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. Brendan Kearney

    To any or all candidates;
    Please explain how a for profit medical system is better than a single payer all inclusive one. It's a simple question, all the candidates feel that for profit insurers are the best way to go. Why? By the way saying it gives people choice is a ridiculus answer we have the insurance our employers offer, shopping is not an option for most people

    January 14, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. Dave/SouthCarolina

    During the eight years Mrs. Clintons husband was president there was a lack of respect for our men in uniform. Marines on duty at the white house were made to pass out snacks at partys. Bill Clinton, as commander and chief, never learned a proper salute. Can Mrs. Clinton salute? Will she show respect and do so? Show us your salute!

    January 14, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  3. Don R

    As a small business owner I had a contract with the DOD- I recently lost that account to a company that outsourced it to CHINA. My question to all canidates is when are you going to stop outsourcing military contracts to China and India and keep small businesses like mine going?

    What jobs are you saving for American companies? Please let me know I need to be re-trained.

    January 14, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  4. concerned citizen, Mesa, Arizona

    Wolf, Please keep questions to the issues not questions to enhance ratings. The American people deserve real questions on policies. I sure hope the race issue is not brought up in this debat. Try economy, health care, Iraq,Iran, Pakistan questions.

    January 14, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. Tim Calhoun '08, Moreno Valley, CA

    Americans are nuts.

    Two weeks ago, this website was continually flooded with comments that CNN was biased towards Clinton.

    Now people accuse CNN of being too pro-Obama.

    I think the moral is supporters of any candidate can't handle it when a news source publishes a story that paints their candidate in a bad light.

    The Clinton camp are the masters of dirty political tactics, so of course most of the unfavorable stories will be about Hillary. If you support someone who plays dirty, you need to be willing to take the heat when they are exposed for who they are.

    January 14, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. Dave/SouthCarolina

    Mrs. Clinton, exactly what role will Bill play in your administration. The operative word here is exactly.

    January 14, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. randy

    Greg Carlson retired as President and CEO of not-for-profit Owensboro Medical Health System in April of 2004.
    According to that systems' 2003 fiscal year (which ended May 31, 2003) Greg received $729,253 in total compensation.

    In fiscal year 2004, the year he retired, he walked out the door with $2,577,196 in total compensation.

    Before I go on, I should tell you that this system is located in Owensboro, Kentucky, which according to their 990 Federal tax Form, was also the home town of Greg Carlson in each of those two years.

    On the 2005 990 Federal Tax Form, on the page where they have to list "the five highest paid employees other than officers, directors, trustees" Greg's name shows up with the title "senior management".

    During the 2005 fiscal year he received $1,807,424 in total compensation, almost all of which was salary ($1,764,726 to be exact).

    Oh, by the way, in 2005 they show that he is now living in Blythewood, South Carolina, just 422 miles from Owensboro.

    Maybe they should add the amount they paid Greg to the total they say they provide in charity care.

    That would be more honest.

    January 14, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Michael

    What about China? On many fronts (economic, military, space program to name a few) China seems to be inching closer to a position in which they would be able to knock the U.S. from the top spot in the world. If nothing else China has something that the U.S. will never have, people. Lots and lots of people. How can the U.S. compete with a smaller population, a largely broken education system, a military thats nearing the breaking point, and a space program that nobody cares about just to name a few aspects.

    I'd ask all of the candidates.

    January 14, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. randy

    South Carolina is an interesting state.
    They seem to have a disproportionate number of either governmental or proprietary/corporate hospitals.

    But as we continue our alphabetical tour of all 50 states to prove that by price gouging the uninsured, not-for-profit hospitals everywhere are racking up big profits without having to pay a dime in taxes.

    Coming in #1 as South Carolina's most profitable not-for-profit hospital is not-for-profit McLeod Medical Center in Florence.

    For year end 9/30/03 they reported a profit of $29,672,417 in profits!

    January 14, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  10. Ciaran Dean-Jones

    I'd like to know how both Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama feel about the growing secular sentiment in the United States due to recent books released by Christopher Hitchens ("God Is Not Great,") Philip Pullman ("The Golden Compass,") and other major works by atheist authors that have produced controversy amongst conservative christian networks. As an outspoken atheist, I'd like to be provided with some insight towards the Democratic frontrunners' opinions about the 1st amendment and the role religion and spirituality play in domestic policies and legislation, specifically embryonic stem cell research, abortion, and gay marriage.

    Ciaran Dean-Jones
    Saint Stephen's Episcopal School
    Austin, Texas

    January 14, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. Darrel from Iowa

    Question/ For All the Canidates
    What do you think of the people that you work for, in gettings just a good of health care and for the same price? If we The Tax Paying Public Just want as good of a deal as the people on the Goverment Payroll. Sound Fair to You? Are you will to push for such a FAIR PLAN so as to feel what is going on for the people you represent?

    Thank You

    January 14, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. aware

    Ask Barack Obama if his controversial pastor, Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. has had an influence in his formation spiritually, socially and politically? Also, ask Obama why he has distanced himself from Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. during hid candidacy?

    CNN, please be fair in this debate. The media has really given Obama a break in its questions, comments and analysis.

