October 31st, 2008
04:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama's top priorities for '09

Sen. Barack Obama in an interview Friday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Sen. Barack Obama in an interview Friday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama told CNN Friday that turning around the economy and energy independence are his top priorities for 2009 if elected president.

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama was asked to name his top priority from a list of issues, including taxes, health care, education, energy policy and immigration.

"[The] top priority may not be any of those five. It may be continuing to stabilize the financial system. We don't know yet what's gonna happen in January," he said. "None of this can be accomplished if we continue to see a potential meltdown in the banking system and financial system. So that's priority number one - making sure the plumbing works."

Obama said priority number 2 is energy independence:

"We have to seize this moment because it's not just an energy independence issue, it's also a national security issue and it's a jobs issue. We can create five million new green energy jobs ..."

You can watch the full interview on ‘The Situation Room’ at 6 p.m. ET.

Priority number 3: Healthcare reform.

Priority number 4: "Making sure we have tax cuts for the middle class as part of a broader tax reform effort."

Obama later expanded his discussion on how tax cuts relate to a bigger economic plan.

"The tax cut that I talked about may be part of my priority number one because I think that’s going to be part of stabilizing the economy as a whole," he said.

"I think we’re going to need a second stimulus. Part of my commitment is to make sure that the stimulus includes a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. It may be the first bill I introduce."

Priority number 5: Reforming the education system.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Race to '08
soundoff (542 Responses)
  1. ricCA

    Does anyone know if that last third of Palin's Needless Mark-Up wardrobe is still in the belly of her plane? Joe, are you out there? Joe?

    Oops! Joe went home to write the first draft of his book.

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Hope will prevail

    Can't wait Nov 4th to see the sun rising and shine again for all of us!

    When you listen to Barack and then Joe you just want to be a good person, you want to kiss every body!

    When you listen to J Mccain and S Palin, you wan to hide from everybody because they make you afraid of all and everybody.

    Please get out and vote NOW!

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. 08 Voter

    Will these be priorities for another term in the Illinois Senate???

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Pam

    I have been trying to send a message to the president elect Barack Obama. I had the opportunity to meet him at RI College and as he reach for my hand and our eye's met, I new that I was cared for, I new I was secure ,safe and he gave me hope for a better day.
    I am a 54 yr old grandmother who like so many other grandmothers that has the responsibility of taking care of their grandchild I am taking care of 4 of mine and the oldest is 7 yrs old. I own a 2 family house and my other 3 grandchild live here too with there mom and they are all on the spectrum of autism. I believe in the proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" and you have inspired this village of Americans to come together and believe not just in you but in ourselves. I don't know if you will have and opportunity to read this but I hope that you when your eyes meet mind, you knew that I believe that YES WE CAN.

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. gee

    Did I freaking miss something here. I didn't know he won the election. Don't count the chickens before they are hatched. I haven't forgot, now it is time too cast my vote.

    Hillary 2012

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Great answers... Well thought out and doesn't sound rushed. As Bill Clinton said, our nation needs a leader that is able to understand complex issues and Barack Obama is brilliant guy and he picked a Vice President in Joe Biden that will be able to handle and execute the plans laid out by Barack and his team on foreign issues, while he is focused on fixing the messes here at home. [Have you all taken a look or heard about the potential list of people Barack would include in his Administration; some pretty strong people I’d say.]

    Great team…

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Joyce E Neal, Antioch, TN

    It is good to see that he has a clear plan of direction. The United States is safe and we won't see another attack such as 9/11 in our lifetime. If safety is a concern for some, it isn't from "outsiders", it would be from the American radicals that are free to walk the streets of America daily. I am looking forward the to the next four years under the leadership of Barack Obama.

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Ted

    Obama's top priority is to get elected. He demonstrated that when he abandoned his church after 20+ years.

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. vinod

    Leadership is about inspiring people not dividing them, it's a shame that Macain has stooped so low. Iused to respect him not any more.

