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. aisha naeem

    ask obama ,who did he buy his house through .oh i m sorry he said he has no links with him. oh i know why he is in jail now

    January 14, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  2. Jonathan Vitale

    Many of the problems in healthcare in America are due to our physician shortage which no one seems to do much talking about. When the Baby Boomer physicians retire within the next decade, the shortage will only become worse since America is unable to produce enough physicians. WIthout giving lip service to your health care plans, do you acknowledge that the physician shortage is a key factor in the healthcare crisis in America and what specifically would you do to ameliorate this issue?

    January 14, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  3. George, Billerica, Mass.

    My question is for all the candidates:
    What can a President do, and what will you specifically do, to stop corporations from exerting undue influence on legislation, especially on bills that are for the purpose of assisting or protecting the American people?

    January 14, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  4. aisha naeem

    ask obama ,by writing book and admitting he did drugs ,what kinda future hopes and idol he is for young kids .

    January 14, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  5. Derick Trammell

    My Question: Our nation has been facing the energy crisis for over thirty years. In my opinion America has wasted time and energy in preparing and for this looming problem. It will cost the lower income class of Americans dearly for this lack of action. A large portion of blame must be bestowed on Congress, and our President, past and present, for failing to lead and prepare for its ramifications. I don’t want to hear what they did in your answer. That is the past; we need to look towards the future.

    The predictions are for oil to go up to and beyond $100.00 per barrel, and gasoline will be $4.00 dollars a gallon by summer possibly. I’m lucky; I took to riding a motorcycle in recent years fearing this problem would financially doom my family and me. I get an average 47-mpg, and travel 12800 commuter miles a year. At $3.00 dollars a gallon that means I spend about 3 to 4% of my current income on gasoline. If gasoline goes to $4.00 per gallon that will be an additional 1% of my income towards gasoline “only” in additional commuting cost, about $271.00 dollars. Others will be reeling from increases of about $600 to $1300.00 dollars, if gasoline goes to $4.00 per gallon, depending on their vehicles mpg, a 3 to 6% increase. I have a hard time meeting my financial obligations today, but I do meet them. I’m not so sure about others in the coming days.

    What is a proper course of action at this time in the interim, while our Nation prepares in other ways and implements new regulations for this problem? Tax reductions are not a solution, nor credits, the current budget and national debt is already a mill stone about our necks, and no-one can afford to buy hybrid cars at this level of income. What is your plan, both short term and long, to resolve this highly volatile issue.

    January 14, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  6. aisha naeem

    how many more votes can obama win by raising race issue .but i know u guys will ask tough questions to hillary only and cnn is siding with obama .u guys dont even post all the comments .most of the ones approved by u are anti-hillary thats the reason i listen to fox now .go hillary go fox

    January 14, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  7. Troy Kendal

    Dear Wolf,
    Please take into consideration my important question for the upcoming debates.

    I would like the canidates to address the issue of gay marriage/federal legal rights for international same sex couples. The facts is that the present laws are institutionalized discrimination. I feel my family doesn't matter to American politicians.

    Troy Kendal

    January 14, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |


    Banks and Credit card companies now charge as much as 32% per annum interest on accounts.

    Do any of the candidates favor a federal usury law under the Commerce Clause to limit the amount of interest credit card companies can charge their customers?

    If not, why not?

    January 14, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  9. Iowa Dem

    Could everybody please stop referring to the Iowa Caucus as a win for Obama? If there hadn't been so many people from other states posing as state residents, the out come would have been a three way tie. We were inundated with people from the surrounding states there to support Obama.

    January 14, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  10. Helen T. Zibit

    Since change is the mantra this political season, I would like all debate participants to answer comprehensively their individual process for bringing about change in one of the programs they are offering as part of their campaign. I ask this question because of a conversatiion with the clerk at the drug store who expressed a great deal of cynicism about politicians promising to do things that were not in the presidents' power but in other people's power. I had to agree with him that this is frequently true. I suspect he is a student working there but I don't really know.

    January 14, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  11. terry

    I want to ask the democrats 4 questions:

    1.) Now that violence in Iraq is down 70% from '06 to '07, what do we do now? Do we still cut and run, or see it through? (Question to CNN: Why do you not cover the good news from Iraq?)

    2.) Give us the "meats-and-potatoes" of your healthcare plan. How do we pay for it? Who all is covered? How much would it cost? And please don't say we'll tax the rich without defining what rich is.

    3.) I want to know how you would balance the budget? Would you cut out earmarks? Would you slow down and/or rebute Senator Byrd from WV, a democrate in your own party which he has personally responsible for 3 billions dollars worth of earmarks? Or would you continue with earmarks, as in the case with the woodstock museum?

    4.) What would you do to fix the social security, medicare, and medicade problems. I call them a tax, since those of us that aren't close to retirement won't see it if it isn't fixed. Ignoring the problem won't fix the problem.

    I know that this question will not get posted (since I am criticizing CNN), but figured that I would give it a shot. I won't hold my breathe.

    Oh yeah, don't ask questions of their political bickering and pondering, but hold them to their plan. If you complain about a problem without a solution, then you are part of the problem!