    January 14, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. aware

    Ask Barack Obama if his controversial pastor, Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. has had an influence in his formation spiritually, socially and politically? Also, ask Obama why he has distanced himself from Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. during his candidacy?

    CNN, please be fair in this debate. The media has really given Obama a break in its questions, comments and analysis.

    January 14, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  14. John Hutchinson

    What should the role of the Federal Reserve be in monetary policy and practice?

    What, if any, is your plan to make the Federal Reserve more accountable to the American people?

    What is the best way, in your opinion, to curb the rate on inflation?

    What is the role of the federal government in a free market economy?

    Does it make sense to you for the Federal Reserve, a private banking corporate cartel, to provide new money and charge the taxpayers interest on something they create out of nothing, when in fact the Constitution expressly gives the US government the power to control this process directly? Please explain your response.

    January 14, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. Marlene

    Question: What are each of you going to do about illegal immigration? Please don't just say border security and more border agents. The American people want an answer to this question. The Republicans talk about it but the Democrates refuse to discuss it.

    January 14, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. matt

    While all the candidates suggest changes are needed to solve the many problems this country faces, how do they propose to pay for their solutions? And saying they will use the money that is going to pay for the war in Iraq is not a good answer since that is borrowed money that is increasing our national debt.

    January 14, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. Rico

    Please ask Senator Clinton why a segregationist - Barry Goldwater (opposed Civil Rights Act of 1964) is considered her and Bill's mentor?

    January 14, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  18. Lou Delgado

    3 questions regarding Terrorism
    1. if the war against terrorism is so important to the Bush administrations;-
    why are not the other European allies more involved that it makes it seem that the Americans are the only ones fighting terrorism.
    2. if the war against terrorism is so important to the Bush administrations- why not enact the draft as our military is so spreadout and we are using our National Guard and Reserves
    3. All, All, all Democrats candidates have let the American people down – You were given a mandate to end the war and you let that zero IQ president manuever you and scare you on voting on the IRAQ funding.

    Dissapointed with all Democrat Candidates-

    January 14, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  19. Pam

    I believe the biggest problem this country faces is that our democracy is being sold to the highest bidders. We, the private citizens, are the only ones in America today who do not have anyone lobbying for us. We supposedly have our vote, but I believe these elections are bought and sold by the corporate giants who have the most to gain or lose from the outcome. It is discusting!

    I want to know how Hillary Clinton can say she wants to change Washington by reducing the special interests and corporations that have taken over Washington when she continues to take money from them to fund her campaign?

    (I know that Senator Obama has refused money from these people and I applaud him for that.)

    January 14, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  20. bluecatapult

    I have a question for John Edwards. Senator Edwards has positioned himself as the person who would, as President, fight the big, corporate interests, and defend the average, working person trying to get by. However, in 2000 and 2001, as a United States Senator, you voted for a big Bankruptcy reform bill favored by Banks and Credit Card Companies that most consumer groups and many Democratic Senators believed gave too much power to the Financial Services industry and made it more difficult for the average person to get out of debt. Senator Edwards, if you were unwilling to fight for the working person against powerful corporate interests while you were Senator, how do we know you would fight them as President?

    January 14, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  21. Brian

    Re: Intelligence Operations:

    While understanding the need for an intelligence aspect to the government, I am concerned about secret operations that actually plan and execute operations which may or may not be known to the President or the American people. What do you plan to do about these shadow or clandestine operations, if you have any power or concern at all about affecting a change?

    January 14, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. Larry Jackson

    I would like to ask each candidate what was the most important legislative bill that they introduced and successfully passed into law to help our country and its people.

    January 14, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. Michael Bowe

    All the candidates talk a lot about the need for change, yet pick each other apart at any hint of changes in policy positions, as if any change in position evidences weaknesss. I have not yet seen a moderator or candidate address this contradiction. Please ask a question about why candidates attack change in others as such a bad thing, when in fact it is often wise to adjust or change policy to better solve problems.

    January 14, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. Patrick in Maryland

    California recently reported its spending surpasses its tax collection by 6 to 8 million dollars a month, despite the wealthy people and companies in the state who pay 80% or more of the taxes for the state. California is looking at cutting education and other social programs to correct the situation. While cutting education seems to be a common ploy among politicians to gain support for increasing taxes, the situation seems, in part, a result of the continuing costs of accommodating the needs of illegal aliens. Reports show that 25% of Los Angeles County’s welfare expenditures go to illegals and that the cost of educating the children of illegal aliens in California is in the billions of dollars a year. This situation is mirrored throughout the country.

    While the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill” proposed in the Senate would have further accommodated illegal aliens, it would not have relieved the American taxpayer of this heavy and unnecessary burden. Why should American children suffer cuts in education expenditures to accommodate the needs of illegal aliens? Why didn’t you take action to push the Bush and Clinton administrations to secure the borders and to enforce the laws on the books with regard to illegal immigration? Why have you not better funded the effort even now?

    January 14, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  25. Teacher

    I would ask them all what they think of paying Sunni Insurgents $300.00 a mon. to behave and play nice till Bush is out of office.Yes we our paying that now out of your tax dollars so as to make the surge look like it is working.FACT!

    January 14, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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