Bush, seeking crossover votes from the opposition, contends that today's Democratic Party and its nominee have little in common with Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. The message: Sen. John Kerry (search) doesn't measure up.
"Those are the Democratic presidents who led with a powerful combination of strength and hope," Edwards told supporters. "George Bush's combination is fear and failure."
Bush's record wouldn't make Republican presidents like Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan proud, Edwards said, and would shame even Herbert Hoover. The Democratic campaign often cites the Depression-era president because Hoover, like Bush, oversaw a net loss of jobs while in office.
Bush asks supporters to bring to the polls "discerning Democrats" like Sen. Zell Miller (search), the Georgia Democrat who campaigned with Bush on Wednesday in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
"Just because he stands with Zell Miller and campaigns in a Democratic county, it doesn't make you a friend of Democrats," Edwards said. "It shows a sign of desperation."
The North Carolina senator also criticized Bush for talking to Democrats "for the first time, six days before the election." And, Edwards said, the country wants a president who will unite it and not divide it with "a record of failure."
"We need to strengthen and build the American dream again," he said.
Brian Jones, a Bush campaign spokesman, said Bush is reaching out to Democrats, as he has throughout the campaign, because Kerry has "drifted so far away form any of the core principles that Democrats consider important."