LITTLE ROCK, ARK. Former President Clinton said Friday that the debate between Republicans and Democrats about the Iraq war should go on - without personal attacks.
"I think we should be able to talk about this in a mature way," Clinton said after a speech in Little Rock marking the first anniversary of the opening of his presidential library. "I want to depersonalize the debate so we can have the debate and listen to one another."
Clinton referred to Rep. John Murtha, a hawkish Pennsylvania Democrat with close military ties who on Wednesday called for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Republicans chastised Murtha for advocating what they called a strategy of surrender and abandonment. The White House fired off a statement comparing the combat-decorated Vietnam veteran to war critic-movie producer Michael Moore.
Political adversaries should stop demonizing each other, he said.
The former president said he has no doubt the Bush administration believes its troop deployment decisions in Iraq are right. But, he added: "The only thing that really matters is, is it good for us? Is it good for Iraq? Is it good for the world?"