BATON ROUGE, La. – Vice presidential candidate John Edwards (search) praised running mate John Kerry (search) and never directly criticized their Republican opponents while campaigning Tuesday in Louisiana, a heavily Democratic state their party lost in 2000.
"The truth is he spent his life serving and fighting for this country," Edwards said of Kerry. "While others stood by, he stood up for fiscal responsibility."
Edwards had to shout at times to be heard over supporters of President Bush when he spoke at a rally at the Old State Capitol on the Mississippi River, the first of three stops in a daylong tour of Louisiana. Across the street, about four dozen Bush supporters shouted "Four more years!" and waved signs saying "Flush the Johns."
Edwards echoed his "two Americas" speech, arguing that "we shouldn't have two different economies in this country — one for families that are taken care of for life, one for families that aren't."
Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who introduced Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, said their family represents "what's best in America" and praised them for "giving back to the community."
Edwards was heading to Alexandria in central Louisiana and then to Shreveport in the northwest before traveling to two other states Bush won over Al Gore, Arkansas and Missouri.
Edwards has visited Louisiana twice this summer, and Kerry has been in the state three times since the spring. The Bush-Cheney ticket, which defeated Al Gore by 8 percentage points in 2000, leads comfortably in statewide polls.