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. LW

    Re: the economy: I would ask the candidates if they would do anything to curb high credit card interest rates and how they might do that.

    January 15, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Greg

    If you do not win the Democratic nomination, tell me why the person to your left would make a good Democratic candidate in the general election.

    January 15, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Craig Finnegan

    If you had to pull out of the race, which other candidate would you vote for, and why?

    January 15, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Paul

    I would like all the candidates to address specifically what their respective education plans would consist of if were fortunate enough to be their parties nominee and the eventual president.

    My state spends millions of dollars annually creating an exam that determines whether or not students have acquired adequate skills to graduate high school. When I was in high school, I remember taking the Iowa exam to determine our achievement. Instead of the states individually spending so much tax-payer money on these exams, I was wondering if any of the candidates had plans to create a nationwide exam for the core subjects that would help save millions of dollars in state funds. Those funds could in turn be spent on hiring additional teachers, which would decrease class sizes around the country. Those millions could also be spent on much needed upgrades in books, and technology for the classroom, as well as building improvements. These funds that are spent on these exams annually, and could be used for so much more than paying fat-cats to make up an exam that existed when I, now 32, was 8-years-old.

    Thank You

    January 15, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. john silvertooth

    Oh Wolf- why do you ask for questions? You just read them and them re-ask them the way you think it should have been asked if the common people has your brians and after the first candidate answers about half a sentence, then you shift gears and ask another question- I'd love to see these debates feature some actual uncensored questions from the public that aren't all twisted. A CNN debate for sure wouldn't be complete without the staged obligatory family with someone stuck in Iraq... do you have them picked out yet?

    January 15, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Jason T

    Many jobs are going overseas due to the U.S. participation in the global economy. The benefit is lower prices for the goods that we buy, but this is hastening the disappearance of the middle class in America.

    While the candidates give lip service to job creation and voice concern over the problem, I have yet to see any positive suggestions from any of them.

    How do you balance free trade and American jobs?

    January 15, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Alan


    What great statesman said:

    "Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy."

    January 15, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Rob

    To Senator Edwards:

    Losing a child is the most devastating thing a person can go through. You not only had to deal with that but also a wife struggling with a very serious disease. Where do you find the strength to keep fighting for America?

    January 15, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Ilene, Livonia MI

    I saw my name on there, but not my question. What is that all about?? I want to know what all the candidates are going to do about NAFTA!!!!!!! Why do we avoid this question even on CNN?????? This is the downfall of America and even CNN changes my question?? That is very very fishy. Maybe it is true that the media is Republican controlled.

    January 15, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Glenda Gray

    Please ask each candidate:

    Everyone wants to be the "change" candidate but change is subjective. All of you, as well as the Republicans, say you’ll change healthcare, immigration, energy, etc. You’ll do it in your own way, but there likely will be a change no matter who gets to the White House. But what major change proposal will you initiate that the other candidates won’t?

    January 15, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Jack

    Senator Clinton,
    Would you rent out the Lincoln bedroom to political donors or take campaign contributions from foreign countries?

    January 15, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Wesley

    Without making excuses for the Democratic Congress ( we don't have enough votes etc. )

    Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have allowed earmarks, pork spending and cave in to george Bush's demands.

    Shouldn't we have a leader , especially in the Senate like Joe Biden

    January 15, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Howard

    I have 3 suggestions for all candidates of both parties.

    1) Would you support term limits for the legislative and judical branches of the federal government? If not, why not.

    2) Would you support the abolishment of the electoral college in favor of a straight popular vote? Again, if not, why not.

    3) In light of our current economic and military interaction with China, would you care to comment on an excerpt from the redacted version of the 1999 Cox Report?

    Chapter 1 page 13: The 16-Character Policy: 'Give Priority to Military Products' "

    Jun-min jiehe (Combine the military and civil)
    Ping-zhan jiehe (Combine peace and war)
    Jun-pin youxizn (Give priority to military products)
    Yi min yan jun (Let the civil suport the military)

    January 15, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. susan weiss

    to each candidate: the people of darfur, especially the women and children, continue to be driven from their homes, terrorized, raped, and murdered. despite vowing to end the genocide and ghold the perpetrators accountable, president bush has been less than effective, and does not seem to have made the ongoing tragedy of darfur a real priority.

    if darfuris are still suffering and dying when you are elected, what, specifically will you do that will be different, will you implement a no-fly zone to prevent aerial bombardment of darfuri villages, and how will you generate the international will to stand up to the sudanese and their chinese enablers?

