President Bush, trying to regain his political footing ahead of this year's critical midterm elections, asserted Friday "the difference is clear" between the two parties on how to sustain the U.S. economic recovery.

"If you want the goverment in your pocket vote Democrat," Bush said. "If you want to keep more of your hard earned money vote Republican."

He made one of his strongest appeals yet for making permanent various tax cuts due to expire within several years.

Speaking at a fundraiser for GOP Rep. Mike Sodrel in what may be one of the closest races in the country, Bush attempted to draw a sharp contrast between the two parties' economic policies.

"We've got a record to stand on," Bush said.

But he said the Democratic record consisted of "loud noises" and votes against tax cuts.

"In 2001, more than 90 percent of the congressional democrats voted against cutting income tax rates," Bush said, referring to votes on his initial package of tax cuts.