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. Harvey, Tampa, FL

    Don't lob stupid softball questions at them. Time to have a spine, CNN, and time to get them to answer tough questions!

    January 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  2. Allen Dorset

    Why is Blitzer getting to ask softball questions again to the dimwitcrats?

    January 14, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. steve

    Why should I keep them coming?

    You did not post my last comment even though it was way more thoughtful than most of the other posts.

    Could it be because I criticized CNN for focusing on pointless bickering between Hillary and OBAMA? No.....

    Here are 2 of your 3 lead stories from the main page

    # Clinton complains about attacks from Obama
    # Readers react to Clinton-Obama tiff

    You guys are truly pathetic. I will hold my breath until this gets posted. Maybe I will send in my story to the Jon Stewart show, at least there is a chance I won't be ignored there

    January 14, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. Bimmer

    Ask Edwards what would be the most historical: the election of an Africam American or a woman.

    January 14, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. Allen Dorset

    Why is CNN so left wing slanted?

    January 14, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  6. Bimmer

    To Edwards

    What would be the most historical: the election of an Africam American or a woman?

    January 14, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. Bimmer

    Ask Obama why is he any different from other ploticians who before him have promised change to get elected but could not or did not make much change.

    January 14, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Linda

    Question for all candidates:

    There are many people that would be in favor of universal healthcare. Would the healthcare plans presented be close to other European nations? Would there be incentives for doctors like other European nation? Why would your plan benefit us the most?

    Thank you

    January 14, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. BIll

    Every American family, regardless of make-up, is essentially a small business. Money coming in and money going out. How does each candidate's plan actually assist our bottom line?

    It appears with the Democrats, higher income families will once again "foot the bill" for the rest of the nation. Whatever happened to equality with respect to taxation? We are happy to pay our fair share, but why should success be penalized?

    January 14, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Carlos Morlock

    From the MSNBC Cosmic Log

    I wrote a question today to Wolf Blitzer of CNN for his up-coming Presidential debate about the promising IEC fusion process.

    I wrote: Concerning the "Root Cause" to most of the world's problems (Addiction to fossil fuel). I hear vague promises about improved energy policy from all of the candidates left to right. But for the life of me, I do not understand why NO ONE is specifically talking about the late Dr. Bussard's Polywell WB-7 fusion reaction test's that will occur near March 08 in New Mexico (DOD Project)???

    Wolf, I just do not get it. I am sitting at the edge of my seat, knowing that if they are able to replicate the results of the WB-6 reaction, unlike the Tokamok they will in affect have answered the physics questions necessary to solve the energy crises in a revolutionizing way. Cheap, Clean, Compact (non-radio active) fusion that can rapidly replace nuclear, coal, oil plants, around the world. Not to mention ship, train, rocket, tractor trailer engines, etc.

    Kudos to MSNBC for taking a look at what could be the most serious event in the history of modern energy development!
    Carlos Morlock, Port Saint Lucie, Florida (Sent Saturday, January 12, 2008 6:33 PM)

    And then Mr. Horning responded:

    In regards to attempting to get a question about Polywell fusion or any of these items asked in a presidential debate:

    Try much harder in avoiding terms and phrasing the question that make it sound like you are a crackpot yourself. There are a whole bunch of worthy scientific investigations going on from studies of earth science, basic physics, engineering challenges for extracting energy from a huge variety of sources, or even space exploration in general that a more valid question to be raised is something more like this:

    A number of major scientific investigations are now approaching costs that are reaching billions of dollars in terms of their overall funding levels. Among these include the development of the Ares/Orion rocket system, the ITER Tokamok experiment, and several others in unrelated scientific disciplines. Is it wise to continue funding of these major scientific and engineering developments at the expense of even considering other approaches that might work at a fraction of the cost to accomplish the same ultimate goals? How would you, as President, seek input from the scientific and engineering communities of our country and help fund alternative approaches to some significant research questions facing our country today? Do you believe that answers to these questions can come from only one source, or that parallel research approaches might be a waste of taxpayer money?

