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. Dick in Sioux Falls

    If there is an "October Surprise", and it's racism, my already low opinion of the wisdom of the American electorate will be reinforced.

    October 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. 60 yr old white woman

    Great Interview! He is so very presidential and makes me feel secure and hopeful for the first time in a long time. I've been voting for 40 years and I haven't been this excited about a candidate since Bobby Kennedy. Please, everyone, VOTE and use your brain and your common sense – do not vote on propaganda and smears. Vote what is best for this country.

    October 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Indian needs Barrack !

    I wish we had a leader like Obama. I'm sick of our politicians !

    October 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Charles L. Shaw

    If the economy is #1? And if the Government truly wants to restore confidence in the Banking system and Wall Street, lets hope we start seeing some big insiders getting charged and arrested for causing this crisis from their crimes.
    8 trillion dollars stolen from this economy and NO ONE HAS BEEN CHARGED ? We know this was a criminal act, let see some justice served.

    October 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Dick in Sioux Falls

    If there is an "October Surprise", and it's racism, my already low opinion of the wisdom of the American electorate will be reinforced. And I have not said this before!

    October 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Jay C of Sac

    What about National Security??? Umm "B"-Rock, I love you dearly but come on man....you have to keep this country safe.

    October 31, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. JS ...... santee

    Mike.......Irag is Mccains unfinished Vietnam Quest. It is his whole frame of reference. It is how he has lived his life. We would never be safe with McCain. It would be one skirmish after another. At least Obama is looking beyond the war in Irag and to the economical one we our waging in America. Haven't you heard....It's the economy studpid.

    October 31, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Cadmus

    Those priorities are commendable, but I have to think President Obama's priorities #2 and #3 may be forced lower down by pressing events in Iraq...like Bush's the failure to reach an accord about troop levels in Iraq...and the men languishing in Guantanamo...and a miserable winter fighting the Taliban. I think an "energy independence" initiative won't be ready until the Summer of '09. Healthcare reform will be even later...2010.

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Becky CA

    Priorities seems good: Economy, Energy, Healthcare and education. These are based on new policy proposals. All are important for our national security.

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. jeet

    You will get your Messiah, sure enough. But the ones his presidency will hurt most are not the Republicans, but in fact the poor that he claims his policies would help. This will become more evident four years from now.

    For even the best of men...are men at best. Obama is not the answer to your life woes and a solution to most of your problems but that is something you will have to discover for yourself.

    But I have heard of a real Messiah who came 2000 years ago and was crucified and rose from the dead and is coming again...

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. Kina, A Veteran in NYC

    that's it...there's no challenger, ppl...Sen. Obama just put the nail in Sen. McCain's coffin...just compare his demeanor to Sen. McCain's when he gave that interview to Larry King...It's game over...

    Obama/Biden 08.


    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. B

    Mike, wake up. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightening than of getting killed by terrorists. If anything, that wind turbine in your yard would help keep you from sending as much of your money to gulf states where terrorists are bred. It would also keep guys like Dick Cheney from having to send the US military to war in order to secure the oil.

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Diane Panama City Fl

    So many typical illiterate Republicans. That's what you get for cutting funding for special education.

    So, let's connect the dots for them since so many that post here lack critical thinking skills. Ok, here goes: Priority #2 about energy independence, according to Senator Obama, IS tied to National Security. You can't be safe as long as we are importing oil from the Mideast that provides petro-dollars to Ismalic Terrorists who are controlled and influenced by Osama Bin Laden. Alright, now all you dim-witted little Republicans out there, raise your hand if I need to connect the dots for you again.

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Dick in Sioux Falls

    Mike, it is a given that a President's primary task is to keep us safe. Why didn't you call Bush to account for doing and saying nothing when he was warned about an impending attack prior to 9/11? And the excursion into Iraq has not made us safer, quite the contrary.

    October 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Bubba

    Like it or not, Obama has framed the discourse very expertly. He acts, then McCain Palin reacts. Obama says "Change," McCain speaks against change. Obama brings up taxes, and then McCain talks about taxes. He is the front-runner because he's got the ideas.
    People, do you really care about this country? Our strength is our freedom; we've always said "all Americans are free and equal" while quietly putting down the black man. Now we have a black man too Christian to hate us back, and willing to add his fuel to the fire that burns inside us all, to be an example to his own people. We have a duty to shine out to the world, to be the city on the hill that every man wishes to travel to, and to teach others how we did it.

    October 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. johnrj08

    John McCain thinks that being a fighter and a survivor means that he has been properly "tested" to be President. He doesn't appear to understand what the qualities are that make a good leader, other than military experience and pugnaciousness.

    October 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. M

    "a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans"

    1% of working Americans pays 40% of income tax. If this 1% of Americans moves to other countries, 99% of working American will be in the poorhouse. So...... keep dreaming about spreading the wealth.

    I can guarantee, Bill Gates will be moving somewhere else and $200 million or more that he donates every year, will be gone too.

    Democrats had majority in Congress for last 2-4 years. Did they cancel CAFTA???????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The jobs will continue being exported, unless labor unions will agree to pay cut.

    Lawyer lies every time his mouth is moving – remember that joke????

    October 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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