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. TG

    Questions for Obama and Clinton:

    What specifically will you do to restore the protection established by the Founding Fathers in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution that we the people have lost through the cleverly named Patriot Act ?

    For all candidates:

    Do you share the concern of many Americans that any National ID system including the REAL ID ACT, will neither be effective in increasing security or stopping illegal immigration but instead create a system that could easily be abused to control law abiding citizens ? Will you commit tonight to unequivocal opposition to a national ID system ?

    January 15, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  2. S H Connerry

    Seems that every candidates is blasting each other about issues raised by all Americans.Every candidates can promised but can they perform?What will the Elected Candidate do for an AMERICAN not illegal?I do not want to hear about war or their passed history or religions,i want to know weather we going to have products made in US or overseas?Weather jobs going to be created for Americans,or they going to be pro drugs /pharmaceutical money making company?weather Americans comes first in their agenda and not illegal immigrants?Weather the Elected president going to introduces a subsidised health care bills for all and stop paying for illegal immigrants health care bills?That billion of dollars that spent on illegal immigrants could be used to support the real American health bills.Weather Americans have to scrap every money they have to support their families and been denied help from state government over illegal immigrants?What will the Elected President do to the States that did not abide the federal laws,e.g illegal immigrants and work pass for employer/emplyee?Whats the point even if they have a border fence if any of the state supported illegal immigrants.What make a Candidate better than the other just because they promised a CHANGE!

    January 15, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  3. corporate forces

    I would like to ask the candidates why public transportation in this country is so poor and what corporate forces in Washington are aiding this neglect.

    January 15, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  4. Dennis

    Question! As a nation united we are not supposed to question! We are supposed to hire the person best qualified "today" , We don't want ,but need a leader who will make the changes necessary to ensure ours and our children's futures!

    instead of spending millions of dollars in a few months telling us what you can and want to do, why not spend the millions on ,free child health care, or free medical for the elderly all the time?

    with global warming, and the need for alternate fuels and materials to lessen our carbon footprint, are there any steps being taken, to re-introduce hemp, as not only as a source of fuel(ethynol), but as clothing, and burlap, paper(saving thousands of acres of forest) and a economic boost to many struggling small farmers?

    January 15, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  5. jerzee gal

    Ask the candidates how do I explain to my 9 year-old son who think President Bush is a better president than Obama or Clinton (and he knows I am a Democrat and which candidate I support.) He has seen nothing but the very things I have been teaching him not to do, fight, bicker, lie etc...Are you going to Change the way things are now, where me and my husband struggle to break even never once asking uncle sam to share in the cost to raise 5 children, or should I be concerned for my son and his future? I am a married black woman who knows how hard it is to be just that, and know that my four sons are "facing extinction". How are you gong to make the change for the better so I can rest at night knowing raising them to be good men is not futile?(economy,healthcare)

    January 15, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  6. Lu

    To Ms. Clinton:

    What was your exact role in the White House as First Lady and what experience have you gained that makes you a good candidate? Please detail your 35 experience, are you counting your First Lady of Arkansas in that count?

    Please explain the lawsuit that has been filled in Nevada by the teacher's union which has endorsed you, regarding the caucus location of Las Vegas workers?

    To all candidates:

    -What are you policy plans on fighting Aids both in minority populationin the US and in the third world?

    – What is your stance on the genocide that is occurig in Darfur?

    To Obama and Clinton:

    – Explain the economic stimulus packages that you have just released. What is the difference between your plans and what exactly will it do?

    To all candidates:

    -How will you get your plans passed in Congress? In what areas are you willing to compromise to bring some of your policies into fruition?

    January 15, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  7. Jim

    At this point in the history of american politics it hard for me to trust any of the individuals running for office in this nation. Over the past 50 years our washingtonized politicians have made promises to the american people to get themselves elected and then turned their backs on them. Special interest groups and big money run washington. That is one reason we will never see a fair tax program in this country, fair trade or better education for young americans. Good things only go to the people whom can afford to pay for them. The rest of us, who support this country, struggle to keep our heads above water. There are so many issues, its a discrace. I would like to hear each canidate explain to the amercian people why they can be trusted, what they will do put this country back in the hands of the amercian people and how they will work to resolve the many issue we face.

    January 15, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  8. Tom

    Blitzer asserts that CNN's three or four viewers are "smart" and "intelligent"? Evidence to support that allegation?