    October 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Joe the Plumber

    This man is full of it. He will turn the USA into the USSA, something that will make us in worse shape than we are already in.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Nick in AZ

    It's nice to know he has common sense. It's dangerous politically to state goals for '09 4 days before an election because McCain and his goons will attack them no matter what. But, at least we know Barack has the balls to say what he believes. That's a welcome CHANGE!

    Obama/Biden '08!!

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Proud to Be an American

    Mike...BOO! I hoped I just scared you to death. If not suck it up grow a pair and be man. Does it matter if you are a live and there is nothing safe to eat, drink and the air is too polluted to breathe? What do you want to live for, just for the sake of living? Do you have any goals, dreams or ambitions beyond that. Because I do and millions of Americans do too. You beg for scraps when you are offered the kingdom. You have swalloed to much Republican fear poison so you are ready to settle for just being alive. Why don't you trade places with the animals in a zoo. I am sure your basic needs would be attended to and you will be protected but in the end you won't be worth anything more then a spectcle.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Republican for Obama

    Finally – polices that focus on something other than making very rich people ever wealthier! I am looking forward to the end of this corrupt, narcissistic era of government.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Sherry

    Obama = the future; McCain = the past - you decide! And, Mike, if you don't think that national security plays a role into those items listed, then your teachers failed you.

    Obama/Biden

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. About Time

    Someone with an actual *plan*! We've SO needed that.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Rhonda

    Mike?? Are you scared?? Didn't you read where he said "not just an energy independence issue, it's also a national security issue"? Maybe you should listen to him on CNN since you apparently can't read!

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Frodo

    I don't know what the Libertarian's priorities are, but the big issue is stopping bailouts and reducing government spending.

    Sounds like McCain and Obama will continue bailouts (carmakers, airlines, who next?). McBama will raise taxes, see the National Taxpayer Union website.

    Those are good priorities. Energy independence is a nice sounding phrase, but does it mean more subsidies to the failed ethanol experiment? or does it mean more Nuclear–something democrats have fought for a long time, or does that mean drilling? what does it really mean? Probably more government spending, subsidies and larger programs that will cost us our tax money.

    People say, who cares? I'll pay higher taxes for energy independence. Well then, go out and pay for it right now. buy that expensive solar panel. Oh, you say it's not affordable until you get a tax break, and then they raise your taxes to pay for the break...that's what government does. They are hiding and obfuscating.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. james

    The "Wall Streeters" have looted the treasury to tie up the next administration in an effort to keep the other issues from being pursued. There should be politicians and CEO`s tarred and feathered for their blatant greed.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. ber6964

    Vote for Intelligence Vote for Obama!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Michael

    Securing the financial system will allow our country to support the military that keeps us safe. No money = no weapons.
    McCain wants to drain the remaining funds through the same failed strategies of his buddy GW.
    Atleast Obama has a plan.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. bruce

    If the economy is not fixed we are not safe...in fact the decline of the nation is hastened by a failing economy, and the attack will come from within,, as more and people loose thier jobs, income, and a place to live. So fixing the economy will keep us safe.

    October 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Holla

    Good thinking
    Fix the economy. Able to pay the troops to protect us and give us jobs to pay for the gas to drive our SUVs.

    October 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. David E. Greenberg

    There's distinctly a difference between being an elitist and being elite. Clearly, we've had enough elitists for the past 8 years. Now it's time for the elite so the rest of us can finally exhale with relief over the fact OUR White House will be occupied by someone who cares about US.

    October 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. America demands answers

    Mike you are such a slow minded Mccain supporter...Sen Mccain himself spelled out that you dont talk about national security issues on interviews...hellooo!!!
    Wake up and see reality.

    October 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Jason

    Mike – did you not read?

    "We have to seize this moment because it's not just an energy independence issue, it's also a national security issue and it's a jobs issue. We can create five million new green energy jobs …"

    October 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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