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. Rodney Shelton

    I would like you to ask: Please name one government run program that has been succesful without being a tax burden? Then follow up with- How do we possibly see a government run health care system being the one government success?

    January 15, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  2. AER

    Hillary was headed straight for the Presidency and the Republicans knew they could not beat her. I would not be surprised to find out that Obama is backed, knowingly or unknowingly; by those same covert Republicans who manipulated the 2000 and 2004 election wins. His candidacy came out of oblivion with no experience... a golden tongue, an attractive package and the right color skin to split the Democrats. I am not a racist, but this country is not ready to elect an African-American President with only two years of political experience... and the Republicans know it. I truly admire Barack Obama, but his campaign is a gift to the Republican party.

    Divide and conquer and watch McCain, a Republican most Democrats can stomach, slide into the White House. The Republicans will win only because as a National Party, the Democrats are sooooo stupid and naive.

    Sure McCain seems more like a Democrat than a Republican at times, but as far as the Republican Party is concerned...a Republican with a tint of blue is better than no Republican at all. The Republican infrastructure in this Country will remain the same and there will be no real change, just a little cosmetic surgery.

    Shame on the Democratic Party. If you cannot unite your Party, how can you expect to unite this Country?

    My question to the candidates...what will it take to unite the Democratic Party so it will win in November?

    January 15, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  3. Nancy Tilson Sinback

    My father has cancer and one week of chemo pills is $6000. If a person has too much income to qualify for Medicaid, is too young for Medicare and can't aford to pay over $1000 a month for a plan, they would die from their disease or be homeless and starving after paying for care. Quit telling me we need a national healthcare plan, enough generalities. How long to impliment your program, to actually have a plan in place, and how much will it cost individuals?

    January 15, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  4. pjonathan

    Question for all candidates, Hillary first:
    Which expanded presidential power claimed by Bush-Cheney-Gonzales is unconstitutional? Which ones would you renounce?

    January 15, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  5. Judge Roberts

    To Senator Obama:

    Are you going to give AMNESTY to millions of illegal aliens and why do they deserve amnesty if they broke the law?

    Also, will you pledge to SECURE THE border?

    January 15, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. pjonathan

    To all democrats:
    which republican is most likely to claim the greatly expanded executive powers claimed by Bush-Cheney-Gonzales?

    January 15, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  7. Katie

    I am curious about Senator Obama's stance on sexism, and how he views the hate speech and images all over the internet regarding Senator Clinton.

    January 15, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  8. pjonathan

    To all democrats:
    Which democrat is most likely to continue the Bush-Cheney White House claims and defenses of expanded secrecy?

    January 15, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  9. John Brushaber

    A question for all candidates
    Given that the manufactoring of almost any product can be moved to a country where workers earn 50 cents an hour, how can American workers be competitive in making anything?

    January 15, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  10. Nancy Tilson Sinback

    I want to know why in a country where voting is a right and a privilege, we have state primaries where votes don't count and an independents' vote never counts?

    We tout democracy around the world and our own voting structure is set-up to automatically reduce the value of one person-one vote. Every voter should be able to cast a vote in a primary and have it count otherwise why bother? How would you feel about one national primary day and one national Election Day?
    It would cut-down on this long ridiculous “election season”.

    January 15, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |

    Romney Economy, I love it when he said JOBS JOBS JOBS

    Bam Bam and Hillary here is a question for you when Lincoln freed the slaves did you feel like joining the repulican party?

    January 15, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  12. 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 15, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  13. Darcy

    To All:
    What would you do or how would you feel if this happened to you?
    Your health insurance gets terminated yet you still need your medication so you go to the pharmacy only to find out that you have to pay $600.00 for just that 1 perscription.
    Then.... after doing a little research and making a few phone calls you then find out that when you had health insurance coverage your insurace company was charged only $360.00 for the same exact perscription.
    Tell me how is this possible? Is this really fair? Why is it someone without health insurance pays $200+ more for the same exact perscription? I don't see how this is fair..... shouldn't it be the opposite...... someone without health insurance should get the discount price NOT the insurance company. Do any of you agree?
    If so what can be done about this?
    Thank You
    Darcy (Massachusetts)

    January 15, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  14. Anise

    How will you fix the massive discrimination currently practiced by our immigration authorities, which is both destroying American tourism and losing the skills of highly educated, experienced foreign workers who want to live in America with their spouses and work in our industries?

