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. Chuck

    Did CNN run out of office space? Who in their right mind would send a reporter to a bowling ally to try to carry on a conversation? But worse than that they also sent another to the noisey streets of Las Vega!!!! Duh?? I never heard a word eirher one said.

    I'm dumber than a box of dirt but even I would never think up something that stupid.

    And by the way let that Obama/Clinton stuff go Louie. Just report the news don't try to make it something its not.

    Ask each one of the candidates if they think automatic pay increases for Government employees (Congress) is a good thing for our country? If yes, why?

    January 14, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. GP

    We've heard change from Obama. What is he going to change and how does he plans on doing it?

    January 14, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  3. Benjamin Feinblum

    One more question is important to note on this big call for universal health care.

    What changes do candidates believe should be made to universal health education?

    Consider that if we have universal health care, we are all fully sharing the costs with those who make the worst imagineable health choices.

    An obese, chain smoking, heavily drinking person would be drawing from the same system as a healthy eating, athletic person.

    Wouldn't we solve the health care crisis by preventing some of the problems through health education?

    January 14, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. Bimmer

    Ask each candidate what he or she thinks of the coverage by CNN?

    January 14, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  5. Ron Jennings

    Hi, Being a retired person I would like to see just what the candates plan for shoring up Social Security. Will they drop or raise the CAP. I would guess to raise it to $250,000.00 would be a start and then it two years drop it altogether. I know people who try to live on less than $250.00 a month Soc. Sec. mostly women who were homemakers and never worked. To raise Medicade would also be tough as around $95.00 a month is hard enough. Prescription drugs are out of sight. Also Huckabee's idea of a type of sales tax is out of the question for those retired. When one lives on Soc. Sec. and they have to start paying a tax on all items they need to live would increase the homeless roles. Also this is not the time to cut back on the health of Vets. The younger voters did not have to serve their country. Huckabee's idea of a useage tax is out of the question and the need to beef up Soc. Sec. is a must. About 10 million seniors in front of the Capital might change the mind of Congress. Without the peoples vote they also will be unimployed. Have a grand day Wolf.....Ron Jennings Portland, Oregon

    January 14, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. Dennis Wicks

    I may have altogether missed the bus, but I for some reason thought the economy was in the tank before the current mortgage crisis, in all its forms. All we seem to see is the cost of fuel at the pump ignoring what it has done to every other consumer product we purchase. Obviously costs have far exceed any real gains in income for a number of years.

    I'd like to ask John Edwards:

    1. Exactly HOW will you take on the oil industry. In California, we have something called the "Public Utilities Commission" ( http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc/ ) which in theory safeguards the consumer. It seems to me that something similar at the national level (yes, more government) might be appropriate. Or would such a function more properly fall under the Department of Homeland Security?

    2. HOW can his attack on big business succeed when it would seem to be an attack on the lobbiest that drive congress. If big business owns the legislature, how can the executive branch expect to win the war?

    January 14, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. Bimmer

    Ask each candidate what is the most important lesson they learnt from this campaign.

    January 14, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Hanna

    It"s been very difficult to watch what was going on in these campains these last few days. About race and personal attacks between Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama. This behaviour lost the common interest of our nation and what was important for the country that you should be talking about such as employment, economy and national security. Will you (candidates) tonight promise infornt of the American people that you will run clean campain that is free from personal, race and gender attacks.

    Thank you.

    January 14, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. mike

    I was just listening to Mitt Romney respond to a question from a CNN commentator about how Romney lowered the cost of health insurance in the state of Massachusetts when he was governor. If this is so why is it that the cost of coverage for a family doubled in 2007 for myself and all of our employees? Yes, health care is now mandatory in the state of MA but the cost is prohibitive and is extremely difficult to afford.

    January 14, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. W. Polk Wright

    Wow! A star with a blazing trail has hit Nevada with a bang continuing there and astounding many people with love and amazement.

    I foresee it next – slamming into South Caroline with the excitement never known before. IT'S THE OBAMA STAR!!

    W. Polk Wright
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    January 14, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. Adrian

    What are going to do about the of the Afganistan drug trade?

    January 14, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  12. Ron Jennings

    Drop the CAP on Soc. Sec. When one makes several million to several billion they should pay a little more Soc. Sec. tax instead on just the first $97,000.00. That would save it and stop giving it away to those that never worked and paid into it. Ron Jennings Portland Ore.

    January 14, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. Patricia

    Please ask Ms. Clinton is she including the years as Bill's wife part of her 35 years experience? Does that also include her years as a Goldwater Girl trying to stop civil rights, when we were fighting for civil rights

    January 14, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. Clarence Rogers

    Wolf this is in regards to the Obama, Clinton Camps issues. I like Bill and very thankful for having him as a President who stood for All the people and Hillary is ok with me too. However, if Senator Clinton thinks that President Kennedy or President Johnson would have passed the Civil Right Bill (any civil rights legislation) without Dr. King Sacrafices, well that is a "Fairy Tale".

    The Bob Johnson comments unfortunately were no more than "The Willie Lynch Theory. If you would, the "Big House" mentality. He's already rich, so it wasn't any need for him to do the Clinton's dirty work. If the Democrats don't stop the bickering (mainly the Clinton Camp) they are going to self destruct and maybe have Democrats go over to the Republicans for Mike Huckabee.

