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. Mustafa Syed

    This question is for Hillary Clinton,

    You speak about exprience as must to be a President. I have recently seen speech of Bill Clinton in 1992 When he was asked that he does not have required experience to be president, he replied saying that experience is not a must,. Which is so true. Look at Bush he had so much experience, he just made a mess of this country in every way. So we feel experience is not a must, what person need to have ideas, ready to address the core issues, acknowledge the reality and above all have a vission. We will all of which Obama has and other hand you don't because you just trying to speak to please people. Like you say you will pull out the troops from Iraq in 60 days without giving any rational. Do you think by pulling out troops from Iraq in 60 days will solve the problem? What happens to the country after that. We are responsible for this mess and as a civilized society we should take control and do damage control. Dont you think withdrawal should be in a timely manner? ON this issue again OBAMA is more proper and thoughtful.

    January 15, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. KarenCA

    Illegal immigration......

    My son-in-law was laid off from his mill job. (bad)
    He was able to retrain at our local college. (good)
    He did get a new job. (good)
    He now makes less money and has fewer benefits. (bad)
    He now works in a high risk job and my daughter worries every time he goes to work. (bad)
    ICE had an immigration raid in an attempt to enforce US law. (good)
    The mill had to shut down as the illegal workers would not come to work. (what?)

    My question: Could you please stop saying that immigrants only take jobs that US citizens won't do as this citizen thinks you are naive? A yes or no would suffice.

    January 15, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Please quote MLK comment and then ask Obama if Clinton's remarks suggested LBJ had more to do than MLK

    "Direct action is not a substitute for work in the courts and the halls of government. Bringing about passage of a new and broad law by a city council, state legislature, or the Congress, or pleading cases before the courts of the land, does not eliminate the necessity for bringing about the mass dramatization of injustice in front of a city hall.

    Indeed, direct action and legal action complement one another. When skillfully employed, each becomes more effective."

    January 15, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. JoAnn/Las Vegas, NV

    Question to Hillary Clinton:
    The general consensus is that climate change is real and happening. Recent reports say that the country has a 50% chance of heading for a recession with many saying we are already in a recession. How will you be able to combat global warming, become energy independent from foreign countries and avoid worsening a downward spiral economy?

    January 15, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Brian Cook

    Primary exit polls from New Hampshire threw in the question: How would Democrats have decided their votes if Bill Clinton had have been running? 47% of Obama’s supporters would have stuck with him, while 24% of them went to Bill; but in Hillary Clinton’s case, only 27% stayed with her and 58% chose her husband over her.

    Question for Clinton: Do you feel voters may be choosing you because of your husband?

    Question for Obama: What factors caused the majority of your voters to stick with you?

    January 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Joan M

    Are you all just willing to do anything for Illegal Aliens for the vote? Obama, Clinton, and McCain are among the many that voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal aliens.

    January 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. KarenCA

    Are you ready to change the 15-15-70 rule?

    15% support an issue on one side. 15% supported an issue on the other side. 70% of the people DO NOT support an issue.
    Politicians debate the 15-15 and ignore the 70% of WE THE PEOPLE over and over again.
    Are you ready to CHANGE govt and start passing or not passing legislation on behalf of the 70% of WE THE PEOPLE?

    Are you ready to shift the power back to the people?
    Unity 08. Centrist politicians in power are unhappy govt is not passing their legislation. Corporate interests in power are not happy govt is not passing their legislation. Centrist and corp interests get together to form Unity 08 and propose their own candidate to take back control of the govt.

    Do you view the combination of politicians (in power) and corp interests (in power) and forming an organization Unity 08 as change?

    January 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Cathy

    How does Hillary explain her transition from a Goldwater Republican to a Democrat. I was just a toddler then, but wasn't Goldwater against the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I thought that LBJ was someone she admired, but here she was working for the man running against LBJ. Is she re-writing her own history?

    January 15, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Robert Hammond

    Senator Edwards-

    Do you think you could be elected dog catcher in a national election?

    January 15, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Jared in West Central Illinois

    For Senator Edwards-–You speak much of putting an end to or fighting corporate greed in America. The non-union factories and businesses in this country seem to work more like the feudal system of the Middle Ages of Europe or a dictatorship. American's have shed blood all around the world fighting these kind of systems. Yet we seem to be subjected to this in our every day lives. I recently was forced to work 60 hr weeks for yrs in a factory job, I did not mind so much at first until it seemed to have no end. This company had been given several millions in grants from the state, had purchased equipment to expand their business, and the equipment has sat unused for over three years. My point is corporations seem not to want to invest any profit back into these businesses and create more job's. They seem to only take the cheapest way out. What kind of policies would you have to keep wealthy corporations from dissolving even more tax payer dollars that they don't need in the first place, and better working conditions and pay for the average American worker? Or would the average Americans life continue to be of lesser importance in the comparison of the, all mighty dollar, if you were to be President?

    January 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Jim

    Please ask about illegal immigration and the McCain/Kennedy plan for ammnesty. It seems to me as liberals (I consider myself one, although 20 years ago I was considered moderate) we were in favor of zero population growth. The concept of zero population growth would seem to be in conflict with continuing this steady influx of people.