    January 15, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  9. Roy

    I would like to know where Clinton has gotten the idea she has 35 years of experience from. Was she in any decision making inside the White House when her husband was president , and if so , what? Does this nullify other candidates experience ? Besides doesnt the president have advisers and many other sources of information gathering at his disposal. We have heard this 35 year stuff so long that it is getting unbearable, wish we could get a straight up answer to this question ,and please , no political double talk...........Roy from Missouri

    January 15, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  10. Al

    Hillary Clinton's comment comparing LBJ and Dr. Martin Lther King Jr. was absurd and only proves her self serving ambition. To credit Washington politicians with the signing of the Cival Right's Act only shows how in her eyes the world revolves around herself and politics. She should be ashamed to have proposed the notion that any polititcian in washington was directly resoponsible for passing this act, all they did was provide a signature because of the pressure from the people to so. Dr. King fought and died for what he belived knowing full well what the likely outcome of his actions might be. The man is a TRUE MARTYR and I do not belive that anyone in Washington today can hold candle to the sheer determination and guts that Dr. king showed thoughout his life. I say it once again this man gave his LIFE his LIFE so that millions of then present and future citizens could have basic rights and that we could even be having this discussion today. This is truely and outrage and this comment only proves how in Mrs. Clinton's world the common person is but a vote, a mere brick in the wall that she creates (People wake up and see this woman for who she really is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) It was in fact Dr. King and the American people who deserve full credit for not accepting the world as it was and politics as usual in Washington. POWER TO THE PEOPLE ! Not Mrs Clinton and her self serving agenda!

    January 15, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  11. Still Looking

    All of the candidates have said that we need to be less dependent on foreign oil for all the obvious reasons. So please ask them,

    Why are none of you proposing to reduce the very high tariff on imported ethanol from Brazil?

    On a similar note, please ask them to be very specific on how they will make this country much more energy independent and when?

    IMO, this is the most important issue facing the US, and we need to start making big changes now, not 5 or even 10 years later.

    January 15, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  12. Tristan Penton

    To: CNN

    I'm hoping that you please not pick on me because I wanted to know about Obama's drug use. I don't want to be known or picked on because of this. This is a comment website. I am not defending Clinton I am simply asking to be heard. To know whether America cares where the President of the United States did drugs. I do care very much.

    So, I am requesting, please, anonymity and protection. Maybe they think i work for Clinton or something like this. i don't. I will probably vote for her, but I don't work for her.

    I hope you please respect my privacy. For every 10 insults I read about Clinton, I read 1 about Obama. I don't see the kind of hate speech towards the Obama people that I do towards people questioning Clinton's background. That being said, I wrote because I wanted to voice my opinion.

    I'm from Miami. I know what it's like to be around people who use drugs, abuse drugs and sell drugs. I have never used cocaine and yet I think it's serious, very serious. The world is very fishy to me. I don't trust them and it scares me.



    So, anyway... what I'm trying to say is, please DON'T PUT MY LIFE IN DANGER! I AM AFRAID OF STANDING UP FOR MY OPINION NOW.

    January 15, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  13. betty

    just a question to you..is it obama vs hillary..or is it billary vs obama ???

    January 15, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  14. Tristan Penton

    Oh, and everybody at my office thinks it's a big deal. His drug abuse. I'm not alone. All the girls in the office think it's a big deal.

    January 15, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  15. Roy

    Wolfe , i would like to see a survey done that would ask your veiwers to comment on . The question: If Hilliary Clinton is the winner of the primeries how many folks would (dems and Inde) would then change their vote to the replublician candidate? Then possibly run the same survey on Barrak Obama.....I believe the survey would show that Hilliary is not the one to run against the Reps. because she is such an in-fighter and wants things her way or else! Whatya say? Roy , Missouri

    January 15, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  16. Peter

    To Obama,

    Mr. Senator, I am a little confused by your foreign policy. You say you will pull out the troops asap but this means leaving Iraq tettered and torn! This will leave an irresponsible and inconsistence image on US presidency and influence throughout the world. How will this help in your aim to increase US image abroad!

    To all candidates,

    America is in a great ecnomic distress, which might lead to losing our competitive advantage. What are your plans and how you will solve this?

    January 15, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  17. sukhi (canada)

    I would replay, both bill and hillary speeches just prior to the New Hampshire primary and show to the American Black voters their "true colors" when a black presidential candidate is threatening Hillary's so called coronation .

    You see, for many politicians, like the Clinton, in positions of privilege, they cunningly realize that its a game without sincerity/substance and have courted black voters as their numbers can be an effective voting block. They have also quite clearly rewarded several black leaders in bill administration, who are now being called up or being put in difficult situations of speaking on their behave to do the "dirty work" in attacking Obama. It always looks nicer I guess, for the Clintons if it is black vs black.

    However, the sad part of this drama, is that this further exposes the double standards and lack of substance when truly called upon, white politicians have for a black presidential candidate. The Clinton's have shown they have no limits in their attacking schemes, and Obama's race is not off limits, as the goal, and only pursuit is power.

    I used to admire the Clintons but sadly these past ten days have lost a great deal of respect for their conduct and their offensive campaign tactics.

    They are well calculated and power driven. As such, they are NO REAL FRIEND OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY. If they were, they wouldn't under any circumstances ridiculed or made such offensive statements at the 11th hour in New Hampshire.

    American Voters will see in the next 3 weeks, that the Clinton are INDIRECTLY trying to instill in White Voters minds, that "we cannot let a black be president." This will be done in a dirty, indirect, 3rd party way, as to discredit Obama and send alarm ringing in moderate White voters minds.

