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. Zac

    The past 7 years have left us with a soaring deficit that is climbing by the millions each day. Each of the democratic candidates are proposing big reforms that will cost a lot of money, not the least of which is healthcare. While allowing the Bush administration's tax cuts to expire will help move us in the right direction, what more do you plan to do to reign in spending and achieve a surplus?

    Also, there are numerous groups and studies that have been tracking the growing inequality in America. For example, if the minimum wage grew at the same rate as CEO salaries since 1970, it would now be over 20 dollars. What do you believe is the cause of this income gap and is there a way to balance the scale that is compatible with the American ideals of capitalism and democracy?

    January 14, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. D.A. Benson

    The moral character of the next president is extremely important to me and my children.
    Please ask all candidates one or both of the following questions:
    Is sex between two homosexuals outside of marriage immoral?
    If a woman has a miscarriage in her first trimester, has she lost a child?

    January 14, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. H. Roberson, Freeport, FL

    January 14, 2008 5:24 pm ET
    For Clinton and Obama:

    All progress is change but all change is NOT progress.

    What changes do you want to make in the immigration dilemma and and what direct measures will you take to affect the changes. BE SPECIFIC!!

    January 14, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Richard, Washington

    When there is an 800 lb gorilla in the room, you ought to acknowledge it.

    Obama: I have noticed that you're black. While that may actually help you win the Democratic nomination, many believe that you're really doing a disservice to the black community as you are very unlikely to win over more conservative votes necessary to win a general election.

    Hillary: I've noticed you're a woman... copy, paste and paraphrase Obama question above.

    Edwards: Most people who actually bother to vote in America have worked hard to get ahead and earn a decent living. Do you believe that people with money are inherently evil? Don't you think that the socialist feel of your campaign would hurt you in a general election?

    January 14, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Stuart

    Please ask Senator Clinton how she would respond to the suggestion that we have had enough of political dynasties in this country in recent years and that it is unhealthy in a democratic society to have political leadership passed down from father to son, and husband to wife.

    January 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. David Terveen

    Seems to me that Mr. Obama can state he was against the war... and Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards jumped on Ms. Clintons recent vote that was called "Mr. Bushes sabor ratteling" and how once again she handed him the oportunity to go to war//

    Well it seems to me that how do we really know how Mr. Obama would vote... he did not show up for the vote..... as per other votes while he was in IL goverment.. he did not show and or abstained from yeah or nah votes..

    How does he explain this and how do we really know how he would vote???? where is the record?

    January 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. T - Reno, NV

    While there are many questions that I feel should be asked, I would like to know why the Clinton camp has decided to publicly slander Obama, and then drag race into the campaign? The Obama camp has not once drawn attention to race.

    Also, does Hillary believe that her 2 tongued approach of attacking Obama is really benefitting her? She consistently lifts up her opponent with praise shortly before directing personal attacks at him through her Husband, Bob Johnson, her campaign managers, and herself. Why does she feel that this acceptable? She is working hard to split the party by creating this racial divide.

    January 14, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Stephen

    Who knows what the first 5 amendments in the constitution are?

    January 14, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Nick Palun

    Democrats decry religion, emphasizing separation of church and state, right-wing "plots", fundamentalist pressures, evangelical bias, yet the Clintons and Obama are tripping over each other to break IRS rules to campaign at churches, particularly black churches in Iowa and Michigan and MLK Day is more than two weeks off. Fair Campaign practices don't seem to give them restriction and the hypocrisy and disregard for laws are for other people, not the hoity-toity Clintons especially (who most likely only attend church when its a campaign year: Hillary gets to wear her one dress, and Bill picks up chicks.) ACLU- where are you when we need you. When will some pastor worry about his church's tax exempt status and put up a sign "No Campaigning-No Candidates."

    January 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Teri from Nashville

    As a retired Human Resources executive, I had the responsibility of verifying an employee's "the legal right to work in the U.S." The business I worked for had offices in CA, AZ, NC, GA, all states with high immigrant populations. However, even after trying to follow the law with regard to hiring "illegals", there was always a means by which suspect employees were able to reappear with a "new" Social Security card and even a new name. By law, we were then obligated to rehire, not fire, such employees. Much has been said about "illegals" paying taxes; trust me, they do not. There wasn't one undocumented worker in our company who didn't take the maximum deductions to avoid paying taxes; wage garnishment notices from the IRS and States were common, but by then these employees were either gone or would disappear when the notices came . We provided full medical benefits; these employees still used the ER's and denied having insurance. As President, what immediate steps will you take to ensure that the laws of this country are followed regarding employees who do not have a legal right to work or be in this country? How will you stop the "carrot draws" of illegal border crossings: jobs, free medical care. free education (but in their language, not English)? Are you willing to stop providing citizenship for children born in this country to illegals? And by "securing the borders", do you include Canada and both the West and East Coasts? Lastly, are you willing to lower the number of H1B Visa's issued each year, thus providing jobs to US citizens with IT and technology skills - not continue to hire in cheaper foreign labor?

