PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Former President Clinton (search) lashed out at the Bush administration's energy policies Friday, criticizing them as "dumb economics" during a wide-ranging speech to a friendly crowd at Brown University.
But Clinton encouraged Americans to support democracy in Iraq, and said they should encourage the Bush administration to work with the rest of the world in bringing peace to the region.
The former president said those who opposed going to war with Iraq had to put those feelings aside. "You should want it to work now," he said.
Clinton — received enthusiastically by more than 4,000 students, politicians and top state Democratic fundraisers — called Bush's energy policy selfish. "I also think it's really dumb economics," he said.
A Bush administration-backed bill passed by the House this month includes tax cuts and subsidies to energy companies, and would open a wildlife refuge in Alaska to oil exploration.
Clinton also said he would gladly give up the Bush administration tax cuts that he said benefited the wealthy and hurt working families — a talking point widely used by Democrats during the 2004 election.
Clinton, who recently was named the U.N. envoy for tsunami recovery, told The Associated Press he plans to go back to tsunami-affected areas twice this year, once within the next month.
In Clinton's native Arkansas, meanwhile, Gov. Mike Huckabee (search) announced he would join Clinton at a New York City school Tuesday as part of a national effort by the American Heart Association to fight childhood obesity.
An American Heart Association (search) spokesman said the governor and former president would announce a "major initiative to address one of the nation's most pressing health issues."
Clinton underwent heart surgery last year. Huckabee has received national recognition for shedding 105 pounds in what he called a "personal pilgrimage" to healthy living.