January 14th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Stunned by readers' response

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/14/art.wolfb1.cnn.jpg caption="CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - I must say I was stunned by the amazing reaction to my request Friday for suggested questions for the upcoming Democratic Presidential debate that CNN is co-sponsoring with the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina next Monday night, January 21. So far, we have received some 2,000 comments. I am not surprised that almost all of them were serious and well-informed.

I have always had high confidence in our CNN viewers. I know you are smart because you wouldn’t be watching The Situation Room and all of our other CNN political coverage if you weren’t. There are simply too many other options available to all of you - ranging from sitcoms, to sports, to silly talk shows. Our viewers are intelligent and that certainly came through with your comments. You can take a look at them yourself. If you take the time, you too will be impressed.

Let me assure you that our team is going through all of these suggested questions, and we will select some of them for the debate. We will also use your ideas to formulate some other questions. You’ve raised serious issues and Suzanne Malveaux, Joe Johns and I are taking them very seriously. This has been a great opportunity for us to know what is on your minds, and we are grateful to you for the help.

Throughout my journalistic career, I have always cherished the fact that I am blessed with a front-row seat to history. I have the opportunity and privilege to ask important newsmakers tough and important questions. In the process, I see myself as our viewers’ representative. You might not have that chance, but I do - and I take it very seriously.

By the way, if you'd like to see some of the questions already asked, you can read them by clicking here. Thanks again.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (662 Responses)
  1. Henrietta Angelle

    This question goes to all of the candidates: Do you have a problem with closed primaries that bar independents from voting?

    January 14, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. veronica

    I'm personally sorry to see that CNN is hosting the Democratic debate. Your news coverage has been so blatantly pro-Obama and anti-Clinton.
    My husband and I both have advanced degrees. If you think that people can't see your bias, you are very wrong.
    Thankfully, voters will not be swayed. They weren't in New Hampshire, although the MSM like CNN certainly tried their best!
    And no, I don't think I'll submit a question that you will never use.

    January 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. meg

    What will Barack Obama do to make sure we don't look back 20years from now and see so many lives taken by aids in America especially in Black, Latino or minority community overall?

    January 14, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Roberto Gutierrez

    What "change" will occur in the future when a new president is elected? Will he/she work with congress to fund high education and health care? Will there be a concrete plan to resolve the immigration debate? Will the new president unite the world or continue to divide nations and counties around the globe? Change needs to happen on a domestic and international level.

    January 14, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. carol

    Ask Obama if he has the intestinal fortitude to admit he was attempting to mimic MLK and Hillary made an accurate distinction between himself and the late hero MLK.

    January 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. carol

    Obama is not MLK. Obama is not JFK.

    To sarcastically suggest that Hillary doesn't want people to hope is absurd.

    You are not very smart.

    January 14, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. jared mollenkof

    As a young African-American voter it is exciting for me to see both an African American as well as a woman in this race because of the vast significance in both of those situations. I am deeply saddened however that abortion an issue that affects the African American community and women in numerous ways has been left out of this discussion. America is a nation deeply divided on the question of the morality of abortion and that must be recognized by the candidates.
    My question for the Democratic candidates is "If you are adamant to protect the medical procedure of abortion would you be willing to view one before taking office to witness for yourself what it is you are upholding?

    January 14, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Bimmer

    The Question for Obama:

    How do you respond to criticism that your taking drugs might send the wrong signal to teen agers that it is OK to experiment with drugs as Obama did but it did not affect him.

    January 14, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. Healthcare-Autism

    My six year old daughter has Autism, an epidemic sweeping across our kids with 1 in 150 diagnosed with this incurable and debilitating disease (67 children per day). This lifelong disease will cost our nation immensely unless a solid, well thought out plan in put in place.

    How will the candidates specifically address this?


    January 14, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. Barry Aycock

    The candidates seem to be copying each others plans to govern the country when a particular proposal get media attention. Could each candidate take two minutes to list when each proposed a solution for ending the war, a national health plan, reforming the national government, saving Social Security, creating good paying jobs and restoring the status of America in the world.

    January 14, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Brendan

    In regards to what Veronica wrote I would like to politely disagree. I think its hard to find truely objective national news these days. I've read things that times where I thought that CNN gave Barack Obama a positive spin. But just as often I've seen CNN give Hilary Clinton a positive spin. After Barack won Iowa I remember CNN saying that Barack was now the player to beat. Hilary has always been the national front runner. In 1992 Bill Clinton pronounced himself the comback kid after New Hampsire. Despite never being behind in national polls or big states like California, Wolf Blitzer said right after New Hampsire that Hilary was the new comeback kid. After Iowa CNN and the news made Barack feel like the new dominant player. After New Hampsire, they said Hilary was the resurgent underdog. While I believe CNN could do a much better job and give more objective substantive news, I think its not that they favor a candidate but that get excitement and viewers they dramatize situations and obscure the truth.

    January 14, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. Anthony V

    As an independent in New York, I find it to be frustrating that I cannot vote in either of the primaries. I would like to see wat the views of the candidates are on this issue. If we are one nation, shouldn't we all be able to vote for the candidate we want to run in the general election?

