October 31st, 2008
04:18 PM ET
5 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. Scott NYC Independent

    J.S. get a life – don't let that old man McSame decive you any more than he already has. How about lookin up some facts on the "radical" professor instead of repeating what McSame tells you to.

    October 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Liz

    Would love to see the tapes the Los Angles Times has in their vault...

    October 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. CNN is for McCain

    @Mike:

    I don't care if he said my first priority is to make sure Mike has $1 million dollars, you wouldn't be happy. It's people like you who enjoy the divisive hateful things in the world. I will continue to pray for you and everyone else who has been sadly influenced by the McCain/Palin camp.

    October 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Anurag

    But but but... He is a baby killer, communist, will spread the wealth around.....And more he is Anti American...

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Edwina

    Mike,
    Do you remember those television ads for RIF - Reading Is Fundamental? Your response is a good example of why. He was asked to rank issues from a list of issues and National Security was not on that list of issues. Therefore, if had provided that answer, he would not have been answering the question, but rather using the forum to pander and try to sway the conversation. Kinda like Sarah Palin always wants to talk about energy and Alaska. Luckily, Barack Obama can intelligently speak to a host of issues. You betcha!

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. ANGIE

    He will be a great president!

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Riley In Nebraska

    I can't wait for a competant president!

    It's been 8 LONG years!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Michael in MO

    His first priority will be to figure out how he lost the election.

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Paul

    The economywill not matter because we are going to "spread the wealth" and everyone will have everything needed. There is no need to worry about the energy because we will tax all those big companies and give everyone enough money to meet all our needs.
    That is Obamas promise and he can not lie.
    Right?

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Obama/Biden08inJesus'Name

    To Mike:

    He specifically said energy independence is linked to national security. If we developed other sources of energy, we would not need to drill here OR send money to terrorist havens to get oil. Also, if our economy is in the toilet, how will we find the resources to keep America safe?

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Ray

    His top priority should be winning the election first and not displaying an ego. Obama has already planned Obamapalooza before this article. If Obama loses the election he will have to explain a few things?

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Sally from Cali

    Obama's bright enough to say that we don't know what will happen in January so all priorities could change. If there is a national security issue that would definitely change his priorities.

    McCain's comment about being tested already...when was he president? He's never been tested. He's never had to make an executive decision like a president. His story about the Cuban Missile crisis was 25 years ago before Vietnam even. He is so outdated and out of touch. He should retire after this. Look a the way he ran his campaign. He won a few battles, but lost a lot and will ultimately lose the war on Tuesday.

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Dan

    How could we have gotten so lucky? To receive a man that excels in organization. Just look at what he has done with this campaign. Those skills will be the most vital, when sifting through the mess the GOP has put this country in.

    FIFTY YEAR OLD REPUBLICAN VOTING FOR OBAMA/BIDEN

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. David, Sacramento

    So is he turning a blind eye to the 2 wars we are in? What about the very real possibility of a 3rd if Israel goes into war with Iran?

    Lets not forget we are in War right now. Our economy won't boom until we finish this war. Pulling out is not an option, unless you favor Al Qaeda gaining ground and there potentially being another attack on US soil.

    ...or people can continue wearing their "Obama blinders" and refuse to acknowledge the big picture of reality....

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. AY

    The youths are not voting in record numbers according to what we are hearing, American youths, please go out and vote. Go and go in multitudes, change this country, you can!!. Can you??

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Doug, Va

    Hey Mike, did you read the story. Obama was asked to choose from a list of issues and national security wasn't one of them!! Please stop being blinded by your ideology and vote smart this year!!

    October 31, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Relle Boston

    That should of read he is about the people. I am hearing that the companies that are or will receive money from the bai out packages are laying off people. How can they take our money and then lay people off. How dare they.

    October 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Felly

    I early voted for Obama in Texas. Where are Palin's medical records? Obama, Biden and McSame have released their records. We need to see what kind of lipstick she has in her records.

    October 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Jim Richmond

    CNN is in love with Obama. What happens when the love goes sour or economy goes to further down the toillete. Should we even bother to vote CNN? You already declared Obama the winner. CNN is pathetic left wing news organization and should be in Russia. I have no idea why they are here in the United States pretending to be unbiased. We are not stupid as you think we are.

    October 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Alan

    The longer we keep sending all our money to the middle east the longer the potential for terrorist attacks will continue. Right on, Obama - get us ENERGY INDEPENDENT as we straighten out our financial mess left by Bush.

    We're no longer looking at short-term safety - it's about long-term.

    October 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. BO = Body Odor

    I guess Barack doesn't need to silence his critics when he has his butt buddies at CNN doing it for him.

    October 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. CitizenAJ

    Notice how Senator Obama applies real time analysis to the problems. It would have been easy to say, the economy is the number one focus and then national security but he focus on something that can affect how well those two issues are taken care of, the financial institutions that play a major role in the economy. No strong economy and you have no money to strengthen your security. One way to strengthen the economy is to tackle energy independence, breaking away from the middle eastern countries that do not like the U.S. and creating alternative energy jobs in the U.S. economy. He understands well how they are all linked. Better than most right now. Vote people, vote Obama/Biden on Tuesday. Put America first!

    October 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. Greg285

    I like his priorities that he outlined. At least he has a plan that will help get this Great nation back on the right track! McCain only offers more of the same failed policies of George Bush and the Republican party…

    October 31, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. JAY N.H.

    J.S.

    Why doesn't McCain explain to the american people why right after the keating 5 scandel he used tax payer money to throw a family reunion for himself and his family at a navy base in Bermuda.Where he used the miltary to cart around Cindy and carry her shopping bags.

    October 31, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    BRAVO, PRESIDENT OBAMA....

    another priority over then next 8 years will have to be UNDOING all of Bush's rotten executive and legislative actions..... WE WANT OUR COUNTRY BACK

    October 31, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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