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Bush Outlines Second Term Plans in Radio Address  - 2004-11-07

President Bush used his weekly radio address Saturday to outline his plans for a second term and to again reach out to opposition Democrats, as well as allies abroad. Democrats say they are willing to work with the president.

With the election behind them, President Bush says, it is time for all Americans to move forward with a continuing fight against terrorism and efforts to accelerate the U.S. economy. And he reached out to countries that have been at odds with the Bush administration over its foreign policy, particularly the decision to go to war in Iraq.

"Republicans and Democrats and independents love our country, and together, we will protect the American people," said President Bush. "We will persevere, until the enemy is defeated, and our nation is safe from danger. Every civilized country also has a stake in the outcome of this war. Whatever our past disagreements, we share a common enemy and common duties to confront disease and hunger and poverty in troubled regions of our world."

At home, the president says, he will follow through on campaign promises of revising the tax code, capping medical malpractice suits, and changing the way the federal retirement program is financed.

After beating Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry by more than three million votes in the presidential election, and increasing his Republican Party's majorities in both houses of Congress, President Bush again reached out to defeated Democrats, saying his goals require the broad support of all Americans.

"To make this nation stronger and better, I will need the support of Republicans and Democrats and independents, and I will work to earn it," he said. "I will do all I can do to deserve your trust. A new term is a new opportunity to reach out to the whole nation. We have one country, one constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."

In the Democratic radio address, House Minority leader California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said her party stands ready to work with President Bush in his second term.

"President Bush faces great challenges in the days and months ahead," said Nancy Pelosi. "There is danger abroad, and unfulfilled promise here at home. And as it has been for the past four years, the country is divided. But our partisan split, rather than being an excuse for inaction, must be a call to compromise and common sense."

Ms. Pelosi says Americans stand strongest as a nation when they stand on common ground.

"I hope that in this term, President Bush will fulfill his promise to be a uniter not a divider," she said. "A new term is, indeed, a new opportunity to bring America together."

The California Congresswoman says Democrats will work with the Bush administration to reform the U.S. intelligence community and strengthen education and health care. But Democrats will stand their ground against changes to the federal retirement program because she the president's proposed changes would cut benefits.

The president and Mrs. Bush are spending the weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David in the mountains outside Washington. Mr. Bush is said to be considering changes to his Cabinet and White House staff for a second term.