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. Truman

    God Bless America! And the "rule of law" through reasonable people. If McCain wins this election, I am not sure we can survive the aftermath. Ignorance will have won out over intellect. Hate over kindness, injustice over justice, and yes evil over good (sorry separationist).

    Palin and McCain will be the end of Democracy!

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Bill in Ct.

    To the: (TheTruthHurts), This countries national security is not at RISK, that crap is something you Republicans play up to put fear in people. If you racist NEO-CONS didn't treat people the way you do, you wouldn't have to worry about some one trying to get back at you.

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. curtis

    You folks might not want to open that Khalidi vault. McCain had much more of a relationship with him than did Obama. His biggest financial supporter was Mcsame.

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. A.E

    I guess all McCain supporters are just plain stupid>>>>>>

    May be Alaska is the place for them and take Joe the fake plumber with you.

    God bless Obama and we're determine to win.

    October 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Mike

    We need to give this talented, experienced, knowledgeable, man of wisdom and understanding, a chance to do what we know he can and will do.

    I cannot believe that here are people out there that believes McCain is going to be different than Bush. Bush and the Republicans were a disaster for America!!

    October 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. John Q. Cynic

    Obama's first details are going to mend the damage Bush, and his pet monkey aka Cheney has, and continues to do with our nation against middle eastern countries (Pakistan for one) who we need help from, when it comes to terrorists working in that region. Give the election to Boris, and Natasha, and we might wake up one morning to news that a nation has attacked the US. Not a group of angry idiots who take sand showers and shave with box cutters, but a nation with a billion man army and nukes. Aim at Texas first...please. Sorry Texans...but Bush is your pet, the rest of us are tired of your pet missing the litter box.

    October 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Dirk

    National Security is lumped in with Energy Independence. Also, should it be a priority on its own? Should we build a missle shield around Europe or should we get jobs going again? Hmm....

    This is where Republicans fall way short. McCain has given nothing. Where's his priorities? I'll tell you: 1) Attack Barrack; 2) Keep Sarah away from the media; 3) Give myself and my rich friends tax cuts; 4) Continue to propogate our tax cut as a way to stimulate the economy and create jobs; 5) Keep americans scared and dumb so they never question us.

    What kind of America do you want to live in?

    October 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Lena in DC

    True DIVINE intervention at work. I continue to pray that all will go well.
    Namaste'

    October 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Dick in Sioux Falls

    The comment about keeping us safe as the first priority. That is a given. Our security has been endangered by the stupid Bush policies, and not responding to the warning of am impending Al Quida attack prior to 9/11, and I have complete confidence in the wisdom, judgment, and decency of Barack Obama.
    I used to admire John McCain, but have lost so much respect for him. He has used his 5+ years of imprisonment to gain a Senate seat, and uses it at every opportunity as though that qualifies him to be President. Nonsense! As the youngest of 5 brothers who served in WWII, any one of my brothers were better qualified to be President than he is. They went through the horror of hand-to-hand combat both in the Battle of the Bulge and Okinawa; an experience totally foreign to John McCain. Certainly I honor his service in Vietnam, but his prison camp experience does not automatically qualify him to be President. He has neither the maturity (despite his long years), nor the judgment to be Commander in Chief. We don't need another President who is in the pocket of the Military Industrial Complex which Eisenhower warned us about 50 years ago.
    I pray the incipient racism resident in all white Americans to some extent does not prevent us from enjoying the exciting leadership of this remarkable young man. I'm a white 82 year old who is hopeful that I am one among millions of senior citizens who appreciate the message of hope and unison Barack Obama reperesents.

