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. Richard A. Spomer

    First order of buisness will be GO DOWN on Micheal Obama!

    October 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Gary

    Personally I would like to thank Senator Obama, for the way he has handle himself and his campaign, he had really cause me to relook at my attitude about life and my approach to it, because of the way he has handle himself under fire, there have been a lot of situation where I felt my character was unjustly attack, but my approach to it was by way of angry and firing back injust, so again Senator Obama I want to thank you.


    October 31, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. First

    You have to be elected! Keep speaking and you may not.

    October 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. rm


    While you are asking, can you ask the bank to release a copy of the canceled check for $400,000 that McCain stroked to Khalidi and his peeps for their causes. You need to give it a rest buddy.

    October 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. wereDOOManyways

    He had an interview with POWER 106 in LA, and he told the host that is first priority will be ending the war.

    October 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Matt

    Barack has kicked out 3 reportes who have been following him from day one for some hacks from Essence and Ebony magazine. Wow he isn't even president and already has completely suppressed the first amendment to the constitution. This clears this out of the way and he can start on the second amendment asap.

    Pathetic Barack. If it's not about race and free speech supression then why did he replace legitimate news reporters who have been following him from day one with some dilitants who occasionally show up from Essence and Ebony magazine. Welcome to the preview of the scary show he intends for us all.

    Looks like you either follow his orders or you are suppressed. Keep the change Barack America does not need its freedoms suppressed by some lace curtain radical. What a suprise there is no article about this from CNN.

    Barack Obama the best president General Electric can buy.

    October 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. tammy from miami, florida

    I raise my mug for that too. i love this guy!! can't wait to vote tomorrow 🙂
    on my day off... woo hoo taking it to the white house!!!

    happy halloween to cnn *especially anderson cooper ; )
    and to all my fellow dems! get out there and vote
    and to the reps. halloween is coming late to you guys on novemeber 4th!!! lol!!!!!

    obama/biden 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and 12 of course!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Ron

    If you think the last four years have been bad wait until the next two with Obama, Nancy and Harry and you will know what bad really means!

    October 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. sabuc for Obama

    National Security may not have been mentioned as a priority because it will still be funded and the two wars will still be ongoing. It's not like a new President gets a clean slate or a new chess board in foreign policy local issues when he takes over. A new President takes the place of the previous chess player with the moves he has done up to this point. THINK PEOPLE!!! THINK!!!

    The economy is the biggest priority for the US and the rest of the World. What happens if the economy goes down the crapper and the two unfinished wars can no longer be funded? What happens if no money is available for Homeland Security? The economy and defense are intertwined. THINK PEOPLE!!! THINK!!!

    Vote early and demand that others do as well.

    "That one" and Joe "the Biden" in '08!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Terry

    "Oh keep me safe, McCain!"

    Geez, Mike, you live in that typical Republical sphere of fear.

    Yes, there are bad people out there. Your chances of getting hurt by one are minute.

    McCain or Obama: it doesn't matter, they aren't the ones sitting at the border with a gun. The infrastructure for security has been in place for years.

    But, hey, if you want to live in an old VW van with a shotgun, heating your canned beans on a generator powered electric cooktop... go for it!

    October 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Kenneth

    Planning, not polling, is the key to any successful Presidency. Just like the way he focused on McCain while still dealing with Hillary, Obama's always looking ahead.

    And as for you Mike, this is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the BRAVE. Get it? BRAVE! Man up, Mike!

    October 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. I Choose my Friends Carefully

    Just say no to teachers taking away childrens lunch so as to share it redistribute it fairly.

    October 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. navarius

    Wanna contrast a bit, I am too surprised of Americans. Does going to Church makes one a Christain?...I cant wait to see Obama as President on Tuesday and Joe the Plumber going to where he immigrated or his parents..Where does Sara Palin come from b4 telling others americans to be better thatn others..I wanna know where her parents came from..All of you guys are children of immagrants..Native americans dont talk the way you guys speak. I thought our 3rd world countries have problem with voting problems, But America ah..We just had our election Oct. 14 and all went peacefully well..no recount, no machine problems..

    Toronto, Ontario

    October 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Bill

    I think Obama has a problem with premature elocution.

    October 31, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Agnes, CA

    vote people, and don't be fooled by the scare tactics of GOP, there was a lot of stuff that happened over those years.... destroying things is far easier than rebuilding them.... but we still have a chance to rebuilt if we vote OBAMA and BIDEN
    Time for educated people to restore this great country, no matter how hard core republicans feel about it....McCain and Palin, may energized the race issue, but have not proposed anything but distorted ad campaigns.
    Vote smart people, and do vote... be patient....wining against con artist is not so easy, so be smarter then them

    October 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. 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 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Anthony

    For all you people who think we are on the threshold of something special, remember they still belong to one of the major parties. Nothing will change, it will be the same old same old.
    Mark my words....

    October 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Darrel from Denver

    He has the right priorities.

    October 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. bababear

    The hole that has been dug for the American people during this administration is so deep and wide that it will takes years – maybe generations to dig back out. There is no quick fix. At least I believe that Obama has given thought to, has a plan for and the guts to carry forward. The sad part is thata what ever happens, the next few years are going to be hell and Obama, should he be elected, will be blamed for the hard payback. The voting public retains their water longer than their memory and common sense. Hopefully, too, with a filibuster proof voting block in the congress, perhaps the Repubs willhave to quit playing obstructionist and blaming the Dems for not doing anything. We can but hope and pray that even this is not too late to save something of the American dream for our children and grandchildren.

    October 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Frank from Canada

    From my perspective, America would be so much more respected and admired with Obama's leadership. He represents what the World should be and that's good news when we are talking about a super power.

    October 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Gabriel

    Nigeria likes the united states more compare to the british who colonised them.

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. ken

    You are the right choice....keep on keeping on!

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Dem in MD

    This is great... but I must say I wish Barack would not have mentioned plumbing - Now all we are going to hear from the McCain camp is some stupid catch phrase like –How is he going to fix the plumbing without "Joe the Plumber"?. I truly hope not and it sounds stupid, but that is all that seems to come out of that campaign.

    Please let this country Elect Obama/Biden!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Stan

    This dude is smart. It is good to have a smart president with a plan. Not someone who is just told what to do .

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |

    Hey Mike read the story instead of trying to read between the lines. Good GOD some people!!!!

    October 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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