Monday, January 29, 2007
What would you ask McCain, Clinton?

A new rehabilitation institution at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

With all of the debate over sending more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, we were glad to hear about a new institution built on both hope and private donations to help some of the U.S. service men and women wounded in war. So far, more than 20,000 U.S. troops have been injured -- some horribly burned -- and more than 500 have lost a limb, according to the Associated Press. These are America's fallen heroes.

So tonight, Anderson will broadcast live from San Antonio, Texas, at the Brooke Army Medical Center for the opening of a state-of-the-art military rehabilitation facility, The Center for the Intrepid. The center will treat America's most severely wounded troops, including service members who have lost limbs or were severely burned.

A number of dignitaries are there today, including two presidential candidates: Senators John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Both are speaking at the ceremony and both are sitting down for interviews with Anderson.

Anderson will also give us a tour of the new rehabilitation center and speak with the doctor in charge of the operation. He will also talk to soldiers receiving care.

We'll also try to find out why the $50 million raised to build the center and the adjoining Fisher Houses (places for families to stay while they attend their loved ones during their rehabilitation) came entirely from private donations. Not a dime was paid by the government. Why is it that this state-of-the-art center for injured troops had to be funded privately?

As for Senators McCain and Clinton, both are sharply critical of President Bush's policy in the war in Iraq (she said it has been executed "incompetently"; he said it was a "train wreck"). What would you ask them? Let us know in the comments section below.
Posted By David Doss, "360" Executive Producer: 2:11 PM ET
Thank you spending some time on this. Our troops have given willing the ultimate sacrifice.

No matter what one thinks of war, these brave men and women deserve our support.
Posted By Anonymous Missy, Fairfield, CT : 2:30 PM ET
Hi David;
It's probably funded by private donations because it would never have been built if they had to wait for the Government to pay for it which is disgusting.
I would like to ask the Senators why things have gotten even worse in Iraq just since President Bush announced he's sending more troops in or is that a coincidence?
Bev Ontario Canada
Posted By Anonymous Bev Ontario Canada : 2:35 PM ET
If I was interviewing Hillary Rodham-Clinton, I would ask her, if you were President today, what would you be doing about the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan today? I would ask her for specifics based on her most recent travels to the region.

She is in a unique situation. Hasn't her husband has been receiving daily briefs from the Pentagon every day since he left office? What other presidential candidate has had total access to unique information?
Posted By Anonymous Renee Bradenton, FL : 2:36 PM ET
I would love to know what they plan to do as far as Iraq. Love it or hate it we are there and just bringing our boys home on Tuesday will help no one. There has to be a plan in place to bring some, �closure� is a bad word but the only one I can think of, to the situation. That was the problem I had with Kerry it was all bring them home. I don�t see that as an option, not then and not now. The next candidate will have to face Iraq, do they have any ideas on what they will do?
Posted By Anonymous Marcy, Mobile, AL : 2:46 PM ET
What are their REAL feelings and plans
for the 2nd amendment and gun control.

#2 Where do they stand on amnesty,
H1-visas, and "open borders"??????????
Posted By Anonymous Ralph LaPaugh, Galveston, Tx. : 2:52 PM ET
Hi David, Hi Anderson,
I would like to know: What alternative plan would you propose for the war in Iraq? How would you pay for the proposed changes? How do you plan to deal with the escalating tension with Iran?
Thanks and good luck!!
Posted By Anonymous Pamina, Pittsford, New York : 2:57 PM ET
For Mrs. Clinton:

Instead of bashing Mr Bush, why don't you are your party have some ideas on paper that the American people can see?

All your party does is bash and criticize, if you are such a great solution then put your idea out for me to see and comment on?

You wanted to lead, now do it.
Posted By Anonymous David Norvell, Largo, FL : 3:00 PM ET
What is the best course of action for helping the rehabilitated soldiers re-enter the workforce and become productive members of society again?
Posted By Anonymous Sharla Jones, Stratford, NJ : 3:01 PM ET
If the Iraq 'problem' is still unsolved by the next president's term, do they plan on removing our troops from the area?

