New York: Days before the US presidential elections, incumbent Barack Obama got some critical support with a leading American daily endorsing his re-election bid citing his efforts to prevent an economic depression, weaken al Qaeda`s leadership and usher in crucial healthcare reforms.
In an editorial, the New York Times said it will "enthusiastically endorse President Barack Obama for a second term, and express the hope that his victory will be accompanied by a new Congress willing to work for policies that Americans need."
With Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney almost neck to neck in the last lap of the presidential race, the Times said the former governor of Massachusetts has gotten "this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear."
It said Romney 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.
Crediting Obama with preventing "another Great Depression", the paper said interventions by Obama like the USD 840 billion stimulus bill has helped a cratering economy grow gradually since June 2009.
While Republicans have touted the bill as a failure, the Times said it has created and preserved 2.5 million jobs and prevented unemployment from reaching 12 per cent.
"The economy is slowly recovering from the 2008 meltdown, and the country could suffer another recession if the wrong policies take hold...President Obama has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth.
"He has formed sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and has worked to save the social safety net to protect the powerless," it said adding that Obama has also done "good things" for small businesses.
The publication termed Romney`s economic plan as "regressive," which relies on big tax cuts and deregulation.
On foreign policy, the paper lauded the Obama administration for being resolute in attacking al Qaeda`s leadership, including the killing of Osama bin Laden and in ending the war in Iraq.
"Romney, however, has said he would have insisted on leaving thousands of American soldiers there. He has surrounded himself with Bush administration neocons who helped to engineer the Iraq war, and adopted their militaristic talk in a way that makes a Romney administration`s foreign policies a frightening prospect."
It said Obama negotiated a much tougher regime of multilateral economic sanctions on Iran and deserves credit for his handling of the Arab Spring.
The paper lists Obama`s achievements in bringing about "the most sweeping health care reforms," which it said is a big step toward universal health coverage, "a final piece in the social contract."