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. Marvin - Houston, TX

    Question for all candidates:
    With so many people trying to save for retirement, would you consider beginning your quest for meaningful change by asking whether the defined pension benefit for U.S. presidents is a fair and equitable use of taxpayer funds? How about if we automatically enroll you in a 401(k) instead?

    January 14, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Hi! Flint, MI

    ...ask anything, so long as it's not "diamonds or pearls?"

    January 14, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  3. Joe Peplinski

    We have all heard about the threat from muslim extremist. We have also seen videos of clerics declaring Islam will rule the world.
    This appears to be a continuation of a struggle that has taken place since the time of Mohammed.

    My question to the candidates is:

    Is anyone willing to take a position that Islam is at war with the west.? If not then please name an Islamic state that we can trust

    January 14, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. Dan

    As President which foreign leader would you invite to the White House first? Also which country would you first visit?

    January 14, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. Russ

    How do the Candidates plan on overcoming the influence of special interests? If we do not overcome their influence in Washington then we will remain in our current situation, only what the special interests want will be done, not what is needed for the good of the American Public.

    January 14, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  6. Judy Lawrence


    I would like as straight answer from the following people running for president. Please ask them where they stand on the issues and not just they are going to change them but HOW.

    Hillary: Illegal Immigration
    Would you allow illegal aliens to have a drivers license. A yes or no please.
    Are you in favor in getting the fence on the border built this year?
    Are you in favor of amnesty?
    What penalty should employers get that hire illegal aliens?
    Do you believe illegals should return home to apply for green cards or citizenship and go to the back of the line?
    As a senator please tell me why there is a law on the books on the country or origin for food that is not being enforced?

    Obama: Illegal Immigration
    Would you allow illegal aliens to have a drivers license. A yes or no please.
    Are you in favor in getting the fence on the border built this year?
    Are you in favor of amnesty?
    What penalty should employers get that hire illegal aliens?
    Do you believe illegals should return home to apply for green cards or citizenship and go to the back of the line?
    As a senator please tell me why the law on the book for country or origin for food is not enforced?

    John Mccain:
    Would you allow illegal aliens to get a drivers license? A yes or no please.
    Most Americans do not want any form of amnesty and you said you want to handle this in a humane matter, exactly what are you going to do?
    As a member of the senate, please tell me why the laws on the books are not being inforced on illegal immigration?
    Senator please tell me why I can find out where my sweater is made but our food does not say what country it comes from just who distributes it?

    January 14, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Bob

    The true tragedy is that the greatest candidate of them all Mike Gravel will not participate. You can ask all the silly questions you want Wolf but the truth will remain out there since Mike is not included. I've lost respect for this station and website. Perhaps one day you will return to the American principles of freedom democracy and proportional representation.

    January 14, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |




    January 14, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. Bimmer

    Ask Obama why he is accepting or seeking the endorsement of statusquo senators while advocating agent of change?

    January 14, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. Glen Shouse Jr.

    After watching Republican candidate Sen. John McCain turn into one of Bush's biggest supporters after disagreeing with every Bush issue before losing the nomination to him, out of support for the party. I ask of all of the candidates which is more important, the American People or the party, will you go with the decisions most popular with the party or will you stand firm in your belief of what is good for the U.S. and it's growth and improvement.

    January 14, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  11. Mr. Aubrey Tucker

    2 Questions for Hillary Clinton:
    1)For all the 35 years of experience that you claim, please delineate what you count as experience. Is is the years at the law firm? the years as first lady of Arkansas or the White House? or is it your 1 term in the senate?

    2) What legislation you have sponsored that has become law? Which one do you think has had the greatest impact on American Society?

    January 14, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. Bimmer

    Ask Hillary what makes her think she can reform health care when she failed in the past? Does not she have to figght the same interest groups again?

    January 14, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Lester Aponte

    For both candidates The more than 4 million American citizens who live in Puerto Rico and the other territories and the residents of the Distcit of Columbia are being denied full particpation in the decisions that most affect their lives. They have no voting representation in the Congress and the people of the territories cannot partcipate in the election of the President and Vice President. Would you support statehood for Puerto Rico and DC if that was the wish of the people there?

    January 14, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  14. Grace Smith, Charlton, SC

    Wolf, Replay the video of Hillary Clinton comparing Martin Luther King with Lyndon Johnson, in answer to a question on Barack Obama. Ask her why she chose to make that camparison in answer to the question on Barack Obama.

    Then ask some marines in Afghanistan if they believe her explanation afterwards, and Shaheen's explanation after his disgraceful comments, and stingy Bob Johnson's explanation after his attack on Obama.

