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Bush: Inauguration Celebrated Nation's Democracy

President Bush says he will use a second term to keep terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Democrats want Mr. Bush to spend more money helping them improve security at home.

President Bush says he is eager to begin the work of a second term: promoting freedom and democracy in the Middle East, which he says will defeat the despair, hopelessness and resentments that feed terrorism.

"We remain in a war the United States will continue to lead - fighting terrorists abroad, so we do not have to face them here at home," the president said. "We will strive to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of terrorists and tyrants. And our nation will stand by the peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq as they build free and democratic societies in their own lands - because when America gives its word, America must keep its word."

Violence continues ahead of next Sunday's elections in Iraq. The Bush Administration says it is clear the vote is not going to be perfect, but it is another step forward for Iraqi democracy.

White House officials say the attacks show that terrorists understand what is at stake in the vote and that a successful election runs counter to their desire to return to the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.

In his weekly radio address, President Bush said America has been tested during his first term and its enemies have found the nation more than equal to the task.

"In response to attacks on our home soil, we have captured or killed terrorists across the Earth. We have taken unprecedented steps to secure our homeland from future attacks, and our troops have liberated millions from oppression," he noted.

President Bush also outlined some of his domestic goals for a second term, including changes to the federal retirement system and tax code.

I n the Democratic radio address, the newly elected governor of Washington State, Christine Gregoire called on Mr. Bush to forge a new partnership between the federal and state governments in guarding against terrorist attack.

"The federal government is imposing new security requirements on our cities and counties without providing the necessary financial assistance to local law enforcement, cops and fire fighters whose resources are already stretched too thin," she said.

In the coming week, President Bush kicks off his second term with a meeting with African-American leaders, two speeches on health care reform, and a luncheon at a congressional retreat.

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