updated 1/22/2005 10:18:45 AM ET 2005-01-22T15:18:45

President Bush called this week’s inaugural ceremony a simple and humbling experience Saturday, then rolled out a bold second-term agenda, ranging from fighting for freedom and against terrorists to overhauling Social Security.

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As critical elections approach on Jan. 30, the president also pledged continued support of the Iraqis, as well as the people of Afghanistan, as they move to build democratic societies. “When America gives its word, America must keep its word,” he said in his weekly radio address.

Bush, who was inaugurated as the nation’s 16th second-term president on Thursday, expressed appreciation for voters’ support at the polls in November. He received 50.8 percent of the ballots to Democrat John Kerry’s 48.3 percent.

Despite that narrow margin, Bush said his victory means he has the public’s trust. “America’s elected leaders derive their authority from the consent of the American people whom we serve,” he said.

Sweeping goals
Bush is laying out sweeping goals for the next four years.

“We will strive to keep the world’s most dangerous weapons out of the hands of terrorists and tyrants,” he said in the radio speech. “We will continue to promote freedom, hope and democracy in the broader Middle East.”

With the inauguration over, the administration also is increasing its focus on domestic goals of revamping Social Security, liberalizing the nation’s immigration laws, simplifying taxes and expanding testing required under the No Child Left Behind education reform law to high schools.

His main foreign policy challenge, however, remains bringing home the 150,000 American troops deployed in Iraq. The war is costing $1 billion a week and has left more than 1,360 U.S. troops dead.

“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,” said Bush, who hopes the Iraqi election will bring stability in the Middle East and foster democratic changes elsewhere in the world.

“In the years since I first swore to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, our nation has been tested,” he said. “Our enemies have found America more than equal to the task. In response to attacks on our home soil, we have captured or killed terrorists across the earth.”

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