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. david loftis

    Am i the only one thats paying attention to the "supreme court" refusing to hear the case about the peoples right to petition the government for redress? Who among you has the nerve to take a stand and uphold your oath of office and call these people out and uphold the constitution?

    January 14, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  2. Naima

    To Senator Hillary,

    With your so called 35 years of experience, tell us 5 key things you did (as in you spear-headed or took the lead in) for the benefit of the American people. Describe what it was you did and the corresponding result for America. If you've got 35 years of experience, you must some solid things to show for it, besides the last name "Clinton"

    January 14, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. Ken Stokes

    For Hillary Clinton:

    You recently said in an interview on Meet the Press that you wished that race and gender weren't an issue. With this in mind, your opponent Barack Obama has never mentioned anything along the lines of becoming the "first black president" unless it was addressed in a question, while you never fail to remind voters that you are running to be the "first woman president". If you wish that race and gender weren't an issue, why do you never fail to remind voters that you are in fact a woman running for president?

    January 14, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  4. Jeff in Denver, Colo

    I would like Barak Obama to stand for something – anything- that Democrats have achieved and that we need to protect, like Social Security , not just hope for something new.

    January 14, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. Linda, Portland, Maine

    Question for all candidates: what has been your foreign policy and how many leaders have you personally met? What has your contributions been to helping others?

    January 14, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. Dwane-Niles

    My qestion is to Ms. Clinton first, then to the rest of the canidates.
    For Ms. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton to claim they have had the Black community at heart during thier years of public service. Why didn't the Democratic president who "loved Blacks" ever select another black to Suprem Court when he had the chance. Why didn't he select a Black for Secretary of State. The Democrats continuously raise the political ceiling for White women, while ignoring Black men. Say what you will about the Republicans they got Clarence Thomas on the highest court, Mr. Powell and Ms. Rice as the first Black Secretary of State, and all the Democrats have done is set Ms. Plose as Speaker of the House and pitted Blacks against Blacks once again, With people such as Mr.

    Democrats will you send an African American to the highest court if you are elected President, will you take the lead and set qualified African Americans in power positions in your administration. Will you work to place Blacks as Chair of Democratic party. Will you truely begin to address the every day issues of hard working Black people, and not just give us political lip service because your desire lies at 1600 pennsylvania st, and not truely with us.

    January 14, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  7. Marisol

    To Senator Obama:
    Why did you wait one week to condemn accusations against Hillary that her remarks (and her husband’s) were racist in nature? Moreover, upon condemning these accusations, you then proceeded to state to ABC News on January 14, 2008 that the comment was revealing about her political character. "I do think it was indicative of the perspective that she brings, which is that what happens in Washington is more important than what happens outside of Washington." He said he believes the quote betrays a belief on her part, "that the intricacies of the legislative process were somehow more significant than when ordinary people rise up and march and go to jail and fight for justice." He called that a "fundamental difference" between them (Source: ABC News Political Radar: “Obama Damps Down Racial Controversy” 01-14-08). Is there not a hypocrisy in your statement? Didn't Hillary explicitly acknowledge Dr. King's contributions in all the aspects you outlined beforehand? What is this "fundamental difference" you refer to? Please explain and justify your statements with hard evidence that clearly outlines this intention on Hillary's behalf. Hillary please respond to Senator Obama's remarks should you feel it merits clarification of the facts. Thank you.

    January 14, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  8. Steve, ATL

    Will Wolfe ask Mrs. Bill Clinton if Sid Blumenthal was the drunk who wrecked into Cate Edwards?

    January 14, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  9. william walsh columbus ohio

    i would like to know what is going to be done about the rapid increase of gangs in this country and the amount of crime they bring into citys and towns across this nation,this is a direct result of open door imigration, and needs to be addressed very soon, these gangs have weapons that are better than the police units that track them, would there be a special opps to disrupt and deport or imprison these local terrorist?

    January 14, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. Wilbur

    Would you be dedicated to ending the practice of selling the citizen's trees and allowing foreign countries to mine in our National Parks, the next generation's heritage?

