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. Mike

    My question is to all candidates:

    Would you be in favor of a national "smoking ban" that bars smoking in all public places, including workplace, restaurants, and bars?

    January 15, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  2. Barry Aycock

    Something for each candidate to answer

    Since American presidents do not have absolute power and must govern as a co-equal partner with Congress and follow the legal opinions of the Supreme Court, describe how your leadership style will be a compliment to the system of "checks and balances" set forth in our Constitution while moving the country toward the "Change" everyone is talking about.

    January 15, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  3. Mike H.

    Today's Washington Post carries an important column by Richard Cohen on "Obama's Farrakhan Test." The gist of the article is that Obama's spiritual advisor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, runs a publication that has named the anti-Semitic Louis Farrakkan the "man of the year." Obama has thus far declined to disassociate himself from Wright, a strident black nationalist who blames whites for the black community's ills.

    The politically correct press has, heretofore, given Obama a free pass on his relationship with the very controversial Rev. Wright. I urge you to raise this issue with Obama and, inter alia, ask him–as a man who claims to be above racial politics– to repudiate Wright. Best, Mike H.

    January 15, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  4. Theo

    Isn't it about time we changed our immigration laws? Why are babies born to illegal citizens considered to be legal US residents? This law must change, without the rhetoric of having no compassion for our fellow human beings, or charges of racism. We simply can't keep allowing people to drain our resources that should be given to LEGAL citizens. We don't provide properly for those that have contributed into the system, or even veterans for that matter, and this has to change.

    January 15, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  5. Everett

    It has been said that the Republican administration has intentionally run the nation into debt in order to prevent the Liberals from introducing new spending and also to make a case to modify social security and other government funded programs. I would like to know if the candidates believe this to be true?

    January 15, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  6. Jeff

    Why does CNN and the other media outlets get baited into the fabricated war of words between Hillary and Obama. From everything I've been able to gather this past week – and I've been more or less obsessed with coverage this last week – Bill and Hillary made some comments about "fair tale" and "MLK & President Johnson" respectively. I didn't see Obama say anything in response, but the media made a big deal about these comments. Then you have Bill on All Sharpton's show trying to set the record straight, and the next thing you know, it's been spun around where Obama's camp made it a race issue? Sharpton may be a supporter of Obama but I wouldn't quite call him a surrogate. Sharpton's always in the middle of controversary – by his own doing. So now you have all the media talking about race, but Obama didn't say anything

    So for Obama to say "to suggest that were interjecting race as a consequence of statements they made, that we haven't commented on, is pretty hard to figure out" seems pretty much on the money.

    Further, then Obama's was the first camp to call off the Tit-for-tat even though it was the media that spurred the race issue – not the Obama camp.

    So my question is to CNN – based on this pattern of manipulation and baiting, why go with headlines that continue to spur the fire and go with headlines that support Clinon's camp.

    January 15, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  7. Sandi Ferguson

    With oil, home and interests rates soaring, questions and answers regarding these topics with the democratic candidates flourish. SallieMae is the "loan shark" of our time. I experienced SallieMae's rath and fraudulent transactions with 2 parent loans. I direct my question to all Democratic candidates, when is someone going to step forward (that has not received monies from private interest groups) and investigate and sue SallieMae for it's on-going, fraudulent, unbelievable mafia tactics in dealing with schol loans, specifically SallieMae - a monopoly for sure in the industry with 43 affiliated companies under it's umbrella?

    January 15, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  8. gerd.vilardi

    That is one thing that you Mr. Blitzer are correct in, we the people are not Stupid.
    But I do have one question for all the Candidates: in 2 words wath is America for you? and forgething all the Bs. Why schould it be you and not the one next to you?

    This question has not bin till this date ansered, by no one

    Hope the good work continues.


    January 15, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  9. Anthony

    Question for all candidates:

    Where do you plan on making cuts to start paying back the huge deficit our country currently owes?

    January 15, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  10. tyler

    January 14, 2008 7:59 pm ET


    I dont' care what questions you ask — my question for you is what are you going to do to ensure that John Edwards has a fair chance of representing himself in this?

    The media has been biased against John Edwards since the beginning. I for one think neither Clinton nor Obama are the right person for the Democratic ticket — John Edwards is. And he deserves a lot more media coverage than he's gotten for a year

    ^^^^^ I would have to agree BIG TIME the more i see the 2 the less i care about the Dems.. I f Edwards isnt given face time on CNN or anyother networks im done watching, BTW i guess it shows when your want to break the stadus quo, and they now your for real, Bye bye media attention, But it not going to happen, sadly people are being brainwashed by them. I bet 5% of the people posting actually know that Edwards is in the running.

    January 15, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  11. Robert

    For Ms. Clinton:

    When it came out that the hedge fund managers were paying taxes at a lesser rate than the average person, you were at the forefront of demanding a change. Then the money started coming into the campaign chests form the same managers and you have not said a thing or offered a piece of legislation to change it. Why??

    January 15, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  12. epsec

    Question for all the candidates:

    It's a documented fact that our nation's infrastructure is in decay and needs repair. This includes not only roads and railways, but water mains and dams as well

    Do you agree with the recommendations made by the Natinal Surface Transportation Policy & Revenue Study Commission on Tuesday, 1/15/08? If not how do you propose raising funds to repair our national infastructure?

