moe, NY

    I want to ask/request that all canidates post (perhaps on CNN), make public their resume' so American citizens can veiw for themselves the experience of each canidate. By doing this voters can actually see for themselves who has the most experience, as we can compare resume to resume. After all, if any American citizen today is applying for a job, a resume' must be presented for consideration. Why should politicans be treated any differently? The political canidates resumes' should be posted in one location to make comparison relatively easy. This should apply to Republicans as well.

    January 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. scott

    How do you plan on changing the Bush deficit into a U.S.A surplus again?

    January 14, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. Nancy, San Diego, CA

    I want you to ask Obama this question. After Susan B Anthony worked to get women the right to vote and is known as the head of the Women's suffrage movement. Did it take a white male President (Woodrow Wilson) to effect these changes? Does that really minimize her accomplishments?

    January 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Chris

    As a typical middle class American, once of the biggest hurdles that we face are rising living costs. More specifically, the challenges of being able to save for college, retirement and medical requirements. I would ask all 3 candidates to specifically address the minimizations of the tax loopholes for the top 5% richest Americans. After all, the taxes that are avoided by these individuals not to mention corporations, places an even larger burden on the driving force of the economy. What I am looking to be answered really is how can the "changes" that are necessary be made with regard to bi-partisianship. How can any of these candidates make a difference that previous president's could not?

    January 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. Brian G

    Hey, Wolf!

    How come my comment/question of January 14, 2008 12:47 pm ET (above) is "awaiting moderation"? What does that mean? You're gonna edit my position, my words, my opinion? What gives here? I certainly hope CNN is not adopting the "fair and balanced" approach.

    Permit me to rephrase:

    Do you Mr./Ms. Candidate support the idea that for you to be successful as President, it is necessary to oust all Congressional incumbents, just to give you a fighting chance? New President + Old Congress = Bad Idea.

    Is that better, Wolf? Ask the question, please. Same old, same old, or true change? What's it gonna be, Candidates?

    Brian G

    January 14, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. John Halverson DC

    given that most politicians are more interested in bickering and fighting then actually getting stuff done (both parties) what specifically will YOU do to unite the parties and begin to solve the big issues facing this nation?. I would also like to see how you can do it WITHOUT all the PORK. In a separate question I would like to know why there is so much animosity between the parties, is it just the egos?
    there isn't ANY reason that politicians can't get together and solve our nations problems.

    also why do you waste MY money? ex. (proposed $1 million for a stupid museum for woodstock) if it needs to be done let it be done privately.

    January 14, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Jim

    To Senator Obama:

    Your comment in the NH debate that Hillary "is likable enough" seemed like you were saying she's not all that likable and seemed very out of character. What did you mean by that comment?

    January 14, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. david netes

    Hillary Clinton has not authored any legislation in the Senate, she dropped the ball when she tried universal health care the first time, being a first lady doesn't really count as experience to be a president. She takes entirely too much money from the enemy of the middle class; big oil, big pharm, and insurance. With all of this baggage, why does she deserve to be President?

    January 14, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. zoe

    Mr. Blitzer,

    Would you please ask the Democrats if they are aware that the US education system is ranked number 18 out of 24 nations in terms of the relative effectiveness of it's educational system and what they plan to do about it?

    Thank you,

    A dedicated viewer

    January 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. R. Engels, Tucson, Arizona

    For seven plus years we, the American Public, have endured an Administration and its political party, that lied and deceived its citizens and the World. How would your administration be different?

    January 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. Danny Belcher, TX

    To all candidates focusing their energy conservation thoughts on MPG figures offered by car manufacturers:

    Due to the rising costs of gasoline, there has been some decrease in demand and therefore, sales, of SUVs and large trucks. Why should we further waste the time and efforts of our lawmakers by introducing legislation to force automakers to do something that a free market economy will naturally do on its own?

    January 14, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Jon in Iowa

    My question for the candidates:

    Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." What will you do to bring American elections up to international standards, so that American voters can be confident that their voices will be heard?

    January 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. AJ, IL

    Over the past few weeks, I've noticed that Hillary Clinton's campaign has turned extremely negative in regards to Obama. Both Bill Clinton and Hillary have made comments in which we see the divisiveness starting to develop in the Democratic Party. My question to Hillary is, how can you be not only an agent of change but an agent of unity when your negative campaigning is starting to divide the Democratic Party? Can we expect the same under a Hillary Clinton presidency?

    January 14, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Marc C

    I think many Americans don't see any profound differences in the Democratic candidates views on the major issues. I would like to know at least one piece of legislation that you would sign as President in your first 100 days of office, that your fellow Democratic opponents either would not sign, or have not mentioned so far in their campaigns.

    January 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Kent Williams, Jr

    Lets pretend that you have won the Democratic nomination for President. If you had to choose a candidate on the stage with you as your Vice-President, who would you choose and Why?

    January 14, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. TLH

    Question to all:


    A. The economy is possibly headed for a recession.
    B. There is a very real possibliity of a terrorist biological or nuclear attack in this country within the next presidential term.
    C. Possible civil unrest within this country due to economic collaspe and a looming mortgage crisis.
    D. The possibility of China becoming the dominating world power and basically owning the U.S.
    E. Iran going nuclear in the Middle East.
    F. Dealing with not only the securing of our boarders but the return of millions of illegal aliens to Mexico.
    G. The stress of being directly responsible for the daily deaths of our sons and daughters defending our country but not from within our country.

    Just to mention a few,

    Why would anyone in their right mind want to become the next President of the United States?

    January 14, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Hank Shaeffer

    A question for Hillary:

    "You have claimed you have been "making change" for 35 years. As that is the number of years since your graduation from law school, I was trying to square that claim with your resume. After graduating from Yale, you worked as a staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund and the House Judiciary Committee, each for less than a year, then you moved to Little Rock, where you spent THE NEXT 16 YEARS earning big bucks as a full-time corporate lawyer representing clients like GM, GE, ALCOA and Wal-Mart Stores. No disrespect to your fellow corporate attorneys, but exactly what leads you to conclude that your memebership in that august profession entitles you to label yourself an agent of change?"

    January 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Maurice - California

    I have been an avid Clinton supporter eversince 1992. This year, I am truely saddend and disturbed by the Clinton Political Machine going after a classy candidate in Mr. Obama.

    For Mrs. Clinton: How do you expect to brink the partison politics to an end when your camp can't even refrain from attacks on a competitor. It looks like childhood bickering and complaining because your not getting what you want. Everyone I've discussed this with see's the damage the Clinton Machine is inflicting on the Democratic Believers.

    Mrs. Clinton....you've lost my vote.

    January 14, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Modu

    In general, why does Mrs. Clinton find it difficult to apologize (Iraq war vote)? When she made a remark about Gandhi in 2004 that offended some Indian-Americans, she promptly apologized, and that was the end of that issue. Why can't she just say "I am sorry" to African Americans that may have been offended by her comments, and then move on. Don't we all make mistakes, or say things that come out the wrong way?

    I wonder what kind of advise the well-paid political strategists are giving to these candidates. This would have been an opportunity to demonstrate maturity and political sophistication, but they never seize the opportunity.

    January 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Thomas, Cumming, GA

    I would be curious in knowing if the two front runners seriously think they will win any goodwill by pointing the finger at each other. Perhaps they have forgotten that while they have one finger pointing at each other, their other three fingers are pointing at themselves!

    As an independent, I rather see them self-destruct now than after an election. However, they are breaking my Dad's heart by behaving like juveniles! He is a hardcore Democrat!

    January 14, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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