President Barack Obama delivered a full-throated defense of the nation’s safety net programs and vowed to tackle the issues of climate change and gay rights in his second inaugural address Monday afternoon.
"We reject that Americans must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future," Obama told the crowd of hundreds of thousands of spectators who descended on the National Mall Monday morning.
"The commitments we make to each other—through Medicare, and Medicaid and Social Security—these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.
They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great."
The president also warned in the approximately 2,000 word speech that the country cannot succeed if a "shrinking few" succeed economically while the middle class suffers.
As the president began to exit the Capitol stage area after giving his speech, he stopped, turned around and stared out at the crowd gathered on the National Mall.
I want to see this "one more time" he appeared to say to his family, according to video of the moment. "I’m not going to see this again." He smiled, lingering for several seconds.
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