    January 14, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. don

    The audience members were allowed to boo Obama and Edwards, Wolf was very rude towards Obama and Edwards and interupted him with calculated frequency. If i had a pick i would have had Anderson Cooper moderate the debate, but anyway, I hope this debate plays fair.

    January 14, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  12. Nora Rozengurt

    How do both Senators Hillary and Obama, feel about the irresponsability of the media? The way the Press, especially CNN and MSNBC continue to spend hours day in and day out magnifying every single piece of trivia that are peripheral to their campains? This pathetic digging that forces them both to deviate their political discourse from the issues that we all want to hear about, replacing it with this "he says she says" that leads nowhere.

    January 14, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  13. Jaycie

    Under the Bush administration and neo con rule, it is my view that our once great country is being destroyed. By appointing incompetents such as Michael Brown to FEMA, I believe they hope to destroy government agencies, privatize everything and turn the running of the country over to their corporate cronies. As a result, they expect to establish their "permanent Republican majority" as they so fondly put it. Their anti-environmental stance coupled with the many hundreds of "signing statements" designed to subvert the will of Congress plus their concept of the "unitary presidency" is leading towards a dictatorial form of government. Despite their proffered religious convictions, they engage in massive amounts of unethical behavior such as torture, spying on all of us, telling us countless lies, spending billions of our tax dollars on a war entered into using manufactured intelligence, and massively neglecting the needs of our citizens for safe food and water, healthcare, decent education and good jobs. I would very much like details as to how any or all of the candidates plan to reverse this destructive course undertaken over the past seven years. I believe in putting our people, not corporations, first and I am hoping that one or more of the Democrats has a concrete plan as to how to achieve this.

    January 14, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  14. jason syracuse

    Wolf ,
    I am a bit surprised at you , my name is jason syracuse and I'm the fastest growing glass block ditributorship in our hometown area {buffalo ny & erie pa). I only mention this because we were planning an aggressive television advertising program for this year. Being from Williamsville N.Y. I figured you would know about what is like to be an underdog fighting uphill to overcome corruption.Remember where we come from , remember why you left .

    I write to you directly because I know most people around here put their hearts before thier wallets.I am appauled that your employer's give Ron Paul no respect , and no air time. I have never believed in any political figure untill this year. The grace commision report by Ronald Regan 1984 clearly spelled out not only this governments wastefull spending but clearly states "that not one penny of any income tax dollar is spent here in the United States", instead it pays some of the interst of our national debt to the privately owned Federal Reserve. CNN talks as if they are looking out for the american people. Now with more people finding out the truth about our monitary policies your boycott of Ron Paul is causing a large # of people to boycott CNN. I just cant believe that CNN is now no different than fox. Ron Paul is a true patriot and has the integrity to bring to light the truth . Bottom line a dollar backed by gold solves every problem this nation faces . Most importantly it takes away the endless checkbook congress uses and hands the purse strings of the nation back to it's rightfull owners , the american people. Because of CNN's disreguard of truth and integrity I am making sure none of our advertising dollars go to CNN or any of it's affialtes. Ron Pauls following is much larger than you give him credit for and that is surprising considering how little air time he recieves . The notion that his base is unemployed and only young is totally wrong , most are self employed and ages diverse . CNN has lost alot of viewers and they will not return , we will get our news from the internet and our advertising dollars shall follow. Too bad.

    January 14, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  15. Janice

    Question to candidates: We've just had almost 8 years of a president who thought he knew everything and surrounded himself with people who told him what he wanted to hear. Whose judgment and opinions do you value, and which non-politicians will you look to for guidance and information? Name names.

    January 14, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  16. Mickey

    I would like to know whether the candidates think that Wolf was actually "stunned" by people's questions or that he was "not surprised," or whether they think, as Wolf seems to, that it is possible to be both stunned and not surprised, simultaneously.

