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. Johny civil

    Wow how do you do it Barack. . Oh i forgot you were made for that job ... Change we need

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Mike in AZ (Independent)

    Energy is a HUGE problem...If we have more solar and wind, we will
    1. Use less Oil, which
    2. Gives money to fund terrorism
    3. Create jobs only Americans can have
    4. Saving the Planet (from ourselves)
    5. Promote other countries to do the same and make them more independent.....
    Barack is a brilliant, Brilliant man that I would be very proud to have as my president!!

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Sam

    It took eight years of bushononics, war and utter disregard for America to create a man like Barack Obama. Steady, thoughtful, determined, and most of all an honest longing to serve the people. America better seize on it for an opportunity like this will not come for decades. Just look around Washington and you will not find a single person Republican or Democrat or any with the same characteristics as Obama. Colin Powell could have been that but I can never forget the that speech he gave in the UN supporting the Bush administration's campaign to go to war. Such a situation I am sure will never happen in an Obama admin. Like his selection of the VP, or questioning of Paulsen, he does his homework very well much to the envy of his politicians who have much more experience. The difference is that Obama wants to do it right as compared to doing it for any other reason.

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Dawn

    You go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. Irony

    You have a better chance of being killed by a drunk driver than killed by a terrorist! Get your priorities straight and stop being afraid of nothing. Let's be realistic, and take care of something we can change. Lets stop wasting our money on fear politics and pay attention to the real problems in the US.

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Maria Rivero

    I agree with Mike. The economy was up and running on September 10, 2001.
    In the months following the terrorist atack, chaos prevailed.

    October 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Ron

    I don't know what the repugs are going to do with such a disciplined intellectual at the helm after having so much fun with that puppet for the last eight years

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Turning the page

    Every moderate and independent and undecided, please vote for Obama. We need this guy, and you know it in your heart of hearts. McCain is a decent man but the issues confronting the nation at this point are beyond his abilities – honestly! Not to mention, God forbid if Palin has to step in, then we're really cooked – honestly!

    If you love your country and care for the future of your kids, vote for Obama.

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

    lol Mike, I'm sure he's going to get the ENTIRE military and police forces to help build solar panels, because those are his only two priorities. Energy and Economy. Security is expendable. So is education, apparently...

    No, his first priority should be to tell people that they still have to breathe. Next, the stuff that falls out of the sky every once in awhile, yeah, you have to drink it occasionally, and its called 'water'.

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Georgia Peach

    To Mike,
    You don't get it! Do you? Economic stability and energy independence ARE OUR TICKETS to being SAFE! How can we be safe if we are weak at home...if our ecomony is in shambles AND if we continue to suck oil from foreign countries.

    How safe will we be with an irrational, fearful war monger (who by the way has had a deadly form of cancer and is 72 years old) as President and a potential Vice President who lacks any intellectual curiosity about the world beyond the Alaskan border and who thinks even parts of our own country are nanti-American than others.

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. michael lopez

    YES! I am loving it! He already nows what he is going to do on day one! This proves my point that he is not only ready but is exactly what this country needs right now! I cant wait to wake up on wednesday morning feeling refreshed and with a sense of hope in the air!
    What is Mccain going to do? Maybe continue to bash Obama and pull his puppet(s) (Joe the idiot and Sarah "F"ailin) around on a leash!

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Jim Doyle

    Compare this statement to what the Repubs are saying. One of McKlan's top campaign advisers was asked to respond to the fact that only 20% of the electorate knows what McCain stands FOR. He was asked, in light of that, what does McCain stand FOR. His answer? We're going to point out that Barack Obama is weak on experience, and that he can't defend the country, or words to that effect. Go Obama!

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    Now, perhaps government for the people, not just for the rich.

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. McCain's priorities

    He'll ask his VP to help him with the priority

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

    Mike- he obviously wants to keep us safe, and part of that is not funneling money into countries that support terrorists just because we are dependent on their oil.

    Solving the energy crisis will help our economy and our security, and almost as a side effect will help the environment. It is a win-win situation all around.

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

    OBAMA/BIDEN all the way.
    We do not need a "joe the plumber – Palins running mate" as VP

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

    He's not the President yet.

    A Democrat

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. just me

    Mike...First, read the article...the list he was given to choose from does not include security or safety. Second, the best this we can do to keep us safe is to keep us strong financially and through energy independence and education. Maybe you are used to living in a world of fear as that is what kept the current administration in office. I prefer hope over fear.

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

    These priorities show Obama really puts "country first."

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Mark form San Diego

    To Mike who said "Why would his first priority not be keeping us safe? Does it matter if I have a windmill in my yard to give me electricity if I'm dead?"

    Sounds that you ae looking for any excuse not to support Obama.

    October 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Blue in Red AZ

    This is why he already has my vote and EVERYONE in my family from CA, AZ and WA! he is concerned, in touch and relates to people like me

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Malai

    Daz my President... This guy will have a really interesting approach to the issues facing this country. We have had some good presidents before but this guys is needed more than ever now in this country to America to the next era of technological advancement. Even if you didn't vote for him, you will be proud of him as your president.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Chae

    Getting our economy back on track and energy independence are things that are going to keep us safe. Part of keeping us safe is making sure that our infastructure is strong so that we can afford all the fancy war toys that keep us "safe." Also, what would you suggest he do to make us safer you know besides restoring our relationships and image with other nations? That is one thing that is going to make us much safer and McCain can't possibly accomplish that.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. johnq

    Hey David from Germany,
    Don't count on US anymore. This guy will stand by while who ever comes to your door.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Will

    "Why would his first priority not be keeping us safe? Does it matter if I have a windmill in my yard to give me electricity if I'm dead?" – Mike

    What are you afraid of Mike?

    I think it's a shame that there's so much fear in our country. So far, fear has given us a really bad war and the Patriot Act (which throws habeus corpus out the window).

    Of course, I personally think it's our economic situation that's REALLY scary. Joblessness, inflation, people losing their homes, a broken financial system... these things breed desperation, which in turn breeds crime and violence.

    So if Mr. Obama can get the finances under control, we will be safer.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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