    October 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Alex Miranda

    Obama has defined the right priorities for this country.If he is true ti his promises and commitments, he will have 8 years to save the US!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Commonwealth of Virginia

    Sen. Obama is ready to lead now. He is level headed and is prioritizing what needs to get done. John McCain on the other hand is to erratic and that scares the bajesus outta me.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Ikesquared

    Change is a comin'...
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Dick in Sioux Falls

    The comment about keeping us safe as the first priority. That is a given. Our security has been endangered by the stupid Bush policies, and not responding to the warning of am impending Al Quida attack prior to 9/11, and I have complete confidence in the wisdom, judgment, and decency of Barack Obama.
    I used to admire John McCain, but have lost so much respect for him. He has used his 5+ years of imprisonment to gain a Senate seat, and uses it at every opportunity as though that qualifies him to be President. Nonsense! As the youngest of 5 brothers who served in WWII, any one of my brothers were better qualified to be President than he is. They went through the horror of hand-to-hand combat both in the Battle of the Bulge and Okinawa; an experience totally foreign to John McCain. Certainly I honor his service in Vietnam, but his prison camp experience does not automatically qualify him to be President. He has neither the maturity (despite his long years), nor the judgment to be Commander in Chief. We don't need another President who is in the pocket of the Military Industrial Complex which Eisenhower warned us about 50 years ago.
    I pray the incipient racism resident in all white Americans to some extent does not prevent us from enjoying the exciting leadership of this remarkable young man. I'm a white 82 year old who is hopeful that I am one among millions of senior citizens who appreciate the message of hope and unison Barack Obama reperesents.
    There may be something in this statement that repeats something I have said elsewhere, but never in this context.

    October 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Angelicamb

    Someone recently asked me what I am afraid of. That's easy: another republican president...........

    October 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Shalom

    I am an independent and I have decided today, after listening to Seneter Obama, he is the right choice for our country and for the world at this time of our generation. I can predict that he will win and
    the world will be much safer and at peace after the election; a psychological mind set change for this time.

    Shalom

    October 31, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Terry

    When has McCain really been tested? Not to knock what the man has gone through, but being locked up in Vietnam and tortured doesn't mystically make a person a superior leader.

    That same silly logic could apply to him being a superior toilet cleaner because of his ability to clutch the brush.

    McCain is living in his deluded cold war world. I had a great deal of respect for the man, his dirty politics show no shame.

    October 31, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Jack

    Dear Mike

    If our government stopped meddling where it doesn't belong and concentrated on making our borders safer and our economy stronger you would be safe. But ignorant people like you believe our government does nothing wrong and does everything right for the sake of spreading democracy to place they may not be ready for it yet. Grow up, grow a set and find some intelligence.

    October 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Plan?

    A man with a plan? Seriously??

    Did Bill Clinton not say 2 days ago that Obama didn't have a clue how to handle the economic situation and ran to his advisors along with Clinton's advisors for help.

    Give me something that I can sell to the American people, they are dumb enough to believe anything I say. At least he's got one thing right, the people willing to vote for him are dumb enough to be sold anything!

    October 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Sherri

    I'd be very curious as to why every day this week, around 7am Pacific Time, McCain or Palin rallies are always on CNN....is this because you were accused of being pro-Obama? I have not seen one Biden or Obama rally....

    October 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. will

    I 'm so glad Obama didn't say fight, fight, fight like that old fool call McCain. As anyone with any kind of brain would know without income or revenue there are really no growth. So, if there is no growth then there is only? I think most people in America are ready to start growing once again, and stop all of the non-sense fighting.

    McCain = no change

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Camarooned

    Mike, I think you know that security and energy independence are related. Further, there is no doubt that public safety would trump subsidizing your mini wind farm.

    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Democracy will prevail

    The posts on this thread have been largely civil and literate. I am impressed. They are still BS, but I am impressed nonetheless.

    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Mary

    Doug, VA

    Stablizing this economy is "National Security" think about it....
    if that's possible

    October 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Independent but Leaning

    His top priority for '09 ought to be doing his job in the Senate (for a change) and showing his ability to "unite" by working with President McCain.

    October 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. Justin

    Sounds like a great way to start off. GObama!

    October 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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