    This is my message to All Candidates running: Leave the other canidates alone and talk on your own record and what you would do as President.

    Thank you,


    January 14, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. Mary

    Questions for Hillary,

    Please ask Hillary to clairfy what she meant by "there is no such thing as an illegal person". Does that mean everyone in the U.S. is here legally?

    Also- As a Mother of a Border Patrol Agent, why is my son risking his life on the Border every night to stop people from crossing the Border, if you say they are home free once they get past him.

    For Barack Obama- Do you know what it takes to get a Green Card?

    Would you pardon Border Patrol Agents Compeon and Romos, and do you think the Mexican Government pressured the Justice Dept to prosecute these Agents?

    January 14, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  16. Danny

    Hillary Clinton was never the president of the USA, Governor of a state or CEO of a company. Why does she belief that she has more experience to become the president of the USA than the other candidate?

    January 14, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. A.C


    First of all I am a black woman and I would like to know why throughout this whole campaign Senator Barack Obama has been given a free pass, but Senator Hillary Clinton has been given such a rough time? Is the press suppose to be imparcial? I thought when reporting news it should be given from an objective point of a view unless your opinion is asked. One more thing since Senator Barack is for change, change, change is he going to change the name of "The White House"?


    January 14, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. David Rudge

    This is a question for Senator Clinton.

    The last Clinton administration was marked by partisan squabbles and gridlock, surpassed only by the present administration. Why should voters believe that another Clinton administration won't similarly be bogged down by partisan politics?

    January 14, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. Eric

    Question Hillary.
    A lot of people see you as a polarizing figure. This congress has not gotten any work done because nobody wants to reach across the other side of the isle. Why should we vote for you, knowing that republicans won't want to see you succed as a president, so they will not reach any meaningful agreement with you on any issue that will move the country forward. Why can't you see this through, and allow us to vote for a candidate who is not seen as polarizing, and can help bring about change in congress. Simply put, you not he kind of person republicans in congress will work with. The next congress has to get things done, but you will be seen as being in the way of that.

    January 14, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. Bimmer

    I can see where Veronica is coming from when she raises the issue of CNN being easy on Obama and tough on Clinton. Obama is escaping scrutiny while every word Hillary or Bill says is examined under the microscope. This ia an observation from a person from the north of the border who watches US eection with significant interest but has no direct stake in the election.

    Nothing could be more apparent about this perceived bias than the devastation seen on Roland's (the person who has a syndicated radio show) face after Hillary's surprise win in NH. He was all smiles on the night of Iowa caucuses though.

    Are not journalists supposed to be neutral or at least give the appearnce of it?

    I hope in the CNN debate Obama is asked tough questions. And please do not allow ganging up on any candidate in the debate.

    January 14, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  21. Public Transportation

    I didn't see the question about public transportation. That is so important. Can you please ask it. Wolfe, I think that if you do, it will be so courageous of you.

    January 14, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  22. Juan Mota

    I have two questions:

    (1) On September 11, 2001 our State (New York) should have been guarded by our militia. Our government says that our Constitutional mandated militia is our State National Guard. If so, why did, and still do our NY State air National Guard supply our scientific base in Antarctica instead of guarding our skies. So, the argument is that because our state failed to do its constitutional duty on September 11, our government took our NYS Guard oversees. So, New York was vulnerable on 911 and is now more vulnerable.

    (2) We are a nation that allow our children to read Animal Farm, Brave New World, etc.. George Washington refused to be King when asked. In Iowa we learned that our votes could not be brought. Iowa wanted to coronate no King. New Hampshire said the same. New Hampshire liked Obama, but said we would not coronate Iowa’s choice. In 2000 we were asked by our ex president to elect his son (the prince) to be king and we did. Then we were surprised when the king proceeded to create his empire. Now in 2008 we are asked by the ex president Clinton to vote Senator Clinton to be King, what is the difference, why should we elect a dynasty?

    January 14, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Ray

    Please ask why Obama voted Present so many time while in Illinois ?

    January 14, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  24. Michael


    iWith all of this rhetoric flying around about how we need to get out of Iraq, I think an important issue to be pointed out is that although we need to seriously re-calibrate our military operations in Iraq, we need to stay very engaged in that country since we went in there and mucked it all up. We have a responsibility to the Iraqis, whether we like it or not. Of course this doesn't outweigh the responsibility the Iraqis have to themselves, but its a responsibility nonetheless.

    So how would we at the same time pull out of Iraq militarily and still stay engaged? I'd ask the entire panel.

    January 14, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Joe Peplinski

    This nations dependence on oil is underming our national security. We send over $400 billion a year to middle east countries to purchase oil. The Islamic terrroist are feeding off this income. At the same time we are send billions of dollars to fight a war to protect our oil interests.

    Would any of the candidates be willing to draw a line in the sand and say, as of this date America wil reduce oil imports by 50%.

    Simultaneously we should begin a campaign to create technology to lessen our dependence on oil. A capitalist society thrives on challenge. Especially when the outcome results in prosperity.

    Which candidate is going to say enough with oil, and put the minds of this country to work on Technologies to end the dependency.

    January 14, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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