The Associated Press
Associated Press
President Barack Obama greets House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, for his ceremonial swearing-in during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. (AP Photo/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)

Sentiments of bipartisanship and an interest in working together: That's what Republicans are offering as President Barack Obama starts his second term.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says the day shows that "our major political parties can disagree with civility and mutual respect." He wishes Obama well on the next four years.

McConnell says the second term represents a "fresh start when it comes to dealing with the great challenges of our day," including federal spending and debt. He said Republicans believed that "divided government provides the perfect opportunity to do so."

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, notes that he and Obama were "political opponents" and had "strong disagreements over the direction of the country — as we still do now." But Ryan says that on Inauguration Day, "we put those disagreements aside" and "remember what we share in common."

Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, speaking shortly before Obama's address, invoked Alex Haley, the author of "Roots," who lived by the motto, "Find the good and praise it." Alexander says that when America's government transfers or reaffirms power, "we do this in a peaceful, orderly way. There is no mob, no coup, no insurrection."

—Ken Thomas — Twitter


Inauguration Watch follows the events of President Barack Obama's second inaugural. Look for short items and photos throughout the day.