The New York Times endorsed President Obama for reelection on Saturday in an editorial that touts the president's record on issues ranging from civil rights to healthcare to foreign policy.

In its endorsement, the Times editorial board admitted that "we have criticized individual policy choices that Mr. Obama has made over the last four years, and have been impatient with his unwillingness to throw himself into the political fight," but expressed optimism that he is "ready for the partisan battles" that will come after the election.

It also suggested that some of Obama's failures were caused by obstructionist Republicans in Congress.

"Mr. Obama has impressive achievements despite the implacable wall of refusal erected by Congressional Republicans so intent on stopping him that they risked pushing the nation into depression, held its credit rating hostage, and hobbled economic recovery," the board writes.

In that same vein, the board expressed hope "that his victory will be accompanied by a new Congress willing to work for policies that Americans need."

The Times said that Obama's work on healthcare reform, his nomination of two Supreme Court justices and his support of gay marriage were all reasons to back his bid for a second term. But it also criticized GOP challenger Mitt Romney, asserting that he's "gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear."

"But he has tied himself to the ultraconservative forces that control the Republican Party and embraced their policies, including reckless budget cuts and 30-year-old, discredited trickle-down ideas. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Romney’s true identity, but they know the Republican Party, and a Romney administration would reflect its agenda," the board adds.

The paper has not endorsed a Republican since 1956, when it endorsed Dwight Eisenhower for president.