    January 15, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Sean

    Would you create a position if elected President to investigate,document and eliminate all lobbyists,special interests and corporate influence with actionable results within the 1st year of your Presidency ?

    January 15, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. j.r.

    Dear Mr. Wolf Blitzer Pleas ask Mr. Obama if he's againts the war in Irack ,then why did he voted for the funding of the war especialy on the last few votes. Knownly that this war is the most criticides war around the world. At list Mrs. Hillary was miss led , so was congres and the senators.The present administration was send to the United Nations ,to get Irack to let the weapons inspectors to do their job ,serching for weapons of mass distructions,or not face sanctions . I remenber China,France and Germany was against. So Mr. Obama you can't have it both ways, iether you for the war or not. Aren't you for a change !

    January 15, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. E

    I have question that I would like to have both Democrat and Republican Candidates answer.

    My question is: If you say you are for strenghtening the Middle Class and helping the Poor reach Middle Class which all Politician's Campaign on when they are asking for our votes, then why is it that all the legislation that has gone through and passed all Congresses (both Democrats and Republican) and signed into law by the past and present Presidents (both Democrat and Republican) since the 1980's do the opposite and support Special Interests and Corporate America....Which both the Democrat and Republican parties in all Official Offices seem to serve once they are elected.

    I am not looking for an elegant answer, I am looking for an action plan to help me decide who I am going to vote for.

    Thank you E

    January 15, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. William Abbot Henderson

    If elected will you do everything in your power to repeal the unconstitutional acts passed by the Republican congress and signed by the Bush administration (i.e. Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act, Foreign Surveillance, etc.) and overturn all of Bush's illegal Presidential Directives and signing statements?


    If Bush, Cheney, or anyone that served in his administration are charged with war crimes after they leave office will you do everything in your power to insure that those charged will face whatever tribunal has the authority to judge them?

    January 15, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. Michael G

    The question I would like to see asked of these candidates is, Since you all feel that you are the change candidate to lead the country for the next four years, who do you plan to appoint to positions in the executive branch and White House? We all know that real change will come from new faces in these jobs and not the same old tired faces that held these jobs during the Clinton Administration. After all, we know what all those old Reagan and Bush I appointees accomplished for Bush II. True change will come with new blood!

    January 15, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Mike P.

    The White House has an official website.
    Would you pledge to have them create a webpage that includes every House and Senate elected official's record on pork spending,gifts received by special interests and government money used ( example plane trips,golf trips etc. )?.

    January 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Robert, Bryan TX

    Our current income tax system is dragging this country into the a recession by driving business out of the country and punishing auntrepreneurship.

    Have you thoroughly and completely studied HR-25 the Fairtax?

    January 15, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. John

    My question for the candidates would be: Do any of the candidates ever forsee a time when gay marriage would not have the stigma that it has now? Why are'nt all US citizens deserving of the same rights as traditional "married couples" ? We certainly did not pick this lifestyle and yet we as Americans are so behind the times as compared to our counterparts in Europe?

    January 15, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Shane Murtagh

    Senator Clinton, given your clear and well-documented failure to reform Health Care insurance during your husband's presidency, why do you think you will be successful in reforming it if given a second opportunity to do so as president?

    January 15, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Tim in New Hampshire

    Why are so many Latin American countries electing center-left and socialist presidents? Chavez in Venezuela, Morales in Bolivia, Kirchners in Argentina, Correa in Ecuador, Obrador missed winning the election in Mexico by a half a percentage point... Why do the candidates think that pro-business and free trade candidates are losing to socialists in our hemisphere? How would they work with these Latin American presidents?

    January 15, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Jeremy Marshall

    Question for the candidates: Will you "stay the course" on the War on Drugs?

    January 15, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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