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. Dan Thomas

    Why not discuss Race and Gender in the political setting? Besides that it is bad for the Democratic Party. Is this not an issue that needs discussion in America at this time?

    January 15, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Brian

    Here's a question to you Wolf...can you please stop referring to your fellow CNN reporters as the "Best political team on television" everytime you transition to them??? Please! We get the point! Otherwise we wouldn't be watching CNN if we thought the coverage was lackluster! You've used that phrase almost as much as Rudy's used "9/11" as a crutch!

    January 15, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Al Rose

    Hey Theo, LEARN THE FACTS. A baby born IN THE U.S. to illegal immigrants is a U.S. citizen because ANYONE born in the U.S. is a U.S. citizen. PERIOD. If you don't like it, go change the Constitution.

    January 15, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Lana L. Baysinger

    I always watch CNN. I detest FNN for their obvious bias. However, CNN is so biased now I am sickened. CNN acts like Obama walks on water and Clinton is the devil. CNN is horribly SEXIST !! Even FNN is kinder to Hillary than CNN. I know most white males have a hard time with a women being over them. Please STOP the sexist reporting of the 08 race!

    January 15, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. gg miles

    Please just ask questions that will get answers about what the candidates actually have planned for the following: Health care. education, transportation, Seniors, Veterans, homeless. Ask them how they will specifically help places that suffered disasters like New Orleans. Ask them what the have specifically planned for solving the Middle East crisis.

    Of course we know things change so todays answers may need to be reevaluated at a later date – however it wold be good to know what the candidates would do with todays challenges if they were president.

    Maybe even a rule at the beginning of the debate that says the candidates cannot talk about what someone else didn't do only what they would do.

    Thank you for having the debate – it's an exciting time in our history. It's exciting seeing our candidates discuss todays issues.

    January 15, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Karen

    I have been reading through some of the questions. I am appalled that most of them fail to even acknowledge that Sen Edwards is still in the race.
    I even read one that directed their question to SEN MCCAIN.
    Please, please stop the biased reporting on Clinton and Obama. John Edwards is still very much in this race, and his opponents should be just Clinton and Obama, not the news media.

    January 15, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Irma Brower

    I am completely amazed at all the hatred for the illegal/undocumented workers. Some have suggested they be sent back to where they came from. Being raised in the '60's, it has a familiar ring to a former outcry for the blacks. Send them back to Africa! Have we as a country not learned anything from our mistakes? Those same people who have contributed much to build the infrastracture in this country have now completed their task, so it is time to send them back? I was not aware they were a disposable commodity. How about the money they have paid in taxes? Has that not helped our economy as well? Sure, they may have used illegal or stolen security cards, but the money was still paid to the government and will never be requested by that illegal/undocumented worker. Please stop demonizing these people. Remember that the illegal immigrants responsible for 9/11 came from our Northern border. I wish I could say that you need to turn your hatred there – but there is already enough hatred among ourselves already.
    My vote is for Hillary – Obama is a good man without experience and will be torn to shreds by the Republicans. How sad...

    January 15, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. rhunter

    The media and Sen. Clinton keep relaying that she has so much more experience then Sen. Obama. Ask Sen. Clinton to explain exactly the experience she is referring to. I have researched her past and can find nothing that would cause me to believe that she has any experience except having access to the President for 8 years and a few years as a U.S. Senator. Please have her explain in detail because from where I sit I see nothing. Please do not let her answer this question vaguely...I want details.

    January 15, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Janet

    I am very concerned about the country's erosion of our civil liberties.
    What, if anything, will you do to reverse or eliminate the Military Commission's Act of 2006?

    January 15, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. dave

    For all candidates:

    In all fairness to all Americans, would you swear the Presidential Oath of Office with your hand on the flag and a copy of the Constitution. Afterall swearing an oath on the Bible disregards other religions as well non belivers who also claim rights.


    January 15, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Would the candidates support a rise of the gasoline tax to support improvements only to the existing infarstructure?

    If you were not running for president, which of the other candidates would you support?

    January 15, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. PJ, NEW YORK

    Oh, here we go again. More Hillary Clinton bashing from CNN. I really sorry to see that CNN will be hosting this event. CNN's news coverage is blatantly anti-Clinton and pro-Obama. I consider myself to be an intelligent person and CNN, if you think people don't see through your bias, you're sadly mistaken.

    I won't bother sending my question to you Wolf Blitzer, you won't use it anyway. Both you and Jack Cafferty need to stop trying to sway the voters. Just report the news, the truth, not distortions!

    January 15, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. jankvkleve

    The economy has risen above the Iraq war in importance, according to polls.

    However, to what extent has the $450+ billion spent on the war contributed to putting the economy in the tank?