    Will you do this, Wolf? I doubt you will. You lost my respect a while a go when it became clear you were on the Cinton bandwagon. I will not watch any debate you're moderating, unless Obama promisses to put you in your rightful place. Idiot!

    January 14, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Nobama No Way

    I agree with the first posting. The primaries and caucuses are for the PARTIES to decide who they want THEIR PARTY to represent them in the presidential election. How would the candidates feel about a nationwide primary, open to only registered republicans and democrats? And if independents want to vote, then they can change their party and keep that party affiliation through the following major election season. With a nationwide primary, little states like Iowa (where I live) and NH and SC won't play such huge parts in the race.

    January 14, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Gllen

    Question What can be done to to protect pensions of retirees when company they have worked for many years go bankrupt, close down. Many pension
    plans have been stolen .

    January 14, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. Felipe

    It is astonishing to me that a real attempt at minority and working-class voter suppression by Democratic supporters would not get more CNN coverage. The Nevada State Education Association, an affiliate of a national organization that endorsed Senator Clinton, filed a lawsuit to remove caucus sites from places where members of the Culinary Workers Union work on the strip. Senator Clinton
    has failed to condemn the lawsuit and ask for it to be withdrawn, leaving the impression that she approves of this 11th hour attempt to disempower minorities and working class citizens simply because their choice is not her own. One could imaging her outrage if such a tactic were used on her supporters, and the press coverage CNN would give it. I hope that you will ask about this at the debate!

    January 14, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. Bimmer

    Ask Obama what's he going to do prevent another attack on America.

    January 14, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. William Bosazk

    Question to all.

    Why do you feel that Goverement and higher taxes fixes everything. Are we telling the lackys that it's ok, big goverement will take care of you?

    January 14, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. Marie


    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.

    January 14, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  21. Bimmer

    Ask Clinton to name a few things George Bush did well.

    January 14, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. James

    I never heard a kind word ror Hillary Clinton CNN or ABC until after the New Hamphire Primarys. I said I was going to quit watching both channels. Hillary has never been predijuce, I think people are just trying to nit pick everything she says and twist it to suit their canidate.I think Hillary is the most qualified for the job. I don't care what anyone else says about Bill Clinton he was a good President. Jim

    January 14, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. Scott, California


    One of the issues that appears to have fallen by the wayside the past month is campaign finance. It is only now that many folks are tuning in to this campaign and yet this issue seems to have been sent to the corner with a dunce cap.

    Can you please ask all 3 Senators why they chose to finance their campaigns in the ways they did and what they think will be the TANGIBLE differences in the way they would govern if they won the Presidency.

    I know this seems like a set up for another "piling on" since 2 of the candidates have chosen one path and the third has chosen another. However, this issue is of such seminal importance to our country that it deserves prominence in every debate these candidates have.

    January 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  24. Bimmer

    Ask Edwards what are the two most important traits of a sucessful President.

    January 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. NewYorkLady

    I for one no longer believe any candidate that promises energy independence for this nation. We have been hearing that "campaign phrase" since the President Carter administration. The only institution that requires unlimited access to oil is the American military and our aviation industry.

    Has anyone in our Congress aware that the technology to burn coal cleanly and efficiently NOW EXISTS and that solar power HAS ARRIVED. Is any member of our Congress aware that this nation's coal reserves buried under 27 of these United States dwarfs than the entire Middle East oil reserves? American geologists guarantee we have 500 billon tons readily available and estimate 4 to 5 trillion tons can be made available. TALK ABOUT JOB CREATION!

    The current estimation is that 50% of this nations electricity is already produced by the clean burning of American COAL! Why not a crash program to make that 100% of our electricity from coal. We have more coal reserves then the entire Middle East combined has oil.

    A recent news report out of Canada advised a Canadain Professor modified his hybrid Prius automobile with added solar panels on the auto's roof and raised his mpg rating to 100 mpg.

    So which Candidate will "VOW" no unnecessary nuclear plants but the building of Clean Coal burning plants, a private sector/government project to establish a huge solar panel manufaxcturing and supply industry IN THIS NATION and the complete re-tooling of our auto industry to mass produce ELECTRIC cars? Or do you expect us to sit out here with our thermostats set at 55 degress while captive to the Oil lobby?

    My Grandfather and his two brothers left Michigan and went to help build the Panama Canal. They believed Americans could build anything and they set about proving it. When they finished building the 8th wonder of the world they came to New York City and helped build the subway system. Then they helped build JFK and LaGuadia Airports in New york. So please don't stand up there on that stage tonight and tell me their Great Grandchildren can't get the job done in the next 10 years. Trust me if someone, anyone will finally provide the "LEADERSHIP" they will follow.

    January 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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