WASHIBNGTON (AP) - Asserting "America's possibilities are limitless," President Barack Obama declared on Monday that a decade of war is ending and the nation's economy is recovering as he launched into a second term before a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands on the National Mall.
"My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it, so long as we seize it together," Obama said, moments after taking the oath of office on a crisp day in the nation's capital.
The president didn't dwell on any first-term accomplishments but looked to hard work ahead in a country still grappling with a sluggish economy.
"We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit," he said. "But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."
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.
Hundreds of thousands of people fanned out across the Mall, and millions more watched on television, as Obama took the oath of office to begin his second term.
President Obama pledged to respond to what he calls "the threat of climate change."
He says that failing to do so would be a betrayal of the nation's children and of future generations.
He said that while some might deny the "overwhelming judgment of science" -- a reference to those who say they don't believe in global warming -- no one can escape extreme weather like raging fires, drought and storms.
Obama tried and failed in his first term to get a climate change bill through Congress.