Also, if the 'timeline' proposed by the US is not met by the Iraqi government, do they plan on continuing to assist them? Or do they plan on just leaving the country in shambles?
Posted By Anonymous Luke Abers, Raeford, North Carolina : 3:02 PM ET
I would like to ask Hillary a few things. First, what is your stance on Iran? Should we adapt a more diplomatic relationship with them, or do you support the bush, "guns a blazin" attitude there as well as Iraq? Do you bounce ideas off of Bill and get his perspective, and would you utilize his insight and knowledge to help you should you take the white house? And to McCain: Same question about Iran. Also, what do you think about North Korea? Would it not be an even more colossal blunder to stretch our troops even further in Iraq, Afghanistan, maybe also into Iran and Korea? When is enough enough? How much would we need to increase the overall size of our armed forces to accomodate the many missions our troops have and may have down the road?
In what ways do you find Iraq and Vietnam similar? At what point would you finally admit that the Iraq war is a lost cause and pull us out? Do you support the failed war on drugs? Finally, name your cabinet. That would be really interesting..
Posted By Anonymous nathan karczewski, junction city, KS : 3:03 PM ET
"$50 million dollars raised to build the center came entirley from private donations. Not a dime was paid by the government"

Does anyone really think the U.S. government could be trusted with $50 million in tax money for yet another department?! There's no way this military rehab center will be as efficiently run by a bunch of bureaucrats as it will by a private organization.

This is how things should be - money given freely and generously as opposed to money mandated through taxes that will be wasted and misused. Compare this wonderful place to any VA hospital and it's clear that privitization is the way to go.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 3:05 PM ET
To McCain: Personally I feel that we should pull our troops back out of the cities but stay in camps inside Iraq and let the Iraq's beat each other up. No American should die resolving their internal hate over religious differences. We are going to kill a lot of Iraq's trying to get them under control don't you think?
To Clinton: I agree Iraq has become a mess but will you repeal the tax cuts, impose more social programs, raise tariffs, slow down trade, etc? Bush might have a problem in Iraq but you might cause economic slowdown. what is your economic philosphy?
Posted By Anonymous johnmackel, cypress, texas : 3:25 PM ET
I'm really looking forward to tonight's show.

I guess I'd echo the question you asked in your post. Why if we are sending these brave men and women off to battle sometimes with improper equipment, does the United States government not share the financial burden of building these much needed rehab facilities? These facilities coupled with the Fisher Houses are so important to our wounded soldiers and their families in aiding thier recovery.

I was actually taken aback to find out these are all privately funded facilities. But in a way, is it for the best that these facilities are not a part of the Veteran's hospitals? I've heard horror stories about veterans who have been treated in some of these government funded facilities.

Thanks for covering the opening of the facility. It's comforting to know that our severely wounded soldiers are getting the best care possilbe.
Posted By Anonymous Annette LaCanna, Alpha, NJ : 3:29 PM ET
For Senator Clinton:
Senator McCain has expressed his thoughts and strategy for dealing with the war in Iraq ... you have expressed your thoughts, but what is your strategy? How does it answer to "supporting our troops" and to those who support President Bush?
Posted By Anonymous J Bates, Roseville CA : 3:37 PM ET
How are you planning to improve the current situation in Iraq?
Posted By Anonymous Tanive, Menlo Park, CA : 3:45 PM ET
I'd ask them:
"You've both complained about the fight against Islamic radicals. If elected, what would you do to defend this nation and take the fight to terrorists, and in what way would that differ from our "see-no-evil-speak-no-evil-hear-no-evil" anti-terror policy of in the 1990s?"

Remember, following the tepid response to Somalia, the embassies, the Cole, the Khobar Towers and the first WTC attack (and in most cases, the absolute LACK of response), the Middle East sees the West as a bunch of paper tigers, who not only have no bite, but whose bark is played from recordings.
Posted By Anonymous Eric, San Antonio, TX : 3:55 PM ET
Senator McCain, We were so excited to have you break onto the National scene a few years ago. You were fresh, stood by your guns and seemed to be reasonable. Why have you become just a White House mouthpiece? What did the far right promise you? Remember those are the same people that swift boated you in '04. Good choice Senator, or should I say Mr.? Because you shouldn't be elected dogcatcher.
Posted By Anonymous R. Bilderback, Alton, IL : 3:59 PM ET
For Sen. Clinton,

How, having voted for the war in Iraq, do you intend to end it?
Posted By Anonymous Holly, Pleasanton, CA : 4:01 PM ET
Sen. McCain, why do you want to see more Americans killed in Iraq?
Posted By Anonymous Ralph Reed, Atlanta GA : 4:02 PM ET
For Senator McCain:

