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. John from White Plains, NY

    Work it big Daddy!!! You will have a great partner in Biden!!

    October 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Bob

    National security is always an issue, but for this election season at least it is not as "high profile" as the other issues. And a strong economy is vital to keep our national security, so keeping is safe is part of the number one priority.

    October 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Richard A. Spomer

    McCain/Palin Bring outside expense to the table which will benefit everyone in the country if they have WORK ETHICS WHICH OTHER CANDIDATES DO NOT HAVE!

    Obama/Biden brings the same old fetid garbage from yester year, and free for everyone whom do not understand American liberties!

    October 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. JOE BLOGGS

    Mike nit-picked: (4:10 p.m.)
    "Why would his first priority not be keeping us safe? Does it matter if I have a windmill in my yard to give me electricity if I'm dead?"

    Mike, did you not read Obama saying:
    "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 …"

    Obama knows that the greatest current NATIONAL SECURITY threat to the U.S. is the ECONOMY/ENERGY INDEPENDENCE situation and that they are related.

    If this is too 'nuanced' for you to understand, then at least i tried!

    October 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Lenny

    If this is the kind of rhetoric I can come to expect from the mouth of a socialist who pals around with terrorists and may, in fact, be a closet Muslim, I just have to say...

    Okay by me. Seriously, this sounds like a real plan. Hey, man, if this is socialism, I'm cool with it. I, like most Americans, can't really explain what socialism or even communism really IS. That said, it's kind of silly to get scared by words I don't understand, especially when they're being hurled by rabble-rousers.

    This is the first Democrat I've voted for. In my life. Perot doesn't count.

    October 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. karen in UK

    The good thing is, our man Obama can even MULTITASK!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Independent

    Mike read or listen to the clip of the interview...first thing is the financial crisis which has a national security component to it ...and actually so do the energy independence answer. Aaaah (sighs) u know what forget it. Obama kills babies. There let's get on with our lives. Happy halloween.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Obama or Bust

    Hey, Mike – Energy independence and the economy are both keys to our security. With more and more countries losing respect for us, and growing in their disdain for us, do we really want to be beholden to them for our energy and continuous loans??? Barack sees the bigger picture. Being a leader is about more than calling yourself a maverick.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Tim

    Mike, i think you're a tad paranoid. No one is going to kill you. Don't be foolish.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. nicolevoter

    There's nothing more American than having goals!!! Wish I could vote early in PA but I will be there as long as it takes on Tuesday.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Kay

    Interesting that no one even cares to think about and ask what kind of super "change" a man can make in favor of America, if he won't even respect our American flag or participate in the pledge..........! Thanx for the biased news media and who YOU'VE pinpointed to win, but God's will in the matter will be done. He is ultimately in control and not one of us can do a thing about His final answer.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Duff

    From what I have seen on the Communist News Network is how Obama is going to start his socialist regime. Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. obama for president

    Mr. Obama is ready to lead this nation back to where once we use to be, like the late 90's. VOTE BARACK OBAMA.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. David Newport, OR

    Mike...you have no clue. How do we make ourselves safe? With a club? No. What was the goal of Al Quida? To financially destroy us. They have succeeded, either directly or indirectly. Want to be safe? Restore our economic power.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. kishon

    right on! What the world needs now is OBAMA, RIGHT NOW!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Big Ed

    It's nice to hear someone talking business instead of BULL-loney. The repeated attacks by McCain and the Dame prove that there is no plan, there is no substance to their campaign. It sounds as though Sen. Obama is all about getting things addressed. We've had 8 years of "duck and blame", we certainly don't need that same irresponsible, cloke and dagger, blowing your nose in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, cowboy crud. That's what got us where we are now. McCain was "W"'s buddy and it's time to flush!

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. God sent him

    Its all over barr the shouting. Lets put the roses on him back.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. VICTORY IN OH4 OBAMA!!!

    We are behind you in OHIO

    BARACK THE VOTE EARLY!!!!!! OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Ready4Change

    GO BARACK!!! Nov 5 cannot come soon enough:)

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. onelove

    Sen. Obama,

    You will make a fine President.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. deb in Colo

    And that's why he has my vote!

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Chris from WI

    Mike, did you miss the part where he chose from an offered list?

    But I'm sure if he's elected and doesn't immediately declare himself Not A Fan of Evil, it'll be the end of the world the next day, so I can see why you would be concerned.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. Kevin

    >>Why would his first priority not be keeping us safe? Does it matter if I have a windmill in my yard to give me electricity if I'm dead?<<

    Yeah, thats not a comment from a McCain/Palin stooge. To most rational people right now, the reality of financial trouble and high fuel prices effecting them daily trumps Terrorist boogymen hitting you in middle-of-nowhere U.S.A. taking down your energy windmill.

    Obama does have his priorities straight. This is who we need in charge.

    October 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Greg Smith, Clifton Heights PA

    OBAMA will not be President John McCain will win the President. The first thing John McCain will do is get rid of all you hateful Democrats.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Still Undecided

    Good answers. But the poster Mike does raise an interesting point. Where does the security of America fall on Obama's list?

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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