    Now that is a solid question I would love to see a presidential candidate answer honestly.
    Robert Horning, Logan, Utah (Sent Sunday, January 13, 2008 4:38 PM)

    While My original question is Specific to Dr. Bussard's promising fusion process. I will be more then happy if you ask Mr. Horning's "Solid Question" first, then when you get the run of the mill same old same old vague type of political answer, please ask my "crackpot " specific Bussard question, because I want to know if any of the candidates know what is going on concerning IEC fusion technology and the late great Dr. Bussard. Sorta like asking, Do you think the price of bread is high? Really? How much is a loaf of bread?

    I want to know if the candidates know specifics about potential solutions to big, real world problems, not just a bunch of vague, well we need to invest in more nuclear and up-coming technologies, we need to invest in our brightest minds, or we need blah, blah blah.

    I want to know what specific research do you know about and support, what great minds do you support, SPECIFICLY.

    January 14, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. dale hesse


    Being a very senior citizen,it is very disturbing at the manner in which our government has lied and distorted the truth concerning the true rate of inflation. As you are well aware our monthly social security checks are predicated on the annual rate of inflation which this year is pegged at 2.1 percent. With gasoline prices 75 cents per gallon higher than a year ago, the 2.1 percent increase does'nt quite add up. Nor does the 11.4 increase in food and related grocery items, nor does the 29 percent increase for home heating fuel if you happen to live in a rural area as my wife and I do. These are only a few examples of the things I could cite that far exceed the Government's declared rate of inflation. My question to the candidates is this.

    Who amoung you are willing to finally tell the truth about the real annual rate of inflation?

    Thank you

    January 14, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. barnett seymour

    ww2 is not over -the fragmented pseudo countries have no internal holding together-the superpowers remain poised to battle once again
    the unseen enemy gathering frenzied fire to hurl from hidden space
    peace is an illusion thousands die each day of biowarfare.
    how can we escape the coming ww3 chemical-biological-atomic holocaust?
    no more war
    freedom is the only world cause worth dying and living for.
    how can we repeal the confusion of tongues that keeps us imprisoned in
    a tormented nigtmare
    fight for your right to be free
    from fear...

    January 14, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  13. Cliff Vegas, Los Angeles CA

    I would like to ask all candidates this question:

    If you were sitting in the Oval Office on 9/11, what would you have done with your foreign policy? Would you have done what George Bush did – go to war with Afghanistan and Iraq – or would you have taken a different path altogether?

    January 14, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  14. Bimmer

    Ask each candidate this question:


    January 14, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Chuckles

    Veronica, Veronica, Veronica...anti-Hillary? That's the funniest thing I've heard in weeks. Well, other than Bill Clinton claiming to have been against the Iraq War. There's a reason CNN is called the Clinton News Network. Did you watch the last CNN debate when Wolf Blitzer moderated? The single worst example of poor TV work that I've seen in quite some time. There was no time limits but Wolf seemed intent on limiting everyone else BUT Hillary but interrupting after about 20 seconds. I was excited that there were no time limits because it's awfully hard to give nuanced policy discussions in 30-second sound bites. Wolf made that last debate a farce.

    January 14, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. Shirley Davidson

    Are any of the candidates able to answer the question of how rich the U.S. is making the foreign countries by outsourcing all our jobs to them while bankrupting our people?

    Soon those countries will be our bosses and telling us how to live. We will looking for a coutry to immigrate to or border to cross.

    January 14, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Bimmer

    Ask the candidates what are the biggest mistakes he oe she has made ein life.

    January 14, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. Vitorrio Brooks

    My question is for Senator Clinton as well as Senator Obama. In the beginning of the election, change was the message that seemed to resonate with voters. Later, experience seems to have trumped change. But there are two other important qualities which so far have not been given much attention, and thoses are honesty and character. How important do you think the qualities of honesty and character are in this election, and in a president?

