Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards (search) dismissed the Republicans' biting criticism of his running mate John Kerry (search), saying Thursday the GOP spent "all of their time and all of their energy trying to tear down a patriot."

The morning after Vice President Dick Cheney (search) and Sen. Zell Miller (search), D-Ga., used their turns at the Republican convention podium to deride the Democratic presidential nominee, Edwards said that kind of rhetoric won't solve the nation's proon whose Senate voting record on national security issues makes him a poor candidate for commander in chief.

Edwards said he wished the Republicans would show "a little anger about the millions of people who lost their health care" and the millions who have lost their jobs in the last four years.

"It doesn't surprise me that the vice president of the United States spent most of his speech talking about John Kerry because you know he doesn't want to talk about what they've done to this country," the North Carolina senator said.

Edwards described the Democratic convention last month in Boston as a positive gathering in which they laid out their agenda and vision for the country. By comparison, the Republicans have devoted "all of their time and all of their energy trying to tear down a patriot," he said.

Edwards also made the rounds of Thursday morning talk shows to respond to the criticism of Kerry, calling it "completely over the top."

About claims that Kerry's record on defense issues is weak, he said, "It's just false, it's not true."

On CBS's "The Early Show," Edwards mocked Cheney for saying "the black market network that supplied nuclear weapons technology to Libya, as well as to Iran and North Korea, has been shut down."

"He said that with a straight face on the same day that the Iranians themselves were declaring that they were moving forward with their nuclear weapons development program," Edwards said.