    January 14, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. david

    1) Will you pledge today not to appoint anyone to federal office that donated , or helped raise more than $20,000 to your campaign. If not what donors would you appoint, and to what positions.

    2) Do you believe American citizens should be able to buy into (at the same rates) the congressional health plan and receive the same level of care you receive. If not why do you believe you are entitled to better taxpayer funded care then others?

    January 14, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  18. john newman

    My question is for Hillary Clinton?
    Inasmuch as you have recieved literally hundreds of thousands of dollars from both the insurance and phamaceutical industries for your campaign, how can you expect us to believe that they will not expect access, influence and political accomodations in return? How does this represent change and a new paradigm for dealing with special interests?

    January 14, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  19. Marie K.

    Will Sen.Obama be will to udnerstand the stroggle of the single mothers, like Sen. Clinton is fighting for ?

    January 14, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. Richard L

    For Obama, Edwards, Clinton:

    In November last year, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi decided to drop the renewable energy standard out of the energy bill and drop the tax title. No tax title means no extension of the investment tax credit for solar, and no extention of the production tax credit for wind. How did you vote on the final bill, and explain why the democrats cry about oil prices, the need for renewable energy, energy independence, etc, yet they dropped the energy standard and the tax title.


    January 14, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  21. terry

    I want to ask the democrats 2 questions:

    1.) Now that violence in Iraq is down 70% from '06 to '07, what do we do know? Do we still cut and run, or see it through? (Question to CNN: Why do you not cover the good news from Iraq?)

    2.) Give us the "meats-and-potatoes" of your healthcare plan. How do we pay for it? Who all is covered? And please don't say we'll tax the rich without defining what rich is.

    I know that this question will not get posted (since I am criticizing CNN), but figured that I would give it a shot. I won't hold my breathe.

    Oh yeah, don't ask questions of their political bickering and pondering, but hold them to their plan. If you complain about a problem without a solution, then you are part of the problem!

    January 14, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  22. gg

    Most of the african americans in the US believe that you have an allegiance to the Clinton Campaign because they gave you your big break back in the days when you covered the White House. Prove us wrong and make sure to be fair in your questioning to both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. You will make yourself come across much better if you are not out there trying to help Mrs. Clinton by not questioning her on inconsistencies she states and always trying to crush Mr. Obama's claims for a better tommorow.

    The question I have for both candidates is as follows:
    Mrs. Clinton, over the course of your campaigning, you have claimed 35 years of experience, however, you have only been elected for 7. If you are claiming the years of the Whitehouse, are you also claiming the pardons to Mark Rich and also the ethical violations that came about during the Clinton administration?

    Mr. Obama, you have sat quietly while allowing the Clintons, their surrogates, and the Republicans to define you as not having experience. How can you prove to the voters of the Democratic Party that you are ready to win this election if you can allow the Clintons to define you without once taking her to task for her lack of experience?

    January 14, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  23. 1person

    Designers build with at least the basic fundamentals of following form and function. They create, shape something and empower it with purpose. Thus, giving us- The People- meaning in our lives. But great designers go beyond just the essentials, they deliver high quality and stellar service. To all the candidates, speaking only about yourself, how have/will you design a better future to engage The People?

    January 14, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  24. Narasai Patil

    Big industries such as oil, pharmecutical, insurance peddle influence with law makers and the President by contributing to their campaign for legislations in their favor resulting increasing high prices consumers have to pay. The elected law makers ought serve people's interest but accepting money from big industries is direct conflict of interest between the law makers and people. These people know this and perpetuate because it's their interest not do anything about it. I think one solution to eliminate this problem is to mandate public financing. Make illegal to accept any kind money or gift.

    I would ask each candidate to see if they agree with above assessment. If they do, ask them if they would solemnly swear to abolish present method of campaign financing.

    January 14, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  25. Marie K.

    Will sen. Obama be willing to understand the stroggle of single mothers, who have no healthcare,no income and sometimes no moneys for school lunches like sen.clinton has been fighting for no child left behind and who understand the problemes of single family?

    January 14, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
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