He used the preamble of his speech to insist his administration had indeed had important successes and also to remind Americans of the litany of daunting challenges he inherited when he took office in January.
"One year ago, Americans all across this country went to the polls and cast ballots for the future they wanted to see," Obama said.
But he said his administration was also confronted with a "financial crisis that threatened to plunge our economy into a Great Depression, the worst that we've seen in generations."
"We had record deficits, two wars, frayed alliances around the world," Obama added.
He said his administration had acted swiftly to save the economy from "imminent collapse."
"While we still have a long way to go, we have made meaningful progress toward achieving that goal," he said.
Nine months into his term, Obama's Republican critics have accused him of overplaying the "blame card" against Bush, a Republican who left office with one of the lowest poll ratings of any modern president.
Comment: Oh please! And what has Obama done about the "record deficits"?