The rationale for sending more troups is that a disaster will ensue if we don't. I believe that a disaster will ensue whenever we leave even if we declare victory. Why should thousands more Americans die and be maimed when the likelihood of success is slim to none?
Posted By Anonymous John Jones Ft Myers Florida : 4:12 PM ET
I would ask both senators not only how they propose to end the war in Iraq, but how they intend to create/support the LONG TERM continuing peace in the region?
Also, I am very interested to know their ideas on how to bring MORE jobs into THIS country, so that the hard working middle class can support themselves without having their jobs continuously being "Outsourced" to another country!
Posted By Anonymous Kim G. East Brunswick, NJ : 4:15 PM ET
I would ask John McCain: How do you support an administration that got the post war plans for Iraq so wrong? Also, I would not vote for anyone who continues to support an American military solution to this war. I am hopeful that the majority of Americans will agree at election time.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn, MI : 4:16 PM ET
Mrs. Clinton I have LONG dreamed of being able to vote for you as President, but the last few years of your mirroring Bush's Iraq policies and obvious pandering to Israel, has made me now VERY hesitant to do so. Can you explain your long time support of Bush's tragic folly in Iraq?
Posted By Anonymous John Starnes Tampa, Florida : 4:17 PM ET
I would ask, "How much of my tax dollars are you going to spend on other countries war efforts, while there are children here in the US that go to bed hungry at night?"
Posted By Anonymous Dave, San Diego, CA. : 4:18 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

PLEASE ask both people if they would be willing to disclose who they would appoint to key positions, before elected.

As we learned with the current president, who you bring to Washington is really, really important. I'd like to be voting for a slate of people to run the government, not just the person at the top of the ticket.
Posted By Anonymous Kim, Midland MI : 4:21 PM ET
Hillary Clinton,
Were 100% behind you. I'd like to know how you'd end our situation in Iraqi though? Would you start brings troops home?
Also how do you feel about Socialized Medicine like Canada has? Theres millions of Americans going without health care, and the elderly are suffering, do you have a plan to deal with the health care situation?

Thanks, Shirl Greene
Posted By Anonymous Shirl Greene, Espanola, Ontario, Canada : 4:21 PM ET
Why do Americans pay for an "entitlement"? What is the government doing with all these taxes collected in the name of Social Security and Medicare? Why aren't they being invested to fund the plans as they were meant to fund?

Also, I remember when hospitals were non-profit and care was so much better than it is now and a lot less expensive. Why are medical facilities now profit motivated corporations since they are essentially monopolies they can charge what ever they want?
Posted By Anonymous Victor Holderby, Gardnerville, NV : 4:31 PM ET
I would ask: Senator Clinton, we all know that you voted for the war in Iraq, why now are you only bashing the President and not yourself and the other congresspeople who voted for it?

Nothing against Hillary, but most Democrats who all voted for the war are acting innocent like they didn't vote for it and are letting the President take all the blame. I sure would love to see our new President, whoever that may be, stand up and say, "You know, we did make a mistake, we should have done something different." I just want them to lead like they are supposed to.
Posted By Anonymous Robin, Los Angeles, California : 4:32 PM ET
I'd like to ask Senator McCain how he expects to appeal to a broad range of voters when his latest appearances seem to be targeted towards right-wing, religious voters. And doesn't aligning himself with the President, and his Iraq policy which is opposed by an overwhelming majority of Americans, mean that if the escalation is a failure, the Senator's White House bid will be derailed?
Posted By Anonymous Jon S., Ann Arbor, MI : 4:34 PM ET
I would ask Mrs. Clinton what her qualifications for president are. Does she feel she is using her name recognition as a former first lady to mount a presidential campaign and should that give her any advantage. Aso by not taking gov't money for her campiagns does she think that the most qualified people get to run for office? Is it becoming a government of the rich and the people who can tap the rich for the most money who get to lead?
Posted By Anonymous Nancianne New York, NY : 4:36 PM ET
Why would any one in the USA think that we (our armies) could go over there and change an entire culture? How could any one think that we could change an entire country?
Posted By Anonymous Gail, Hanover, Pennsylvania : 4:37 PM ET
What is your plan to make the US energy free and free from our entanglement's in the middle east?

