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. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Obama will have a tough job ahead, cleaning up after the elephants.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Ethan

    Brilliant. 32 and younger folks: grab 5 of your friends and BARACK THE VOTE!

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. the wonderer

    a bit off topic, (can't see anywhere else to post this) but has anyone seen Palin's medical records yet? were't they being released earlier this week? how many days is it now? the long delay suggests that she's hiding something VERY damaging...

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Craeg fr Canada

    It won't be easy and it will take time, plus he has to deal with whatever goes on day to day. He will need aupport and encouragement from the American people; people who will be willing to put the good of the country ahead of their personal preferences from time to time.
    He said he would "change the world". It sounds lofty, but it is true. I look forward to the days when, like the old days, the US was the world leader in promoting the progression of civilization. America includes some of the worst and some of the best examples of what humans can do.
    Many of us in Canada are pulling for you. We would rather love you than hate you.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. pam Eugene OR

    Mike @ 4:10
    What an idiot and obvious McCain supporter!
    I like Bakack's plan and the biggest part of energy independence is keeping us safe dummy.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Carol Carter

    Obama, You are Very well prepared for the President of United States. you have a well thought out plan for Health care and I agree it is a right for all of us Americans to have health care coverage. I have already voted for you.


    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Moe

    He ran one of the finest campagns in recent history. Less drama , no back stabbing and with a vigilant army of volunteers Sen. Obama is on his way to the white house.

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Relle Boston

    Barack is about the prople. His policies will keep us safe. Sfter eight years of Bush do you feel safer?

    Barack 08'

    October 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Mary Jean Hendrie

    To Mike:

    No one can keep us "safe". The person who gives up their privacy for security....deserves neither. I think this was said a couple of hundred years ago by Ben Franklin. Please excuse me if the quote is not exact. The current administration has used this scare tactic on us since the beginning of the war. Remember when the war started and anyone who disagreed was unpatriotic. We pride ourselves on our Constitution but only want those rights for those who agree with us. To defend with your life the rights of a person who professes things you would give your life for. That is the American way. Barack Obama will help us get that cake back. The rest of it is just the frosting.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Judeen

    Hi Anderson, I am a Canadian who finds the current American Election to be quite motivating to all indiviual from various walks of life. I am a proud Black Canadian who would like to say a few simple words that I found quite inspiring a profound way....Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther King Jr. could walk.....Martin Luther King Jr. walked so that Barrack Obama could run...Barrack Obama ran so.... I will tell you the rest once he is elected president of the United States of America.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. maria

    Barack I place ALL MY CONFIDENCE IN YOU. You have inspired me. You have given me strength and positive ideas.

    Barack inspite of all your priorites contiune to exercise wisdom.

    Love and spiritual coverage over you and your family.

    I say thanks to your family for giving birth to you and thanks to you for accepting the nomination of fighting for us as the President of the United States of America and a blessed friend to the world.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Lawrence in Denver


    Go out and vote! Get these rethugs out!

    ~Lawrence in Denver

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. Richard

    His first priority won't be to uphold and defend the constitution ?
    Can't wait to hear that swearing in. I Obama swear to elect activist judges who don't care what is in the constitution.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Todd from the Great Northwest

    Sound, level-headed leadership.

    October 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule and Winky Half-baked Alaska

    John MCain's priorities? STILL haven't heard one thing.

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Scott NYC Independent

    Its so good to have an intelligent President again.....oh that's right everyone has to vote first .... okay people what are you waiting for.


    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Joe in MN

    McCain priorities:

    Deal with Palin.

    Deal with Palin x2.

    Somehow deal with Palin...

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. JPM

    George Bush & Republicans had 8 years. We tried it their way. Time to try something new.

    And BTW – Energy Independence is the #1 most important priority for National Security. The two of them are sewn together.

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. Jon in Texas

    These are great priorities. Energy independence is intrinsically tied into national security, new jobs, and global climate change. Barack understands that America needs to prioritize our survival on this planet.

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Ted

    The truth is that Obama was a big part of the problem in causing the economic mess. The Democrats simply wouldnt regulate the mortgage industry. Obama will kill business in this country and companies will begin to move overseas.

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Maslah

    Can anybody tell me what is McCain's plan? oh... there's isn't any.

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. A.E

    Obama has an agenda.
    McCain has Joe the plumber.

    You decide America,.....

    October 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. DavidE73

    If he strengthen the American nuclear family, he will have done his job. If he does not, nothing else he does will matter. The good news is that he seems to love his wife and kids.

    October 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. TAJC

    It's so refreshing to see that Barack Obama is looking past the election and into the future as president. This clearly indicates his strength and love for his country and doing what is best for all citizens.

    I'm very confident that Obama/Biden will win this election, but if the unthinkable happens it's good to know both will continue there work as senators....but we won't have to worry about because they are Presiden Obama and Vice President Biden

    I'm an American who's living in Canada. I mailed my absentee ballot in the beginning of October and I have to say this was the first time in my voting history that a candidate has moved me and has me excited for our country's future.

    October 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Lynda Jones-Owings

    I think that you have your priorities in order; however we still have 3 days to go until the election. John McCain has not yet said anything of value to the people of America and I don't think that he will. But we can not under estimate him or "Girl Gone Wild" for that matter; therefore we must continue the momentum of making sure that everyone gets out to vote.

    I have already requesting my tickets to your inauguration and I know that you will be the next President of the United States.

    Go Obama!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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