Obama takes oath, speaks of 'limitless' possibilities for the nation
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has begun his second term by declaring that the nation's "possibilities are limitless."
Speaking before a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands on the National Mall, Obama said, "We are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together."
In his second inaugural address, Obama didn't dwell on any first-term accomplishments, but instead looked to hard work ahead in a country still grappling with a sluggish economy. And he urged Washington to find common ground over his next four years.
Obama earlier placed his hand on two Bibles -- one that was used by Martin Luther King and the other used by Abraham Lincoln -- and recited the oath of office. Vice President Joe Biden was also sworn in for his second term.
The President says that a decade of war is now ending and an economic recovery has begun.
America's possibilities are limitless, the president said in his inaugural address. He said we will seize this moment if we seize it together.
Obama said that America can't succeed when only a few at the top do well and a growing many can barely make it. The country's prosperity must rest on a rising middle class, he said.
President Barack Obama says the nation must make the "hard choices" to reduce the cost of health care and the size of the deficit.
But the president said every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity, and he held up Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as commitments that strengthen America.
Speaking in his inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol Monday, Obama said he rejected the belief that the country must choose between caring for the generation that built the country - or investing in the generation that will build the future.
Struggles with Republicans over reducing the deficit and paring back costly entitlement programs loom for Obama in his second term.
President Obama pointed to the recent deadly shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, as he says the nation's children must be protected from harm.
In an inaugural address in which he provided a broad outline of his goals for a second term, Obama said, "Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm."
Obama's second term promises a battle with Congress over the sweeping gun control measures the president outlined last week in response to the elementary school massacre in Connecticut.