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. Judy from Ohio


    I have the following quesions:

    What does your comment no woman is illegal mean and do you believe in anmesty?

    To all canidates:
    If elected would you chose people to work in your administration the most qualified person or would you pick your friends with qualifications like the former Fema director and attorney general?

    Why do we give so much foreign aid money to countries and relief money for disasters when we have such high foreing debt we are borrowing money and can't afford to help our seniors, and veterans? Would you continue this procedure?

    January 14, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  2. Allison

    Would those supporting "universal health care" be willing to trade their current private healthcare plans and enroll in either Medicare or Medicaid? Afterall, these are the govt run healthcare programs Congress designed and oversee.

    January 14, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  3. Ciaran Dean-Jones

    And in conclusion, I'd like to get a general idea for how the Democratic candidates as well as registered Democratic voters feel about an atheist in the White House. Im quite sure GOP voters and evangelicals will see it as a an absurd heretical abnormality that will be met with a sufficient amount of time in purgatory beyond the grave, but I'd like to know how common logic would respond to such a phenomenon

    January 14, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  4. Joshua Levine

    Hello Wolf!

    Could you please ask candidates what remedy they would take in response to the mortgage/housing crisis precipitated by the so-called sub-prime melt-down?
    It is my understanding that it was the repackaging of hi-risk mortgages into amorphous investment vehicles that allowed and precipitated this crisis. It is notable that this "criminal" behavior on the part of millionaire money managers was done to make investors rich and not to make mortgages and housing more accessible.
    Why are they not being held to account in any way and why is there no collective restitution from the millions investors made?

    January 14, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  5. Allison

    Please ask candiates about issues instead of wasting time talking about the horserace – i.e. who's winning, losing , raising the most $ or when they will drop out. Obviously, all candidates are in this to win.

    January 14, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Tim

    Ask Ron Paul what he would do to create jobs. He seems to be the only canditate that actually comes close to telling the truth....just look at his voting record.

    January 14, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. Ray

    This is a 2 part Question for Hillary Clinton.

    First, Why do you think the american people want to relive the clinton years in office?

    Second, What do you intend to do with our military, Are you going to start closing bases and making a smaller force as your husband did, or are you going to keep the military at current strength? This matters to me since I am a disabled Vet, and everyone in my family for generations has been in our nations military. I have seen the problems your husband caused to small communities by closing alot of bases and this disturbs me.

    January 14, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  8. Jack M

    Many candidates have spoken to raising spending or lowering spending but not how broken the budget process has become recently. Over spending, earmarks, cross allocations make our budget a mess and there is no connection with Taxing. Pay-Go is not working.

    How will you change the budget process? How will you make it effective? How can we move pork to the last thing we do, and only when we have collected extra tax revenues?

    New Budget Legislation? New House Rules?

    January 14, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  9. Ciaran Dean-Jones

    RE: Brian

    See Charlie Savage's "Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy." It's all about how the Bush-Cheney administration has eroded constitutional checks and balances of presidential power with the help from the Office of Legal Counsel, the president's primary source for knowledge regarding the legality of operations undertaken by the executive branch, and tried to place more sweeping executive authority into the office of the president. It compares the warrant-less NSA wiretappings with some of the black-bag jobs undertaken by the Nixon administration leading up to Watergate. It's really shocking the role vice president Dick Cheney's executive aide, David Addington, and former Deputy Attorney General John Yoo have played in creating some legal theories supporting domestic clandestine operations on individuals who have no connection or threat to national security, starting with the Unitary Executive Theory during the Reagan administration. Really great stuff.

    January 14, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  10. 'Kunle

    In as simple, congress lingo-free language as possible, can Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards highlight their most important achievements in their service in the US senate. This is particularly directed at Obama, who is frequently criticized for not having had any major bills passed under his name. Thanks.

    January 14, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  11. Jo


    Obama explains that he is the candidate for change, he go’s on to say that he is the best candidate because he hasn’t been corrupted by Washington politics, PLEASE! How long would a steak last in a lions din? Wolf, There are millions of Americans with the same qualifications as Obama, No Experience, and yet to be corrupted by Washington politics.

    January 14, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. janet williams

    since the EU has stricter chemical guidelines than the US, which means we get what they reject in our products, we are most at risk for cancer (1 in 5 will get cancer). What will the next president /congress do to take the power out of the hands of the big chemical/pharm companies and it's lobbiests and put the focus on the health of ALL the American people over huge profits? The EU is forcing them to revamp their formulas in cosmetics, computers, you name it .. so why haven't we???

    This also applies to the pharm. companies as well. We wait until we "get sick" and want the magic pill(s)-typically 6 scipts per person (US average). Meanwhile the chemical & pharm industries are rubbing their collective hands together with a smirk on their faces. We should be looking and actively promoting preventative measures (chiro care, A.K., nutrition, exercize,stress relief).

