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McConnell Says He's Ready To Take Fight To Democrats

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he's ready to take the fight to his next challenger as the four-term incumbent awaits the Democratic nominee for the fall
campaign.

Seeking re-election amid an ongoing war and sputtering economy, McConnell said his campaign will scrutinize the Democratic candidate who emerges from Kentucky's May 20 primary election. Another target will be the Democratic presidential nominee - whether it's Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama.

"It's going to be about the next six years; who can do the most for Kentucky," McConnell told The Associated Press in an interview Friday afternoon at his campaign office.

"And also whether Kentuckians are comfortable with either Clinton or Obama and the direction they want to take the nation. Because my opponent will be inevitably linked to that agenda."

In a wide-ranging interview, McConnell said conditions have improved in war-torn Iraq but wouldn't estimate how long U.S. troops will remain. McConnell has been a key supporter of President Bush's Iraq policy.

McConnell also tried to put the blame on Democrats for sky-high gasoline prices, saying they have resisted efforts to increase
domestic oil production.


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