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Clinton Rules Out ‘Snide Remarks’

President Clinton charged Sunday that Republicans “practice the politics of destruction,” and pledged that next week’s Democratic National Convention will be devoid of “snide remarks” and “negative personal asides” of the sort he said characterized last week’s GOP gathering in San Diego.

“I want this to be about ideas, not insults,” Clinton told CBS News’s Dan Rather in an Oval Office interview broadcast on “60 Minutes.”

Clinton has maintained that he tuned out all of the Republican convention while he and his family enjoyed an eight-day getaway in Jackson Hole, Wyo., “but what I heard about it made me glad I was on vacation.”

Rather filled in the gaps by recounting for Clinton a lengthy string of personal barbs and allegations of ethical misdeeds launched against him by Republican nominee Bob Dole and others from the podium in San Diego. “I don’t believe frankly that the Republicans could do anything to damage my character,” Clinton responded. “They may be able to attack my reputation, but God is the ultimate judge of people’s character and He knows all facts … and there’s no angle there.”

Clinton gave his interview before leaving for New York for a 50th-birthday gala at Radio City Music Hall.