    January 14, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. William George

    What is the proper Federal Role in the Arts and American Culture, and what is your vision and plan to advance American Cultural policy in your administration.

    January 14, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. Califa

    Wolf, is it improper to stop a candidate from speaking as soon as they stop answering the question posed and go to their own talking points; which is usually about 1 second after the question has come out of your mouth. Asking them questions is useless unless you make them answer them. Please dock them speaking time if they continue to do this or remind them to answer the question.

    January 14, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  21. abigail

    Please ask the candidates what they will do to resolve the problems left behind by KATRINA. What do they understand the situation to be so long after that storm and flooding. What plans will they make to mobilize aid for areas ravaged by natural disasters in the United States. What responsibilities does the federal government have to help states prepare and recover?

    January 14, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. Bimmer

    Ask each candidate what do they do for their personal wellness.

    January 14, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. joan niantic ct.

    judy lawrence hit the nail on the head. The questions she posted for you to ask the candidates are what we want and need to know. Whats the use of lip flapping and empty words? No one can make a decision on the most critical of the Presidency without Knowing how they plan to lead our great country. Give us the facts- please!

    January 14, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  24. Benjamin Feinblum

    Dear Wolf,

    If small businesses provide 80% of the jobs in the country. Why are none of the candidates talking about them in the debates? Small businesses also create a flexible economy.

    I want to know, as a small business owner, "what specific action would you take to support entrepreneurs and small businesses?"

    If there is a recession, I truly doubt government will be the actual solution. Small business in my estimation would provide all the jobs and all the economic activity to get us out of a recession. The large corporations lose thousands of jobs at a time and are not flexible enough to shift to new lines of business.

    You could even ask, "What role do you feel that entrepreneurs and small business plays in the economy and how would you help entrepreneurs?"

    Most people in the country work for small businesses. What is good for small businesses is good for America. The money that funds the government comes from small business and the taxes from the jobs provided by small business.

    I will not vote for someone I am not convinced is best for small business. I believe the candidates do not talk about entrepreneurs as workers. They talk about the working class. Last I checked, I worked 82 hours this week and provided work for 1 part time employee and 5 other small business owners who I subcontract out with.

    A few candidates throw the word entrepreneur around a bit. Nobody has taken this on.

    Wolf – will you bring this topic to the debates?

    Benjamin Feinblum
    Mind Over Magic Entertainment

    January 14, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Dick Uhrmcher

    Hi Wolf! I never miss an installment of "The Situation Room", or "Lou Dobbs Tonight". I really appreciate CNN's interest in current events. But Wolf, I do want to offer a little bit of constructive criticism concerning questions for political candidates, particularly the Presidential candidates. Whoever writes the questions that you ask at these debates needs to understand that we (the citizens of this great Country), are sick and tired of the unresponsive drivel from the Candidates. And as such, I would ask that you and CNN develop hard hitting questions for the candidates. For example, "Do you believe the those residing illegally in the Unites States should receive Social Security benefits?", or "Do you believe that those residing illegally in the Unites States should receive Food Stamps?", or "Do you believe that those residing illegally in the Unites States should receive free medical care?", and "Do you believe that those who hire and/or abet those illegally in the United States should be fined, and if they continue to act irresponsibly, be incarcerated?" And Wolf, when one of the candidates waffles around and gives a non-responsive answer, you should say, "Senator, Governor (whatever), you did not answer my question", and repeat it again in its entirety. Finally, If you ask a question about immigration to a Republican candidate for office, then it is encumbent upon you to ask the SAME questions of Democrat candidates! As citizens, we are attempting to determine who should lead this great Nation of ours, and we want to hear the answers to your questions, but from BOTH parties. Thanks for the opportunity to express my feelings. And thanks to you and CNN for providing timely news about events that are important to all of us. Dick Uhrmacher, Mission, Texas

    January 14, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27