How will you deal the the energy compaiies reluctance regarding any effort that reduces their death grip on the american public?
Posted By Anonymous John Ramaglia Forked River nj : 4:42 PM ET
I would like to ask both of the Senators what is in their plans for after the US leaves Iraq. Do they have a plan that addresses the tremendous deficit left by the war in Iraq?
Posted By Anonymous Valerie, Dallas, TX : 4:47 PM ET
Senator Clinton,
How do you reconcile your vote for the war with your current stance against it? It seems as though you voted for it because at the time of the vote on the war resolution , it was likely you would have been deemed to have been unpatriotic had you voted no. Now that popular opinion is so vocally against the war, you are firmly against it. Where exactly do you stand on the issue, or do you need a poll to tell you that?
Posted By Anonymous Tim Collins, Thousand Oaks, CA : 4:49 PM ET
why should we believe that you would be the real commander in cheif--your husband bill seems to require most of the attention and would seem to make your job of president even harder----if i vote for you i want you not a repeat of bill--are you your own person??
Posted By Anonymous martin jakubowski mesa,az : 4:51 PM ET
How does the Bush administration and supporters (John McCain)reconcile that Americans are in Iraq fighting to promote democracy when by definition democracy is a government by the people or rule of majority Many polls indicate the vast majority of Americans oppose the current attitude of the current administration. How does this balance with democracy in America?
Posted By Anonymous Cal Creekmore, Virginia Beach, VA : 4:56 PM ET
I would like to ask either Senator why it appears no one in Congress demanded better information before troops were sent to Iraq. As someone who was a senior in high school during the beginning of Viet Nam- this smacks of deja vue all over again. Millions spent, no cohesive oversight, young people dying, and no support where it's needed the most. We seem to be validating the old adage 'if you don't learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them'.
Posted By Anonymous Sherri McKee, Oroville, Ca. : 4:57 PM ET
My comment is similar to many of the others posted thus far: What is YOUR plan for getting us out of Iraq; for ensuring that Afghanistan does not fall back into the control of the Taliban; for building a dialog with Iran and Syria.

I will vote for the person who presents the most credible plan during the forthcoming campaign; I don't need to hear any more Bush bashing, as I do that enough myself.
Posted By Anonymous Marie, Capitola, CA : 4:58 PM ET
For both Senators Clinton and McCain:
1. Would they support diplomacy with Syria and Iran to help stabilize Iraq. If so, what would be some specific, realistic talking points?
2. Would they support using our troops to "seal Iraq's borders" and perhaps withdrawing from direct interference in the civil war there?
3. What are their thoughts on dividing Iraq into 3 sectarian states -- perhaps as a loose Federation? Do they see the current Iraqi constitution as workable?
4. What do they believe our options are if the Iraqi government fails?
5. Afghanistan's government seems to be failing. What would they do to turn that situation around? What level of troops would they keep deployed there?
6. Do they support a draft, lowering our recruiting standards for the military, or misusing the National Guard to increase the size of our military? If none of the above, how can we keep our commitments when our military is too small?
Posted By Anonymous Elise, Dallas, TX : 5:01 PM ET
How will you, if the next President, work to correct the damage that President Bush and his "bushleaguers" have done to the safety net, and to opportunities for middle Americans, in this country? I do not limit the question to the continuing savaging of veterans' benefits, but to the continuing giveaway of the country to its wealthiest.
Posted By Anonymous Scott Schrader, Mounds View, MN : 5:05 PM ET
Senator Clinton,
You commented today that President Bush should get the troops out of Iraq before he leaves office. Does that mean that you have no plan on how to accomplish that task, without leaving Iraq worse off than it is right now?
If you do have a plan for Iraq, I think voters would like to hear it, since in essence, all your campaigning is one long job interview with your prospective employer, the citizens of the United States.
Posted By Anonymous Tim Roberts, Lynnwood, Washington : 5:08 PM ET
Iraq is the biggest issue. I'd like to hear some solid ideas, one that doesn't include a stuttering response about how we must stay the course or the terrorists perceiving us loosing "heart" and rehashes the last 5 answers given. I'd like to know how they're going to handle the Korea situation. I'd like to know if they intend to do anything about the fact that the current administration has tried multiple times to trample civil liberties that so many generations of Americans are now able to take for granted because our founding fathers felt them so important to include in the Constitution. Our leaders are supposed to act in our best interest and it's becoming increasingly clear that this administration is doing anything BUT looking out for our best interests. I want to know how they intend to go about regaining the trust of the American people as well as the international community. But what I'd really like to know� are they good chess players?
Posted By Anonymous Eve Graebner, Beaverton, OR : 5:10 PM ET
My comment to McCain is this:
If he chooses to say he backs adding more troops in Iraq, then he has Zero chance come election time.
Posted By Anonymous Wylie, Texas : 5:14 PM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.