    January 14, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. Alice F

    We are being told as American workers we need to re-educate ourselves for the new job markets. Would someone please tell me what fields you feel we should re-educate ourselves?
    Part 2. There are so many Americans 50 and over who have worked for decades for the same companies and are being forced into early retirement, downsized, or have watched their jobs moved out of country, would you recommend re-education for them as well?

    January 14, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Linda M Roberts

    Please have someone address the white collar crimes being commited by Banks. They charge consumers fees on money they have already collected, they figure those fees on days up to 34!! even though a month has no more than 31. They are double billing, if you consider that you generally have a two week period to remit your payment. They arbitrarily change APR rates, and then tell consumers "no one tells us what to do". It appears they are right.

    The middle class in this countyr carries the load, and have NO representation in Washington. Until the Lobbyist are THROWN out of the White House we will continue to go down the tube.

    January 14, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. Roberto Gutierrez

    When does the signing of an act into law require political experience? Or any other type of experience? Signing an act into law is probably the easiest task for any president. A 5-year-old child can sign their name on paper. Is a child more experienced than a president? Senator Clinton's comparison of former president LBJ and Dr. MLK is absurd. People do not remember LBJ during the civil rights era, they remember a man who died too soon. The passage of the Civil Rights Act was a defining historical moment in United States history, a moment that should be touted forever. Credit does not belong to Washington politicians; it belongs MLK.

    January 14, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Mikal

    Why hasn't congress passed a Hate Crimes Bill.
    Why is there even an issue passing a bill that makes it a larger crime to commit an act of violence against someone based on their gender, race, or sexuality.

    It is incomprehensible that someone can argue against a bill that will help prevent this. How does each candidate plan to approach this subject?

    January 14, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. richard

    just do the right thing wolf, ask the questions like handle would the persons running for president handle the Russia and China.we haven't heard much about handling foreign problems. just home issues..


    January 14, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Louise

    Do NOT ask questions referring to the Bible.
    Why not provide Health CARE for everyone, rather than Health INSURANCE?

    January 14, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. Patty D.

    Ask about our falling dollar, the destruction of the middle class, and foreign coporations buying land in our country.

    January 14, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. randy

    Last November, The Des Moines Register reported that they "are offering 20% discounts to uninsured patients who pay their bills within 30 days, and 10% discounts to those who pay in full within 6 months."

    I said at the time that I was marking this one down as nothing more than a PR move by a very profitable not-for-profit health care system, who now can respond to accusations about price gouging the uninsured by saying "Oh that was then-this is now-now we have a discount policy for the uninsured."

    Telling someone who makes $22,000 a year, who is married and has a child (therefore exceeds the federal poverty level) that in order to qualify for a 20% discount on his hospital bill of $35,617 that he must pay his bill in full within 30 days is ridiculous.

    Can't be done and this hospital system knows it.

    Maybe someone could ask obama about that discount policy and whether he thinks it is enough.

    Or maybe someone could ask him about the profits being made by both the system and that hospital whether he thinks that's okay.

    But here's the one I would like him to justify.

    In 2003, according to their 990 Federal Tax Form, Samuel T. Wallace the President and CEO of Iowa Health received $1,354,807 in total compensation.

    For year end 2004, he received $2,255,862 in total compensation.

    Obama since you are telling people you want to make healthcare more affordable "do you think that's excessive?"

    January 14, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. Howard Johnson

    Im pretty sure at the time MLK emerged at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, critics whispered whether he attempted to mimic African American icons such as Marcus Garvey and Frederick Douglass. As such, I am sure many unfair comparisons were made about him with reference to other 'giants' that had gone on before him. However, he emerged into his own. Give Barak that chance as well. What you fail to understand about great men is that each of them share striking similarities with other great men who have come before them. Great men inspired Douglas and Garvey who likewise inspired Martin and Malcolm who in turn inspired the Jesse's and Sharpton's who in turn inspired the Tavis Smileys, Barak's, Cornel West's and Michael Eric Dyson's of today. These men will pass that torch on to my generation in the years to come. Do you see a pattern emerging here?

    January 14, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |



    January 14, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Carletta Thompson

    This question goes to Senator Clinton: I'm assuming you have reviewed Senator Obama's Healthcare Plan. Based on "facts", how is your healthcare plan differs from Senator Obama?

    Thanks in advance!

    January 14, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. charlotte

    Ask them how they plan to unite the congress and the senate. Don't give me that reach across the isle garbage. Who will be the people you can count on, given the same people will be there to greet the new president, (Thank God there will be a new president) surely they know who their friends might be. Don't think you will have some kind of mandate. Hopefully the quagmire with a democratic congress and a democratic president will stop, but we know better then that . We've had that in the past. Can you wheel and deal? How will you sell your ideas. It's going to take leader (with a little used car salesman ability) to get it done.

    January 14, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. El Grande

    Would you please ask the candidates to name the white man responsible for making Cesar Chavez' dreams a reality? Thank you

    January 14, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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