October 31st, 2008
04:18 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama's top priorities for '09

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/31/art.obama.blitzer.cnn.jpg caption="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. Tim in Texas

    Eveyone has been so up in arms during this campaign about people playing the race card when Obama is the worst one of the all!! I am so tired of the biased media and Barack Hussein Obama, II himself using the "first black as president" card to gain support of certain special interest groups and the black community in general. He is less "Black" than I am "Native American Indian". He doesn't even have enough black ancestry to qualify BY US LAW, to be considered as "Black". If the media would report the truth instead of their biased views, things would be cast in a different light. Check is lineage, he is less than 8% of "African" heritage, he is more "White" than anything else (41.5% to be exact). To be "Black" or "African American" you have to be 1/8th or that race of which Obama is not. He IS however, 14.5 Arabic which WOULD make him our first Arab-American President which would be even MORE momentous, don't you think???? Maybe CNN should just go back to reporting the news instead of trying to create or influence it. CNN is the perfect example of where the saying "Nothing but a media circus" got started.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. david

    I haven't been so convinced about Obama but I'm starting to actually believe that he might be the man to make this country a better place. Besides, if McCain died, what would Palin's objectives be? she doesn't have a clue

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Carl

    Sounds good to me! Let's make it happ'n Capt'n

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. TN for Obama

    This is a man that I'm proud to have represent me as an American.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. kmsujon

    Here you go OBAMA!!! You have vision and plan. The nation is looking forward to have you as a president. We need a president who can sense the issues of the nation and plan ahead to face the reality. You got it OBAMA.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Lex Blanton

    Mike – what are the terrorists going to destroy if you're bankrupted and now own nothing?

    Geez you conservatives are like babies – you want to be kept safe but you're not willing to spend for it.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. annette

    Mike – Gee, you sound just like McCain – the mouth opens before the brain engages.

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. chazzboston

    Barrack? Can you have “Joe The Plumber” executed when you get into power?

    October 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Carlos

    That's why Obama has the lead, because he knows where the target is. Period. No dramas, no gimmicks, no erratic behavior and no hiding from the press because you cannot put two sentences together in a coherent way.

    McCain's only target is to throw mud at Obama to see if anything sticks. No plan, no ideas. If we make the mistake of being that dumb and elect McCain, we would be the laughing stock of the world.

    Now, if you don't go out and vote. It will not matter, so get out of the couch, and VOTE, of course, vote for Obama 🙂

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Canuck

    Great, Now McCain can rip these objectives to peices instead of providing us with his mandate....the republican gears keep on keepin on

    GO OBAMA!!/09

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Rache from Bowie

    McCain, what would you do in '09?

    There's dead silence then...crickets!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Dallas, TX

    Please he just knows what to say when...he doesn't have any real experience, except voting president and launching his presidential bid from day 1 since he stepped into the Senate.

    What a scary thought on Halloween...Obama, Pelosi and they rest of those crooks in the Senate!

    My vote goes to McCain! 2008!

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Deanna Downs - PA

    Thank you god for bringing us Senator Obama!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Donald Gordon, Ontario, CA

    This is good. We all know that he wouldn't be able to fix EVERYTHING in a short time, Barack wants to do what he thinks is most important first, which is obviously starting to fix the economy. I think that Barack Obama has the chance to be our best president in a long time.

    Obama-Biden '08!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Maverick, not BS

    I guess I could have an illegal come install the windmill in my yard.... of course, only if a nuclear bomb doesn't destroy my home first.

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. John From New York

    Obama seems like a real sincere person who really does care about our country. He may not be as experienced as some people want him to be, but this is just what we need. A person with fresh ideas who represents the next generation of Americans.

    I am very proud of Barack Obama.

    October 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. PS from Tennessee


    You must be so gullible to belief that we are fighting them over there to keep from fighting them over here. On 9/11, there was NOBODY from Iraq. Barack Obama's diplomacy and intelligence will keep us safe and out of stupid wars that bankrupt our Country. You can thank that pinhead, W, for the economic mess we are in now with his "Bush Doctrine".

    Obama 08, 12

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

    I just love a man with a plan. Look at how he ran his compaign. Even the Republicans are in absolute awe in how he has run his campaign. Look at how McCain ran his campaign...like a trainwreck. Just like the Republicans blew up our economy with deregulation and unregulated credit default swaps that allow the subprime mortgages to enter the stock market to become ticking bombs through out our stock market.

    I never believe what politicians say....but if Obama even runs this country half as well as he has his campaign, then I don't think we will end up in a depression. Good god, if Congress won't give him money for one of these projects, Obama just needs to tell the voters where to send the money for the project, and I will sent him what I can afford. We will probably make it easier that collecting taxes.

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

    If Sen Obama is elected President and my fervent hope is that he will, he has got one hell of a mess to deal with.....so I hope we will all be patient and give him a chance to sort this country out.
    Nothing is going to be fixed over night and I'm sure there will be some things that may take a little longer than others to fix or enforce right
    I think though, most of us are prepared to let this fine young man take charge of this country and know he will do what is best for all of us....we have had 8 long years of a nightmare that doesn't seem to end, so I'm sure we can wait a while longer to make sure we give Sen Obama the time he needs.
    McCain is not fit to run this country he has proved that over and over these past few weeks....erratic...no economy knowledge...lack of judgement in choosing Palin...rabble rousing in his campaign and now we have to contend with having a singing cowboy and a guy whose not even a plumber.....who, by the way is now an authority on policy!!! being dragged around with them!!!
    When will all this nonsense stop.....if they think it's smart and funny, they are both wrong, it is an insult on the American people's intelligence.


    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Joe Democrat

    Leaving Iraq..has to be the first thing he does as President or he will disappoint a lot of people.

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

    To Mike:

    Don't worry about even having a back yard if the financial crisis continues at its current rate. And energy independence is a large component in keeping us safe. Isn't that why our conservative friends across the aisle chant "Drill, Baby Drill" because they feel it will free us from our dependence on foreign oil? I think so. Too bad drilling doesn't solve all our problems.

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

    Every president since Nixon has promised energy independence.
    Gonna be a lot of disheartened Obama fans when he can't deliver on all he promises.

    October 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. OBAMA IN 2008!

    VOTE EARLY to ensure his presidency!!!!!!!

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


    To answer your question, energy independence is going to make all of us safer because the getting away from foreign oil means we will stop being dependent on Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria. Remember, these countries do not like us. Also, understand that victory in Iraq does not mean we're going to be safe from terrorist attacks. We need a wider scope when looking at national security...Obama understands that view.

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

    He didn't mention national security because it wasn't on the list. READ - PEOPLE

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