    January 15, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Dawn Northern MI

    Wolf- Please have the courage ( I Know you Do) to address with Obama the widely circulated rumors on the internet about his faith and is conduct in public office as to his taking oath of office using the Koran not the Bible and also his reported refusal to recite the "Pledge of Alligence". Is this or any of it fact or just rumor circulated to hurt his campaign? One rumor insisted he turns his back during the pledge with no respect at all. ??????????HMmmm

    January 15, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Mary

    Question for Hillary:

    President Bush was given the authority to take this country to war with Iraq, albeit and unbeknownst to most (including you, as well, I believe) on baseless premises. With this in mind, as president of our nation, you have said that one of your first orders of business will be to commission a plan to get our troops out of Iraq thereby ceasing what has come to be realized as a war that was initiated without sound reason or provocation. We know what the immediate plans are for our troops and the pacifying of America; however, since the United States is, for all intents and purposes, responsible for invading Iraq, what will you do as president to help put Iraq and its people into what, it is hoped, will be a thriving country?

    January 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Heather McDaniel

    This question is to all candidates:

    Do any of you really believe that you have the International experience, (which is sadly lacking at the moment), necessary to handle and understand the world we find ourselves living in today? If the answer is yes, please enlighten me, because I have seen no example of this yet, in any campaign speech! Thank you.

    January 15, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Rp Smith

    As a casual observer of American politics, I am finding it increasingly difficult to separate the distinction between your two parties.

    While it is often a common comment in my own country ( Canada ) that once elected there is little difference between the political parties, historically your country's parties appeared, at least to me, to have clearly established and defined boundaries. This does not appear to be the case today, and I offer the recent lack of governance in your Congress as evidence.

    If I had the opportunity to question a candidate ( party really doesn't matter ) I would ask the question "Does party politics really matter today"?

    Functionally it doesn't appear to.

    Thanx and keep up the great coverage. It's nice to see something intelligent on the tube.

    January 15, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Usha

    To Obama:

    When was the last time you took illegal drugs? Did you sell or only buy?
    Why was his campaign and his wife so upset about any citizen or Hillary campaign staff or supporters raising the fact about his drug use. In my opinion, this requires much closer scrutiny. Mere premptive admission on Obama's part in a book is not enough. He needs to speak to it and reassure the american people.

    To Obama & Hillary
    What is his stand on abortion and clear timeline for turning around the education crisis, jobs going overseas, third world countries now accepting U.S. dollars, and the eco

    January 15, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Hill

    Can each candidate please explain their experience in politics in detail

    January 15, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. DH Mid MI

    Question for Hillary: Tell us how the Rose Law Firm Billing records suddenly appeared on a table in the White House living quarters? How do you expect us to believe anything you say now?

    January 15, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Josh Erenfrid

    Please ask them something about illegal immigration or the success of the troop surge

    January 15, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Kevin Milson

    I would just like to thank all of the Democratic candidates for their input on improving the economy. We know that the Republicans always offer tax cuts as a major stimulus to the economy and that these cuts are almost always weighted totally in favor of the rich !! Not to mention a nice Bush addition to the national debt when all of the middle class and poor are suffering and being downsized due to significant increases in food, gas/oil, and especially education costs.

    I would like to hear their proposals on bringing jobs back to the US and especially for the Midwest US.

    January 15, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Dan Brunner

    This questions is for Obama and HIllary-

    I am a senior at the University of Illinois, which is in both of your home states. I want to know about the word "experience," because it ranks right up there with "change" as the most casually dropped term in this election. Is "experience" measured quantitatively or qualitatively? Is being the most experienced the same as being the best experienced for the presidency?

    This one is for John Edwards-

    Do you think this election has become too focused on race and gender?

    January 15, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. veronica

    Will CNN please ask Obama to clarify the extent of his drug use? Some of us question if we could vote a man into the office of POTUS with narcotic drug use (cocaine) in their past.
    The GOP will most certainly be bringing this up if he was nominated.

    January 15, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. JStaples

    In response to AMirabelli above...

    "I would like to know from Senators Clinton and Obama what the reason is for the fact that it has cost them so much more money per vote than it has cost Senator Edwards, so far in this primary season."

    You don't need to waste debate time on this. It's probably the same reason it cost him (Edwards) so much more for a haircut.

    January 15, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Olivia Martinez

    For all the candidates: Will you, in an effort to save the image of the U.S., upon entering the White House, convene a war crimes tribunal against ALL those involved? This is to include President Bush, VP Cheney, Condalezza Rice...etc., as well as all those that had foreknowledge of those crimes?

    January 15, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Anonymous


    Hmm...everyone seems to be asking and discussing abt illegal immigration most of the time...we would like to know how the legal immigration will be handled by them, which too is currently a mess with H-1B turned out to be a lottery system and alas the greencard backlogs....the current processing is for 00/01 applicants...and high increase in H-1B fees and many companies unwilling to sponsor for the same reason...

    January 15, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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