    It is the dirtiest trick in American Politics, that just when a good, articulate black candidate comes forward to challenge the status quo, lets now bring up race in a non overt but systemic manner.

    Shame on you hillary and bill

    January 15, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  18. Pat Costello

    Immigration seems to be a hot topic in this presidential race. However, none of the candidates seem to acknowledge that our economy would not have grown without the work provided by these illegal immigrants. Nor do they acknowledge that we could face economic collapse, inlfation etc if they were forced to leave. Do you think it is reasonable to secure our borders and grant amnesty to those hard working individuals who are already here?

    January 15, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  19. Mike Cross

    With China, India and much of the 3rd world moving into becoming modern economies, do any of the political candidates have any realistic plans that global warming can in fact be stopped? And if so, how seriously would they take leadership on this (very important) issue?

    Can America truly invent better ways to harness power and utilize energy without ruining our planetary ecosystem anymore than we may already have? (like the Ozone Layer being burned up??) Or will we be forever stuck fighting old entrenched interests who wait until it's too late before they invest the money they already have into newer cleaner energy solutions.?? (i.e Today before Tommorrow when it's too late.)

    Thx Wolf!!
    You still look great!!

    January 15, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  20. Roy

    Wolfe, If Bill Clinton didnt inhale what the hell was it doing in his mouth. And if he puts in a comment then he deserves to be questioned and scutinized for it...Besides isnt he the one that doesnt know what the word "is " is. Who in the hell is running for president in that family? What place would he have in any decision making in the White House if Hilliary got in, What closet he wants to play in ? In his own words ' " GET REAL" Roy , missouri

    January 15, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  21. john

    This question is for Obama and Clinton. If and when the Telecommunication
    immunity bill comes up again will the two Senators join Dodd on the Senate
    floor to filibuster? And, oh by the way, where were they during the last filibuster?

    January 15, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  22. Gordon Hellwig

    What makes Hillary certain she can fix the health care system when she tried and failed the first time?

    What would any of them do to fix the Workers Comp system which is in favor of the Insurance companies right now and hurt the injured worker in the long run(lose job, lose house, lose of income, IME doctors lies and write off workers before recovered, all mighty dollar over the care of individuals, Employers write off employees before they are recovered and able to work if possible again).

    Will they stop giving companies over seas discounts?

    What will they be able to do for families that are in the middle income bracket that can not afford health care, but make just enough to not qualify for health care help?

    We have the technology for cars to get better than 60+ miles per gallon. Let's get the ball rolling. Instead of saying 30-35 mpg regulation, lets up the mpg on vehicles because we know we have the technology already. Who will push this through?

    Ever since Bush came to office, we have seen an increase in oil companies profits, Bush kissing Saudi's you know what to keep his oil money coming in, Big businesses getting fat and the employee getting poor, the economy going to pot, Prescription companies doing what they want and screwing the public, the Medical/Insurance companies over charging people, and many, many more.

    What will any of the candidates do to stop Insurance companies and medical companies from using you credit score to charge you higher rates on car insurance and house insurance as well as medical charges? How does a persons credit determine what kind of driver you are or how long your house is safe? Maybe someone just has had bad luck in life and ran into problems unlike some early in their lives. Give some people a break and stop using the credit system to over charge people struggling to survive. How does a company justify over charging someone according to their credit score if it's low. This is why they can not get a head, because we keep pounding people with lower credit scores. People can usually afford a lower interest rate, why not allow someone with a lower credit score to get a low interest rate so they can keep up on their payments? I sold cars at one time in my life and when you try to get a lady who ended up with cancer, high medical bills, bad credit due to medical bills, which in turn made her credit score low, had a hard time walking, and needs a vehicle to get back and forth to her appoints all week long for treatments, then denied credit to get a car throuh all companies. It makes you go home feeling really bad for someone like this because our system is looking out for the big guy and not the ones that need help the most.

    More to come. Thank you for reading.

    January 15, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  23. Brant

    To each of the candidates:

    As you know, the Democratic Party has a proud tradition of defending the rights of the minority and the voiceless in our society. With that in mind, why is our party strongly opposed to the Pro-Life position? It seems inconsistent. Shouldn't our party be leading the fight to defend the rights of both women and the unborn?

    January 15, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  24. Tristan Penton






    OH MY GOD...


    January 15, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  25. Gordon Hellwig

    Which candidate is in favor of making new citizens coming to America learn the American language, and get a certified new ID?

    Also, lets round up the illegals, finger print them, send them back to where they came from, and if they come back we will know this by the finger printing ID we have on file. If you are caught doing this again, then you will have to serve in a military force that has to respond first to any military action over seas or anywhere needed. After you have served the years recommended and learned the American language, you can get your citizenship. This in turn will allow our military to expanded as needed with out ever bringing back the draft.

    Oh yeah, Stop over spending and start working for the Americans and not against them.

    January 15, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
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