ABC News' Teddy Davis, Rigel Anderson, and Arnab Datta Report: Speaking to Fox News on Friday, Sarah Palin indicated for the first time that she does not consider Barack Obama qualified to be commander in chief and sharply criticized him for saying last year that U.S. troops in Afghanistan are "just air raiding villages and killing civilians."
Calling Obama "reckless," Palin said that where she comes from Obama's remarks "disqualify someone from consideration for the next commander-in-chief."
"Some of his comments that he's made about the war, that I think, in my world disqualify someone from consideration for the next commander-in-chief," said Palin. "Some of the comments he's made about Afghanistan, what we are doing there, 'just air raiding villages and killing civilians.' That's reckless."
Palin invoked Obama's "just air raiding villages and killing civilians" remark during her Fox News interview as an example of the kind of issue that she wanted to be asked about by Katie Couric, the CBS News anchor who recently stumped the Alaska governor by asking her to name a Supreme Court case other than Roe v. Wade with which she disagrees.
The Alaska governor first brought up her objection to Obama's comments at Thursday's debate.
"That's not what we're doing there," said Palin, referring to Afghanistan. "We're fighting terrorists, and we're securing democracy, and we're building schools for children there so that there is opportunity in that country."
Obama made his controversial remarks while campaigning in New Hampshire on Aug. 13, 2007. His comments came when he was asked how he would refocus U.S. troops out of Iraq to better fight terrorism.
Watch Obama's remarks here: LINK
"We've gotta get the job done there," said Obama, referring to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, "and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there."
The Obama campaign responded to Palin's criticism by standing by the Illinois Democrat's 2007 remarks, directing ABC News to an Associated Press fact check from Aug. 14, 2007 which says of Afghanistan that "Western forces have been killing civilians at a faster rate than the insurgents have been killing civilians." The McCain campaign slammed Obama for not retracting the "just air raiding villages and killing civilians" remark and instead pointing to data about civilian deaths in Afghanistan.
"Americans have at times questioned Senator Obama's support for American troops because of what were believed to be ill-considered remarks," said McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb. "The fact that Barack Obama and his campaign would stand by this statement is a stunning admission to the contrary -- Barack Obama actually believes American troops are engaged in war crimes as a matter of routine."