    January 15, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  13. Cindy

    I would like to Ask Senator Obama when he first ran for office in the Illinois State Legislature why he felt it was ok to go in and challenge the validity of the signatures on all his challengers petitions, including those for the longtime progressive activist and his mentor Alice Palmer, to be on the ballot leaving him as the only candidate?

    Why in his campaign for the U.S. Senate he felt the need to push the Chicago Tribune to cover his Democratic opponent Mr. Hull's divorce to such an extent he dropped out of the race. Did he have a hand in the Chicago Tribune's quest to have his Republican opponent Mr Ryan's divorce records un-sealed resulting in he too dropping out of the race leaving him with no opposition until Alan Keyes ran? Was this just a coincidence?

    With these two incidents how does Senator Obama justify his campaign as that of one that is not politics as usual when it appears he is no different from the poliical status quo willing to do anything to win?

    January 15, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  14. Anthony

    Question for Obama.

    You've been running on change as the center of your platform.I want to ask you will you change the policy of the US of policing the nation and switch to offering to be a mediator to countries such as North & South Korea to settle there differences?

    January 15, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  15. Attacked by the Establishment

    Maybe one of them will answer straight on this but I doubt it.

    Question: Will you now or at anytime within the next year ASAP have the locked up files gathered by the FBI on MLK (Michael King) released so the entire world can really see just what kind of person this was before we continue brainwashing our children and ignorant adults in this country and around the world?

    January 15, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  16. pui

    To all the candidates: A Question on experience: in 1992, Governor Bill Clinton once said in response to President Bush senior’s statement on experience "the same old experience is not relevant" Bill was making his case for Change, in 1992. Do you think that applies today as well?

    Senator Clinton: did your experience help you when voting for the Iraq war? Did experience help you Senator Clinton in giving Bush authorization to exercise the option of war with Iran?

    Thank You

    To Senator Hillary,

    With your so called 35 years of experience, tell us 5 key things you did (as in you spear-headed or took the lead in) for the benefit of the American people. Describe what it was you did and the corresponding result for America. If you've got 35 years of experience, you must some solid things to show for it, besides the last name "Clinton

    January 15, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  17. WMartin

    Question for Hilary,
    How could you possibly take care of all the problems in the Middle East
    considering their culture,religious beliefs and their blatent disrespect for
    women? Do you honestly think that they will invite a woman into their political
    arena, when they consider women as 2nd class citizens??(believe me, I lived
    there for yrs!)

    January 15, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  18. Sangeeta

    Question for all: The Iraq War is project to cost another trillion dollars. even if we withdraw our troops tomorrow we have to pay for the trillion dollars we have already spent to wage war over the past 5 years. How will we pay for this war and over what timeframe?

    January 15, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  19. Lindsay Little

    This question is for Obama:

    When one person of the 15 million your health care plan doesn't cover gets ill, who will pay their bills? All the rest of us, like it is now. This is unacceptable. You assume that just because we make healthcare affordable people with purchase it. If this is truly what you believe then people need to reconsider your ideas of change without much experience.

    Thank you Hillary and John for covering everybody and mandating it.

    January 15, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  20. Frank B

    I am surprised at the messages here. I don't have an advanced degree but still can see how the candidates are being looked at from the media. It really does not take a brain surgeon to figure that out. The media has one agenda, that is to get interest in their coverage. THEY alone cause the mass fear, they alone cause the public to become outraged at the way the coverage is handled. I watch CNN HOWEVER I must say I am surprised at how leaning they are towards one person over the others. Also disappointed. I would have expected better from the "most watched cable news shows"

    January 15, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |

    There are 43 million people in this country with out adequate health care coverage, and we have heard from all the candidates on what they are going to do to fix this problem. There are 42 million people in this country that are cost burdened when it comes to housing (meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing) and not one candidate has a plan for housing. If you were elected how would you fix this overlooked problem?

    January 15, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  22. Jim

    A question for all the candidates. The U.S. economy is slowing down and the middle class is in need of tax cuts. One way you may be able to return some money to the people is by limiting the number of political appointees (Schedule Cs) you place throughout your administration. Are you willing to pledge that instead of spending the tax payers' money on rewarding political operatives with well paying jobs, you would return that money to the people in the form of a tax break?

    January 15, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  23. BG

    For Clinton,

    If she were elected, does she think that historical impact of her election as the first female president is diminished by the fact that many (if not most) of her support comes from those who view her as a surrogate for her husband?

    January 15, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  24. Blas

    What is their opinion of No Child Left Behind? Do they consider it a success? If no, how would they address the issue? If so, please explain ... Thanks!

    January 15, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  25. Western NY Patriot

    1) Do you give your word that you will not grant a pardon to any member of the current administration?

    3) Will you stop rewarding companies for sending US jobs off shore?

    2) Will you pursue the second phase of the Iraq War intelligence failure investigation that the American people were promised, to determine what role the current administration played in the run up to the war?

    3) Will you stop rewarding companies for sending US jobs off shore?

    4) Will you demand a full investigation of war profiteering in both the Iraq and Afghanistan war efforts to date?

    January 15, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
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