Candidates Focus On Iraq, Gas Tax Holiday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Democratic Senate rivals Bruce Lunsford
and Greg Fischer were equally critical of U.S. strategy in war-torn
Iraq but differed on a possible gas-tax holiday during a debate
Monday night coming just over a week before Kentucky's primary

The two wealthy Louisville businessmen were joined by the other
five Democratic Senate candidates in a 90-minute debate aired on
Kentucky Educational Television. They are running for the seat held
by four-term Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who is
seeking re-election.

Lunsford and Fischer took plenty of swipes at McConnell, but in
their most pointed comments at each other, the two rivals sparred
over which one has been the most loyal Democrat.

Lunsford said he had contributed more than $120,000 to other
Democratic candidates in the past and belittled Fischer for
donating a few thousand dollars to fellow Democrats.

Fischer responded that his rival understated his contributions
to Democrats. He then lambasted Lunsford for getting out of the
2003 governor's race a few days before the primary election and
then crossing party lines to endorse Republican Ernie Fletcher in
the general election.

"There's a lot of tough issues that are facing our country
right now," Fischer said. "They require tenacity and persistence,
and the best predictor of the future is the past. You're not going
to have to worry about me flipping on Democratic principles."

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