    January 14, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  12. Undecided Democrat, USA

    Ask Obama that there is no difference in policy decisions between him and Clinton then why should he be President now. What is the fierce urgency?

    January 14, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. Mike Collins, Tucson, AZ

    Three questions actually.

    The United States is already up to it's eyeballs in debt. How, pray tell, do the leading candidates plan on paying for all of these wonderful things they promise they will do immediately upon taking office ?

    Realizing this is an election and each of the candidates wants to become president .... how are we supposed to fairly choose between any of them when basically all they do is trash talk each other. They are supposed to be demonstrating to us why they should be elected as the president and commander in chief, but they are acting like 3rd graders trying to make each other look bad (and themselves good) in the schoolyard in front of thier friends.

    On the education front. We live in Arizona, 49th in the nation in per-student spending/funding (behind Utah). What are you planning on doing about that ?

    January 14, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  14. DKay

    Please ask Hillary how Mark Penn the CEO of a well known union-busting firm remains in her campaign's employment. How can she state to be working for the middle-class and the working class of America when her top campaign strategist leads a firm that specializes in denying the basic rights of workers? Conflict of interest, wouldn't you say???

    January 14, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  15. Arturo F. Alvarez

    I watch CNN broadcast almost every day. I am concerned that the immigration issue is only discuessed in relation to the southern border . No one ever talks about our northen border which is as open as our southern border. If I am coraect all terroists have come in through our northern border, yet no one is concerned about it. Why isn't any one at CNN concerned about it. Why not ask the candidates what they think about it???????

    January 14, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  16. Lori

    I would like to know from the candidates, if the U.S. had not abandoned Afghanistan after USSR was driven out by (U.S aided) Afghanistan fighters, as it appears the U.S. did, do they believe that the hate for the U.S./west would of been fueled for going on for over 20 years and the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden rose to power, by their hatred of those who abandoned Afghanistan more than those (USSR) invading them? And how would abandoning Iraq now be any different 20 years from now, as the U.S. would more than likely be blamed for the eventual failures in Iraq?

    January 14, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  17. Jim

    Questions for all candidates:

    1. What will you do during your first term to hold elected officials (past and present) accountable for white collar crimes, and to recover stolen tax payer dollars?

    2. What 3 issues facing this country will receive the highest priority in the first 100 days?

    3. Do you think the Bush administration stripped away any civil liberties? If so, how will you go about reinstating them?

    4. How will you get corporate america to reinvest in the USA?

    January 14, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  18. Mekki

    What do you think about having The bushs for 12 years and maybe the clintons for 16 years ( if hilary wins) and then maybe Jebb Bush for another 8 years. the presidency will be shared by two families for 36 years,,,that's crazy!! it's not a USA anymore it's a kingdom!!!
    i am so not voting for clinton again, i am sick and tired of these two ( Bush and clinton) , what we need is new blood , change , new people,,,, that's why i am going for OBAMA or ( Edwards) .
    Please save america

    January 15, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  19. Victoria


    My question is for Senator Obama

    Sen. Obama you released you plan for the economy three days after Sen. Clinton released hers. When you speak of CHANGE..Is this what you mean? To take someone else plan and CHANGE the numbers and try and pass it off as your plan.

    January 15, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  20. T wong


    How do you feel that the personal lives of the Clinton White House years will be used against your campaigne if you make it to the general election? Please remember that our Country suffered greatly during that period.

    Thanks for your honesy.

    Thaddeus Wong

    January 15, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  21. Glenda Schroeder

    My question is for ALL the candidates and only requires a YES or No answer .. the question is:

    Will you pledge to the American people that you will work towards a bill that forbids borrowing from the Social Security Fund ?

    (I don't need or want any discussion; just a straight yes or no. Our Social Security Fund is in the shape it is today BECAUSE of our politicians and has been borrowed against time and again. ANYONE past or present who has voted to borrow against the Social Security Fund does not deserve to serve in Congress. What they will receive as retirement benefits has been or will be paid for by those they stole from – how can they look in the mirror and think they have represented their state or this nation?)

    January 15, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  22. Robert

    To Obama:

    Your church has the mission statement of a "NON-NEGOTIABLE commitment to Africa." How can I believe that you really will do what is best for American interest above all else?

    January 15, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  23. CO Dem Mom

    Why isn't anyone talking about the possibility of Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton?

    I don't like seeing just 2 families controlling the white house for so long.

    So, the question is this: is America a democracy or an aristocracy?

    I don't believe for a second that Hillary is doing this for "us". She's out to prove something [for herself].

    Obama and Edwards strike me as more truly altruistic.

    January 15, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  24. Mekki

    what do all of them think about BLOOMBERG ??

    January 15, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  25. Joel Andrew Nagel

    In previous debates, candidates have begun their answers to various questions by saying, "On my first day in office, I will...."

    In fact, everyone knows that what people say or do on their last day at work often says more about them.

    So, here's a question for Hillary Clinton:

    Assuming that you believe in the inscription carved in stone above the entrance to the supreme court, "Equal Justice under Law", and assuming that you agree that it is the responsbility of every citizen to pay his or her taxes, how do you explain that you raised no protest when your husband, on his last day of office, pardoned a notorious tax cheat, Mark Rich?

    January 15, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
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