    Who has the guts to stand up to them .. so far the EU has. I'm not too confident that the US "powers that be" have the backbone. .. or could it be that that they are in their pocket?

    January 14, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  13. Dev

    With our country going in debt more and more each year, when will the plug be pulled on all the "pork" from congress? Would any candidate support a "pork" free government?

    January 14, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. Pam

    With all this talk about the need to unite the country, I would like to know if any of the candidates would consider asking a republican to be their running mate?

    January 14, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  15. AVH

    Senator Obama is always being made to look like a person with no experience. I happen to know he was a professor of constitutional law, served as a commuhnity organizer, has had many successes in the state senate, and has had many efforts in the US senate , the most impressive bipartisan efforts. Hillary Clinton has a failed attempt at socialized health care and several years of partisan bickering. Do you feel it is wrong for Hillary Clinton to constantly attack your experience as if you are a neophyte to the world of politics.

    January 14, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  16. Susan

    When is CNN going to give equal air time for all the candidates ? It seem to be only the Barak & Hilary show. Barak- all positive and Hilary – all negative. And there's John Edwards – who??? I pretty much know where John and Hilary stand on many important things that concern me – BUT Barak – all he does is talk using generalizations – no specifics. Big deal he's a good orator – but what does he stand for – change – Change what – stop generalizing your "change". Give specifics like Hilary and John. If Barak can't give specifics then maybe he shouldn't be running for president. Then again he hardly voted in Washington – couldn't make a decision – a fence sitter ? Stand up and give specifics !!!!!

    January 14, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  17. tyrone

    To the democrat candidates.Would you admit Bushs surged worked?.Most Americans are not dumb enough to believe its because dems won congress and senate .When your leaders said war is lost and patraeus is a liar.Why should Americans trust you when you so easily give up when Al aqueda in iraq bombed hundreds of innocent iraqis every day.Do you believe that you should make policy on American security and foreign affairs acording to what the polls say at the time?.Most democrats say the world hates us.What kind of appeasement would you offer them to make them love us again..

    January 14, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. Deborah

    I would like to see the candidates asked: given their support for "a comprehesive immigration reform" that includes leaving millions of current illegals in the country, how would they address the issue of unemployment among African American workers, given that some of that unemployment results directly from illegal immigrants taking over job areas in which blacks once were heavily represented but now often are barely present , like construction, hotel service jobs, etc. and that black unemployment statistics are so much higher than the national average in almost all demographic groups?

    January 14, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  19. Mrs. America

    Dr. Blitzer,
    I'm glad to know our suggestions are being considered and that you make a special point to tell us that. Thank you.
    Mrs. America

    January 14, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  20. Dev

    To all the candidates without prior military service: What qualifies you to be "Commander -in-Chief"? What experience will you personally draw upon.

    January 14, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  21. Richard L

    My question goes to all candidates –

    Without referring to the need to secure our borders first, and with the government seeeming to know that we have 12 million illegal (not undocumented) aliens, will you deport all of the illegal aliens if you know who they are and where they live? If not, could you explain how they are not impacting our overcrowded school, unemployment, economy, etc.


    January 14, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Ciaran Dean-Jones

    RE: Pam

    I LOVE IT!!!! I've always felt that picking up a GOP candidate who has dropped out of the primary to run as a vice presidential candidate. Surrounding yourself with individuals who have different political perspectives can greatly enhance your rapport with the general public and can give you an idea of how Republicans will react to bill vetoes, foreign policy, domestic policy, etc.

    January 14, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. Sean CA

    My question has to do with the Lobbying system, how would you stop our goverment to pretty much be bought by the highest bidder? For instance AIPAC has enough power and money to sway what this country does diplomatically and therefore this country cannot not be an unbiased neutral party because of money. How would you stop lobbies from effecting this countries direction?

    January 14, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  24. Karen

    Question to candidates: What would you do about the Fundamentalist Mormon communities whose lifestyle violates the principles of the U.S. Constitution? If elected would you pardon Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Mormons?

    January 14, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  25. chaos45i

    To: Wolf Blitzer, Though this will not likely be posted. I can tell you one good question to ask the candidates is a simple question of Whether or not they condone the ongoing discriminatory practice of preventing Hispanics in Illinois from claiming race discrimination and denying Hispanic/Latino Americans the full rights designed to protect all Americans under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    I don't seem to be able to ask any other way or be posted on your filed stories though I am only reporting the verifiable truth. Why is that? I think that it is an important subject and current event Wolf don't you?


    Chaos45i in Illinois

    January 14, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
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