    January 15, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  15. Berni

    I am a Canadian and very sympathetic to our American neighbors. As such we follow with great interest the daily political reporting on CNN. However, it is so obvious that some of your so -called reporters are heavily biased in favor of Sen. Obama. Jack Cafferty often sounds vicious when he picks on Sen Clinton. Roland Martin does not even try to sound fair in his criticisms of Sen Clinton. Some candidates are always picked on,others are treated with kid gloves and others are just ignored as being insignificant. While I am an independent viewer with no stake in your elections, I have great interest in your democratic process. However, such blatant bias in reporting does not seem democratic to me.

    January 15, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  16. Rob

    No wonder politics are so screwed-up, some of you don't even know that this is a Dem Debate.

    And for those wanting to know about Clintons position on a weak military that Bill is blamed for, it was George Bush Sr. and his administration who began troop reduction and base closures. These commissions were in place by law when Bill Clinton became President.

    January 15, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  17. Randy Shannon

    Ask Edwards how he can justify participating in a debate that excludes Kucinich and still support fairness and democracy.

    January 15, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  18. amery

    In response to Veronica. Look Veronica I have advanced degree as well. An no! CNN is not Pro Obama, to be honest they are simply stating fact. It is time for change. ENough of the Status Quo politics. You and your husband are simply banking on the fact that Bill CLinton helped the 90's. Well it was great, but this is not 1992! In fact Hillary Clinto is not Bill Clinton. And for the record, don't try to explain how Hillary is for change. Hillary is about Hillary First and everyone else second. Go back to 1991 when at every interview she would sit next to good ol' Billy trying to give her 2 cents. I like Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was good at the time we needed him. But please! you and everyone else stuck in the 90's- Get over it! This is no longer about you or me. It is about our young generation. We had our time, now it is the younger generations turn. Give me a break!

    January 15, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  19. Brian

    Question for all candidates: I'm surprised that it hasn't occurred to anyone hosting previous debates.

    Will you please name three Executive Orders that George W. Bush has signed, conferring extraordinary powers upon himself ,that your will RESCIND on your first working day in office as President ?

    And don't let 'em weasel out of this one as the debate hosts are wont to do.

    January 15, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  20. David Sigmon

    From health care to economic stimulation to education to environmental protection to prison systems, Americans face the same sorts of challenges that face other industrialized nations. What lessons do you take from the successes and failures of these other nations in addressing these nearly universal concerns? Is there anything that Sweden, Germany, Japan, or Australia have done that you would like to see implemented over here?

    January 15, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  21. David

    I would like to know if the candidates believe that America's dependency on the automobile and the sidestepping of architecture and art in many of our cities affects the way the world perceives us and the cultural cohesion of our people?

    As the automobile has become such a part of the American Dream and oil dependency and the environment are becoming problems for our country, how do you intend to lead us out of this quagmire and sustain our economy and social reference points intact?

    January 15, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  22. Trent

    "This bill therefore and the former legislation provide the special benefits which are due to the members of our armed forces - for they have been compelled to make greater economic sacrifice and every other kind of sacrifice than the rest of us, and are entitled to definite action to help take care of their special problems. While further study and experience may suggest some changes and improvements, the Congress is to be congratulated on the prompt action it has taken." FDR's statement on the passing of the bills to support the troops. Can any of you canidates say that you think you can stand up today and say you have done everything possible for our current vets. Also if you could explain how every year several packages that would update the greatly outdated GI Bill of today, especially for the Guard and Reserve soldiers, always seems to get attention when created but nothing ever happens, is that truly supporting your troops?

    January 15, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  23. William Cutler

    To all the candidates:

    More important to me than your position on any of the issues is this.

    When the next huge, critical and unexpected issue comes over the horizon, how will you handle it? What early-warning system will you have in place? What solution-discovery process will you use? How will you organize a team to respond? How will you follow up to be sure the response is effective?

    January 15, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  24. Obama's Drug Use

    I know this is a sore spot, but I really need to know more about Obama's drug use. Cocaine is not a small matter and I would like to know if he sold it.

    I believe that when a person sells such a highly addictive substance as cocaine to another individual a very serious moral line has been crossed.

    The President of the United States is a role model. I think the American people deserve to know more about this drug use.

    Please ask this question in a manner that reflects the seriousness of this action; most children don't make it out alive and their lives are shattered.

    Lastly, I would like Obama to explain to me if he justifies being poor and emotionally distraught by not having a father as an excuse for snorting cocaine and selling it and what he would tell our young people who look to President of the united States for some guidance.

    January 15, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  25. tina

    Be sure about that vote you cast for Obama. This is just round one of the verbal race sparring. I already have a migrane He's not even nominated yet. If he does get elected .....will things really get done??? OR Whenever someone says something to disagree with Obama, we'll have non-stop discussions on the major networks about the latest racist or racist innuendo/comment. God help us.

    January 15, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
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