    January 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Julia Mahoney

    It seem as though concern for the environment and about global warming have been largely unexpressed throughout this campaign, with the exception of the notion of "energy security."

    Could you please ask the candidates to discuss their views on what must be done to protect Americans from toxins, pollution, and global warming. (Auto emissions represent a relatively small contribution to ghg- so I'm looking to hear about more than fuel economy.)

    Julia Mahoney

    January 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Cindy Hebert

    January 14, 2008

    Hi, Wolf –

    I missed, sending in the following question, for the YOU TUBE Debates, last fall; but, I feel that, my question is still pertinert – What about changng the US Constitutition, from electing, a President, for a possible two (2) four (4) year, terms – including, re-election – and, admending the US Constitution, to allow, one Presidntial term of six (6) years; and thus, avoiding such political scandals, as Watergate, Jack Abramof, etc..?

    Cindy Hebert
    Amherst MA

    January 14, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Roman, Phila, PA

    I would like to note that there is a tremendous amount of attention paid to rural issues during the (early) primary cycles. Could the candidates address some of the issues facing Americas cities? Issues such as stubbornly high homicide rates, underfunded school districts and deteriorating physical infrastructure. In other words, what will you do to help revitalize Americas urban landscape?

    Thank you,
    Roman Strakovsky

    January 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. bill in florida

    I hope you give ALL the candidates a fair hearing, not just Clinton and Obama. We want to hear all view points on serious issue's. No Race Baiting !

    January 14, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Jamie Evan Shapiro

    Please ask Sen. Clinton about her "35 years" of making change. In particular, I am interested in how her time becoming (and being) a partner at the Rose Law Firm, a for profit-business, constitutes "making change" or serving the public. If Sen. Clinton was provided with ample time to "make change" while making partner at a law firm - not something typically provided to associates trying to make partner (as I know from personal experience) - could that have been because the Rose firm (and its clients) wanted to have an associate and partner associated with Attorney General and then Governor Bill Clinton? Somehow the fact that Sen. Clinton was a business attorney for 10 plus years has been dropped from the discussion of her "35 years of experience".

    Also, please ask Sen. Clinton whether she thinks it appropriate for a former President to campaign for a particular Democratic candidate for the Democratic nominee for President.


    January 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. B. Peters

    Ok! Ask Mr. Obama about this connection to the political machine–Daly–in IL and how that tracks with his words about "cleaning up" Washington! How is he any different?

    January 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. ken from missouri

    First question: Was nafta good for working class american citizens , when combined with the effects of criminal immigration on wages and benefits??? Second question: How does amnesty for criminal immigrants and their employers serve to make life better for people that obey and respect our laws? Third question: why does the democratic party not believe in personal responsibility for crime? I will not vote for any candidate that is for amnesty,and yes i am a democrat.

    January 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Robert Hammond

    Senator Obama,

    Why is it that when you win in Iowa in a close race- it is celebrated by your campaign as a bright shining light of hope and change, yet nobody mentions that no woman has ever been elected to any major office in the history of Iowa! Not the House, Senate or Gov, yet your win in a close race is a bright becon towards the future never once considering that fact.

    When Senator Clinton wins in New Hampshire, suddenly racism is injected into the discussion, as well as her having an emotional moment after a tough campaign. Why is it that your winning Iowa is a bright new sunshine for change, yet her winning in New Hampshire brings out the darker side of politics? Sour grapes Senator Obama?

    The ending will be so bitter for whoever wins that the Democrats would have once again shot off the foot despite needing all the toes.

    January 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. Brendan

    Our lives and politics are often a mixture of self-less acts and compromises of our values for additional personal or political gain. Where have you made decisions in your own life or politics to follow your values against adversity? What actions have you taken where values were compromised for personal gain? How do you make these decisions and what do your think your decision making process says about you as a candidate?

    January 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. Jenn

    What will each candidate do to advance the common good in the areas of financial stability, health and education?

    January 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  21. Gene

    Are we entering a Recession of is this the start of a Depression ?

    January 14, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  22. George

    We can all learn from our own mistakes and those of others. Who in your opinion are the 2 least effective U.S. Presidents in history and why were they failures? What lessons do they teach us about what we should look for or avoid in a President??

    January 14, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. California voter

    Mr. Obama:

    You have stated on numerous occasions that you will unite this country. My question is: If you are a uniter, can you please explain how you are a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ whose 10-point vision plan and black value system appear to advocate separatism?

    (I've never heard or read a direct response from you on this topic.)

    January 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Jonathan, Holiday, Florida

    What would you as President of the U.S. hope to accomplish within your first ten days in office?

    January 14, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. Mark Hurley

    For John Edwards: You campaign on the theme of "two Americas", with particular wrath reserved for corporate CEO's earning millions of dollars. Should we also be examining how trial attorneys who make millions, such as yourself, are compensated?

    Also, are trial attorneys part of the "broken system" in states where judges are elected and they raise campaign funds for the judges before which they appear and argue cases?

    January 14, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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