WASHINGTON, Ill. â Sarah Palin criticized President Barack Obama on Saturday for saying America is a military superpower "whether we like it or not," saying she was taken aback by his comment. "I would hope that our leaders in Washington, D.C., understand we like to be a dominant superpower," the former Alaska governor said. "I don't understand a world view where we have to question whether we like it or not that America is powerful." Obama said earlier this week that the United States must do its best to resolve conflicts around the world before they grow too serious. "It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them," Obama said. "And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure." Palin's remarks came in a question-and-answer session after a speech at an event in the central Illinois town of Washington to raise money for scholarships and a community center. She spoke to a crowd of about 1,100. The Republican criticized Obama throughout her speech â for a healthcare overhaul that she says won't work, for the increase in the national deficit and for disagreeing with Israeli policies. Palin said she hopes the November elections will produce winners who believe in limited government and encouraging free enterprise. She also poked fun at the controversy over the requirements listed in a contract for her speech at a California university. Palin thanked the organizers of Saturday's event for providing a straw for her water bottle â "the bent kind, which I just read in the media that I supposedly insist upon."