Video of Barack Obama's appearance last night on Bill O'Reilly's show.
Barack Obama on the O'Reilly Factor 9/4/08 (VIDEO)
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama faced-off against Fox News' attack dog, Bill O'Reilly.
Barack Obama burnished his commander-in-chief credentials in a toe-to-toe interview last night with Fox News Channel attack dog Bill O'Reilly.
The faceoff aired shortly before John McCain portrayed himself as more qualified than the Democrat to protect the nation.
Obama, responding to GOP criticism of his call for diplomacy in dealing with Iran, called the Islamic state a "major threat" and said it would be "unacceptable" for it to have nuclear weapons.
"It's sufficient to say I would not take military action off the table and that I will never hesitate to use our military force in order to protect the homeland and the United States' interests," Obama told O'Reilly.
He also declared he "absolutely" believes the nation is waging a "war on terror."
Asked to identify the United States' enemies, Obama replied, "Al Qaeda, the Taliban, a whole host of networks that are bent on attacking America who have a distorted ideology who have perverted the faith of Islam, and so we have to go after them."
The Democratic presidential nominee appeared to give credit to McCain for his once lonely call for a surge of troops in Iraq.
"I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated," he said. "It's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."
The Illinois senator made clear that Iraq continues to be an enormous quagmire for the United States.
"The Iraqis still haven't taken responsibility," he said. "And we still don't have that kind of political reconciliation."
Obama's appearance on O'Reilly comes after months of tense relations between the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox and the Democrat's campaign.
In June, Team Obama erupted in fury when a Fox producer labeled the candidate's wife, Michelle, his "baby mama."
O'Reilly physically shoved an Obama aide in January at an appearance in Nashua, N.H., prompting the Secret Service to intervene and instruct the TV personality to cool it.
The Obama aide said O'Reilly pushed him and called him "low class."