    January 15, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. Clark Albritton

    I'm confused here. Wolf Blitzer is "stunned" by what? The quality of questions from his CNN audience? Oh, and this is amazing news is being broken on CNN.com? What a coincidence. I haven't heard or read about the amazingly brilliant, stunningly ingenious (must mean ultra-left liberal), CNN audience anywhere else except................................CNN.

    Seems a bit contrived – but then, I'm no genius.

    January 15, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Tyler

    A question to all:
    When you visit a town with a packing plant there is a interesting occurence on paydays. Many of the workers head directly to the various money transfer depots. These funds are being sent over the US border to their families abroad.

    Would you be for a tax on these dollars leaving our country?

    January 15, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. SC Voter

    My question should take less then a few minutes of air time and candidates should be required to give only a monetary value and not be allowed to make a speech on the monetary values.

    My question should be directed to all the candidates and is offered as a means of assessing to what extent the candidates know the economic burdens facing the American middle class today. I want each candidate to be asked in random order from the following list of common household family purchases the price of such necessities for families who are raising children:

    1. Loaf of bread
    2. Quart of milk
    3. Box of Wheaties
    4. Tube of toothpaste
    5. Bottle of aspirin
    6. Ream of school notepaper
    7. Jar of peanut butter
    8. Can of soup
    9. Bottle of shampoo
    10.Bar of soap

    Each candidate need only give the price of one item so that no candidate can merely repeat the answer of another candidate.

    January 15, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Keith Osentoski

    This question is for Barack Obama:

    The country has seemed to look past the experience that Senator Clinton has, and has fallen into you messgae of change. I believe that we all can be in agreement that experience is definatly a positve strength, so my question:

    How do you plan, from day one, to lead the country, even though you do not have that much experience?

    January 15, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Shane M

    I have a question for Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and former Senator Edwards. All of you say that you have a comprehensive plan for government sponsored healthcare in this country. My question is this: How much, in an actual dollar amount, is your healthcare plan going to cost the federal government?

    January 15, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. John Searles

    Campain Promises are exactly that – Campaign Promises. I have little faith that Campaign Promises ever come to fruition. With a fairly balanced congress, how can you convince voters that you will be able to fulfill even a small percentage of your Campaign Promises? Promises, Promises, Promises. 🙁

    January 15, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Mair, Baltimore, MD

    I can understand how halting spending could really mess up the economic circle and I can also understand where we are moving to a "consumption' economy. In fact, one New York times report put the ratio at already 70/30 %.But while avoiding a recession is of immediate importance, I think that what is at the heart of my concerns is that by allowing the elimination of so much of what once was a varied manufacturing base, we are now dependent mostly upon only those industries which are tied to military expenditures and that this lack of manufacturing diversity is a bad thing. I mean, we're currently engaged in two wars and have bases all over the world and we're still heading into a recession.

    My question to all candidates: Would a more diverse manufacturing base help to avoid future economic downturns and, if so, what can be done to bring manufacturing diversitsy back to America?

    January 15, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Andy

    My question is for all the candidates...

    If elected, what is your plan to unite the country? There are a number of people out there that have lost faith in government, because government has lost faith in the people. They are scared to live, because the future is so bleak.

    All partisian politics aside... What is your plan to unite us, as Americans?

    January 15, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. clyde young

    Many people in America can't buy health insurance at group rates ...and are forced to do without .

    I would like to ask each Republican and Democratic candidate. especially Mike Huckabee answer:

    ( 1) Would you support letting any American pay 100 % ( with a 1% service fee)

    of the cost of the group rate that federal employees health insurance plans

    and congress enjoy.
    Clyde Young , Kansas City, MO


    January 15, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. J Ball

    I appreciate you asking for our questions. But what I don't appreciate is you having Ralph Reed on without disclosing his current relationships to the candidates as well as past history (e.g. McCain exposing his ties to Abramoff). Reed might have financial ties to Romney (i.e. a consultancy), but this would need to be confirmed. Given his past, it might be hard to find out. That's precisely why he shouldn't be on until you can get to the bottom of whether he is.

    January 15, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. Jovan

    Why is that all the religous questions get thrown only at Mike Huckabee and none of the other candidates? Because the guy can also talk politics.

    January 15, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. Bob from Houston

    Question for all Democratic candidates:

    I'm a military veteran, having served during Operation Desert Storm and several years thereafter. During my military tenure, I was witness to base closures and an overall reduction in forces. As we move further into an era where our forces are stretched to the limit on multiple fronts, much attention is given to military spending as it relates to weapons, equipment, troop deployments, and logistical concerns. Meanwhile, our injured soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors are provided substandard medical care, which worsens after they've left the service. As president, what would you do to ensure adequate military spending as it relates to medical coverage for our wounded military, their families, and veterans?

    January 15, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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