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. Jackie, MI

    Mike; I think you're alittle parnoid. 9/11 happened on the republican watch and bin laden is still at large eight years later. What has the republicans done to keep us safe? A war on two fronts that has streched our military to the breaking point and costing us billions of dollars that could have gone to getting bin laden and energy independence, plus deregulated everything. Having energy independence and getting out of Iraq (that the country has a working goverment, and that the people of Iraq want) will fund the energy research and development. Get out of the fear game, it isn't working anymore.

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Dawn

    Go all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C.

    Obama/Biden08/12

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Chris

    Gee Mike, everything Obama lists sounds like "Country First", not "Terrorists First."

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Gabriel

    Obama Priorities are good regarding to situations present.whether osama likes,he should bring a clip,it is not in anyway going to jeopardize ur priorities

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. 4 MORE DAYS!

    4 MORE DAYS! 4 MORE DAYS! 4 MORE DAYS! OBAMA/ BIDEN!

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Linda

    Wolfe

    So far a good interview with Barack Obama, but I do have something to say to you. There is no way you question John McCain in the rapid session you are doing with Obama and yet he continues to answer your questions tit for tat. Yeah you were sooooo much slower in your questions to McCain, hmmmmm

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. voter

    all of these ideas are needed to move the economy.

    Mike,

    The windmill and other forms of alternative energy, will free us from the dependence of oil from foreign countries that are connected with terrorist. this keeps us safe. it is not an either or proposition. national security is connected to domestic issues such as the economy.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. C A

    Mike October 31st, 2008 4:10 pm ET
    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:

    More right wing idiot babbling. How in the world can a country maintain the military and security tools necessary to keep a country safe when its economy is failing. Unless you want to contnue sending our young kids to Iraq with no body armour or even weapons to protect themselves with. But you people did it once when this war started. I suppose you are willing to send troops over to Iraq again without the proper equipment.

    Obama knows that nothing is safe including natuional security unless our economy can improve. Soooo..........Mike, idiot, one must improve the economy before one can maintain the tools needed to ensure our security. Now do you get it nit-wit?

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Maurice from Ontario

    Not only does what Barack Obama say make sense, he always seems to be able to lay it out in a logical, comprehensible way. He exudes confidence in the American people and inspires us to walk forward...through the doubts, through the fears...to the clarity that will come at the end. Not only does America need this man as its president, but the world needs this type of leadership.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. proud american

    ONE NATION- YES WE CAN!

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Tired of Idiots

    Finally we have someone who knows that the Boogie man is not coming to get us no time soon. We are the boogie men if we don't address the issues that our tearing us up from the inside. This is a total 180 from the toddler that's in office now.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Sammy

    Well he had to make choices. Both are popular for both conservatives and liberals alike. Of course he will be attacked on how he would do them.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. LT

    Barack...please try hard. many of us feel like pawns in the big money game with the 'bailout.' The little guys are paying for the Wall Street WISE GUYS fumbles, and that ain't right. do your best. Good Luck on Nov 4.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Danny in Chicago

    Mike

    October 31st, 2008 4:10 pm ET

    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?

    Are you serious? How many people do you know living in a house that were killed by someone OTHER THAN OUR OWN? I mean, where the hell have you been? That same ole Republican tactic is SO OLD AND OUTDATED?

    If you're concerned about your safety – that's a legitimate issue, but start talking about police and crime if that's what you want to say – and by the way – crime isn't so bad in this country.

    So what are you really trying to say Mike? Because most of us are tired of people trying to scare us. It just isn't working this election. Go ahead and vote McCain – but shut up about the fear tactics!

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Lisa Burke

    Love you OBAMA...

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Redneck Racist in Pittsburgh

    A bit presumptuous I think. But then again this is Wolf Blitzer and CNN. I think Wolf gets his own set of tingly feelings when he talks to BO.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Haisser

    Everything is going to change if Obama wins, as a Mexican-American I will feel far more excepted and welcome here in my own country!!

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Relevant

    Mike said: "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?"

    Just how unsafe do you feel? Do you REALLY live in a perpetual state of fear that "those towelheads" are going to come slit YOUR throat in the middle of the night?

    Don't be so ignorant. This country has much more severe problems to deal with as a result of the Bush Administration making people like you believe in ghouls and goblins to distract you from their real agenda: the abject fleecing of the American people.

    I mean I know it's Halloween and all, but... come out from under the bed.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Niel in Illinois

    Isn't it nice when you have an intelligent person? Not just an idiot running around criticize his opposition.

    VOTE FOR THE MAN WITH A PLAN

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. curtis

    He should ban Wolf hunting out of helicopters as number six!! That would put a thorn in Caribou Barbie's craw.

    October 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. terry

    This is why I and so many other American people love this guy. these are straight for plans that he have in mind to help the average joe. Sen Mccain is not really putting his plans out there like this, or he has no intention of change anything major to what's already in place. As President you have to be able to think on your feet, and be willing to change course if necessary. Sticking to your guns is not always the best way to solve your individual problem and certainly not a national problem.

    October 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Annie from WI

    Mike said: October 31st, 2008 4:10 pm ET

    "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?"

    You don't get it. You and people like you have it all backwards–like primitive cave dwellers afraid of wild animals and spooks in the night. To be safe, to be truly safe in the long run, we must be strong. We must have prestige and respect in the world from other countries. The less strong we are economically and morally the greater the chance for a true disaster. Obama understands this so his priorities are to make the country and its people strong.

    Bush did not keep us safe. 9/11 happened on his watch. Katrina happened on his watch (and showed how ill prepared we were for a terrorist attack or any disaster.) These things would not have happened under Gore because Gore would not have ignored the PDB and he would not have hired incompetent cronies to run FEMA–because Gore, like Obama but unlike NEO-CONS, RESPECTs the US government and its role in our lives. Obama won't ignore a PDB either that warns of an attack. But he's not gonna put everything on hold that is good for our country because he is scared to death, as are most people who vote Repug. We can't stop putting our country first just because we are scared.

    October 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Ron, WI

    Vote for Obama!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Rob R

    way to lay it on the line....shows courage and strength
    TO MIKE: get off the fear potty and buck up for CHANGE.

    October 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Time to move on

    The peoples president,what a great priority.
    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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