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. JuTon

    I love your priorities Barack!!! Well thought out and makes a lot of sense. None of this can be done without stabilization of the economy and we can't keep depending on China for money for energy!

    Obama/Biden 08 & 12! 5 more days til the finish!

    October 31, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. mitch

    im glad our next president has priorities and plans. mccain has attacks on obama's priorities and plans.........

    October 31, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Pua, HI

    It is so refreshing to have such a brilliant individual like Senator Obama as our next President, along with a capable Vice President, Senator Biden.

    October 31, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. John in Ohio

    I'm so excited for the future. I can't wait. And if Obama puts out a call for mechanical/electrical engineers or for military vets who want to get into teaching, I'll answer.

    October 31, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. Michelle, PA

    I love a man who thinks long-term and has his priorities in order.

    October 31, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Spread the Wealth!

    You forgot to say your number one priority is taxing those that do and giving it to those that don't.

    Spread the wealth remember? How can you forget so fast!

    October 31, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. tulsa

    Senator, We are behind you.
    We know it's not going to happen in 100 days. Not in a year, not in one term, probably. All we expect is an honest attempt at working towards those goals.
    Keep the congress in line.
    Keep us safe.
    Weed out corruption regardless of party.
    Keep our place in the world rising. Get us back to where we were 8 years ago.
    We are willing to work hard. We are willing to sacrifice.
    We are ready for change.
    We stand with you.
    VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN!

    October 31, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. GA Independent

    Excellent answer. But if there is a stimulus plan – consider a requirement that any "checks" are spent on American small businesses, "made in America", etc. Fix your car, hire someone to repair your house, tutor your kid, buy a product made/mined/drilled/dug/etc. in our country. Get people to spend these dollars on US business and industry so the wealth truly does spread WITHIN. Maybe the next check is only worth 50% of face value if spent at Walmart on electronics...

    October 31, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Well..

    At least he *has* priorities outside of just getting himself elected, unlike John McCain who has sacrificed his integrity, his morals, and his soul to the RNC just to get into office so he can spit on his fathers grave. McCain is no different in Bush in that aspect – he HAS to one up his father.

    Looking forward to the election results on Tuesday that will put this man in the White House.

    October 31, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Denise Bolin

    Barack Obama just keeps on proving why he should be the next President – he is eloquent, intelligent, knowledgeable, well-spoken, and his temperament is that of a leader. All the negative and hateful slurs that the McCain has thrown at him have divided this nation. They are willing to lie and mislead the American people in order to get elected. I don't want a President of that character, and I certainly don't want Palin anywhere near the White House with her right wingnut mentality and lack of understanding of foreign policy.

    October 31, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. John in Ohio

    "[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."

    So there you go, pundits and independents who've complained that Obama hasn't acknowledged the difficulty that the financial crisis poses for anyone trying to establish meaningful energy and economic reforms.

    Yes, Obama does know that there is a problem with the economy, and he does know that fixing it is job one, but he also has a plan for after this crisis ends.

    October 31, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Leah

    It took a democrat to clean up after the first Bush mess,,, here we go again! Yes We Can!

    October 31, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. jeff

    PEOPLE OF AMERICIA i my self am tired of the war bush didint go for binladan he was more into his oil stock earyer this year mc.cain said he didint care if it took one hundred years he would keep going on it IF thats what they want its going to put america broke countrys such as china are being given our jobs WHY? because bush borrowed money from them dont put grandpaw bush behind george

    CHANGE vote for brak obamia thank you

    October 31, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Mikey

    Make sure you go out and VOTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Better yet, volunteer to help Get Out The Vote !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. VETERAN FOR OBAMA

    Senator McCain you are no hero, you are in fact a terrorist.

    Your campaign advisor & "Transition Chief" William Timmons was a Saddam Hussein lobbyist for 5 years.
    You pal around with Gordon Liddy, domestic terrorist.
    You are a member of "The Project for a New American Century" – a radical extremist terrorist organization.
    Your VP candidate's husband Todd Palin is a domestic terrorist in the Alaskan Independence Party.
    You accuse Obama of knowing Rashid Khalidi, yet you yourself have given Rashid Khalidi & the PLO $500,000.00!!! So by your logic, if Obama is a terrorist sympathizer like you claim, then you Senator McCain are a state sponsor of terrorism. You are, by your own twisted logic, a terrorist by your own admittance.
    You have met with Chilean Dictator Pinochet, a terrorist.
    You're coordinated effort to use FOX NEWS, the Bush Administration, your campaign, Sarah Palin, and The Justice Department to commit voter fraud, voter intimidation, & voter suppression is an act of terrorism.

    John McCain please keep your dignity, drop out of the race, and endorse your friend & colleague Barack Obama as President and let's all move forward from here together.

    October 31, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Nimi from NY

    Jobs!! baby!! jobs!!. That's the best way to rebuild this economy. But we must vote first. Please go and vote if you haven't yet done so.

    October 31, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. S. Boatman

    He Has My Vote And I Will Be Pleased He He Can Do Any Of Those Five Things! He He Does He Will Surely Have My Vote Again In Four Years!

    October 31, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. JIM HAWK

    This is why I will vote for Mr Obama..He has a clear view of what this
    country needs..Central Pa turning Blue !!!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. ralph

    Good for Obama for thinking of financial crisis first instead of spending money this nation does not have right away.

    October 31, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  20. Jason

    I can't wait to watch our country become a great place to live and work again. Being the leader of the free world!

    VOTE PEOPLE!!! Our country is depending on it.

    Obama 2008/2012

    October 31, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. miss yawning

    can't wait to see you in the Oval Office, Mr. President...we hope you would keep your promises....

    October 31, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Abby

    Thoughtful, brilliant and presidential. YES WE CAN!!!

    Lets finish storing America.

    OBAMA 08!!!

    October 31, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. s

    To quote someone else, these priorities sound like Obama IS putting
    "country first!"

    October 31, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Sean

    stimulus package! arrrrhh..can't wait to see that check in my mail. hurry up obama. i need money for groceries

    October 31, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  25. Free at Last!

    I really think an Obama presidency will allow white people to honestly be critical of a black man, in a mixed audience, based on how he performs as president without the false stigma of being considered a racist. This has always been awkward for me before, it seems OK now.
    I know I will feel quite liberated.

    October 31, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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