Audio has surfaced of Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema saying during the heat of the war in Afghanistan that she had no problem with Americans joining the Taliban.
Sinema, a Democrat running for a U.S. Senate seat against GOP Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, made the comments during a radio interview in February 2003 with libertarian activist Ernest Hancock.
“As an individual, if I want to go fight in the Taliban army, I go over there and I’m fighting for the Taliban. I’m saying that’s a personal decision,” Hancock said in the interview, which was first reported by CNN Friday.
“Fine,” Sinema responded. “I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead.”
A short clip of the interview has been on YouTube for more than six years.
The comments put Sinema in stark contrast with McSally, a former Air Force combat pilot who ran missions against the Taliban during the war in Afghanistan. Both candidates are running to replace Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who decided not to run for re-election.
A spokeswoman for Sinema’s campaign told CNN that the candidate’s remarks were “clearly offhand and an effort to get back on the topic of why she opposed the war.”
Sinema’s comments to Hancock are not the first evidence of her staunch anti-war leanings.
A former spokeswoman for the Green Party, Sinema is the co-founder of Local to Global Justice, an anti-war group that circulated pamphlets depicting American soldiers as gun-wielding skeletons.
Sinema told The Arizona Republic in 2003 that “the real Saddam and Osama lovers were Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.”
Video also recently surfaced of Sinema referring to her home state as the “meth lab of democracy.”