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Obama:  Economy, Security Top Priorities


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has said he intends to do whatever it takes to stabilize the economy, restore consumer confidence and create jobs.

Mr. Obama spoke in a television interview broadcast Sunday night.

Mr. Obama said fighting back a deepening recession is more important than balancing the country's budget. He also said it is important to restore faith in financial markets to allow the economy to move forward in a strong way.

The president-elect said he intends to focus on homeowners facing foreclosure. Mr. Obama said the government should set up a system of negotiation between banks and borrowers to help people stay in their homes.

The president-elect also said he will make the selection of his national security team a top priority because transition periods are times of vulnerability to terrorist attacks.

Mr. Obama reaffirmed his campaign pledges to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and to work with military commanders to draw down U.S. troops in Iraq.

Mr. Obama affirmed another promise - one he made to his children. The next president said his first family would get the new puppy he promised his daughters Malia and Sasha.

But, future first lady Michelle Obama said during the interview that the children will have to wait until after the family moves into the White House.

Mr. Obama will be sworn into office on January 20.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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