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. Alberto in Michigan

    We need to make sure everyone VOTES
    That is our priority
    VOTE PEOPLE
    Don't look at the polls just VOTE

    Obama 08/12

    October 31, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Lauren independent voter California

    This was an excellent interview.

    October 31, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. john

    obama 08!

    As a lifelong republican i am scared to death of palin as a VP.

    Considering this was mccains first major decision ,he made a poor in Palin.

    And suspending the campaign to address the "economic crisis"?? Splendid

    Obama o8

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

    Yes, I hope he seriously curtails military spending! We waste so much money here on things that have nothing to do with even terrorism. Time to focus on other issues. The Cold War is over and we can end the Terror War by shifting to alternative energy. Stop creating all these enemies!

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Mike – you nincompoop – that's always there – his military advisors are in charge of that.

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. chris

    boy oh boy the the slander has got to stop! i just watched fox news airing stuff about obama being pals with terrorist , fox shame on you and your dim witted news reporters

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. John

    Is it Tuesday yet?

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. john

    obama 08!

    As a lifelong republican i am scared to death of palin as a VP.

    Considering this was mccains first major decision ,he made a poor in Palin.

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Eric

    His first priority should be send Sarah back to Alaska so the good people can vote her out of office.

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Chris the Unemployed from CT

    This is the difference between the two campaigns, and I believe, the major rift in America. One side (in this case Obama) is telling us why we SHOULD vote for him. The other side (in this case McCain) tells us why we SHOULDN'T vote for the other guy.
    Look at Elizabeth Dole with the "Godless American's" ad. Look folks, here's the way it SHOULD be. Unfortunately Kay Hagan didn't mention that "Godless Americans" have the same rights and privileges as any other American (I personally am a Catholic American). Just like the "arab" and "muslim" attacks against Obama. Arab and Muslim Americans have the SAME rights as any other American. We're all Americans, treat us accordingly.
    So instead of telling us why we shouldn't vote for the other guy, tell us, why should we vote for you? Thank you Sen. Obama for doing that over all this time, and making all Americans feel welcome.

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Henry Ford

    America is ready to see you as president..... If you bit is as loud as your bark. We will all be blessed..

    Hope, without it we fail to believe, when you fail to believe, you fail to change, when you fail to change, you stop growing, when you stop growing, you are marginalized.

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Christina

    This is exactly why we're putting you in office.

    OBAMA '08!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. tulsa

    mike,
    get a life. Anyone with a brain knows that the question was about PROGRAMS.
    read;
    "Obama was asked to name his top priority from a list of issues, including taxes, health care, education, energy policy and immigration."
    If you notice, DEFENSE was not one of the items he was asked about.
    Your ignorance is showing. Sit and read... it'll do ya good.
    you betcha.

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Joe from france

    this is an opportunity of a life time for the americans. i hope they sieze it to elect this man. how i wish he was from my country!

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. John Criss

    I think if Obama gets elected his first priorities will be his gun control issues. Obama has the worst record on gun issue in the Congress.
    He wants to ban all semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and all hand guns. He will not let the privite citizan protect themselves. God help us all if he is elected. And PS, his Vice President is anti gun also.

    JC sends

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. yellowbmblbee, Boston

    The more I see him interact, the more I am respecting him and feeling confident he has the Americans' best interests at heart. That's the key. His whole life has been that – for the people – it's not been about him.

    Can't say that about many politicians. I just hope people don't turn on him and are realistic that he will need a good amount of time and patience from Americans before we see the fruits of his/our labor.

    I can't wait for Tuesday. Wish my state had early voting.

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Dana Knight

    Barack Obama is a breath of fresh air for the United States. He makes me proud to be an American and I have all the faith that he will bring this country together as one. We love you Barack!!

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Nina in Orlando

    Once again, Obama, unlike McShame, talking about issues that matter to Americans. Putting country first. It would be nice, even if for one day, for McShame to talk about we the people, and not about NON-ISSUES that NOBODY cares about!

    October 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. ELF

    Mike, it might matter if you have a windmill in your yard. Perhaps, your kids or grand kids will survive.

    October 31, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Jim

    Hey, Mike. How is any president going to have the money to keep us safe if the economy is in shambles? Just printing more money doesn't work, that leads to hyperinflation. President Eissenhower said that economic security and national security go hand in hand.

    October 31, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. bette

    Solid, solid as Barrrrraaaack. Soon, we'll be saying:
    President Obama, you = The One .............and Only.

    October 31, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. ANGI

    yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    YOU DA MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. vahe

    this guy know what he wants.. mccain doesnt know what he wants

    October 31, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. C A

    Obama knows what he is doing. He understands as should the American people that the first priority is to get this country back on its feet economically and to remove our dependence on foreign oil. This coupled with getting our troops out of Iraq and investing in the creation of alternate energy sources that will create new jobs has to take center stage.

    Anyone who tells you that Obama is going back on some other proposals are lying or fail to understand that current events and conditions will have an impact on other programs that any candidate wishes to implement. At least Obama is being honest. Last time McCain was asked the same question (in a debate) McCain stated that he didn't have to prioritze. That he could do everything at once. We know better. Health care, improved education and educational opportunites for our children, and reinvesting in our infrastructure will follow under an Obama administration. Improved respect for the U.S. across the globe will immediately follow Obama's election.

    October 31, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Obama Fan

    Where does bringing the troops home fit in on this list?

    October 31, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22