Arizona governor criticizes birther 'distraction'
April 25th, 2011
09:21 PM ET
3 years ago

Arizona governor criticizes birther 'distraction'

Washington (CNN) - Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who vetoed a bill in April that would have required presidential candidates to prove they were American citizens born in the United States, thinks the so-called birther movement is a "huge distraction."

"It's just something that I think is leading our country down a path of destruction and it just is not serving any good purpose," Brewer said Monday on CNN's "John King, USA."


Brewer's move effectively stopped the bill unless state House and Senate lawmakers garner a two-thirds majority needed to override Brewer's veto.

The former Arizona attorney general said she does not regret her action on Arizona's "birther bill," which she said was a veiled attack on President Barack Obama.

"In Arizona, you know, it was pretty well known it was directed, I believe, at the president of the United States," Brewer told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "Our bill was crafted poorly and it would not serve the people of Arizona. It was a distraction. I don't feel any regrets about vetoing the bill."

Brewer received national attention when she signed the controversial immigration bill into law in 2010 that gave law enforcement officials greater authority to arrest illegal immigrants. Since then, federal courts have struck down many of its major provisions, but she vowed Monday to keep fighting.

"I certainly will not drop our lawsuit," Brewer said. "I feel very, very strongly about moving forward and I intend to get it all of the way to the Supreme Court."


Filed under: Arizona • Birthers • Jan Brewer • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Squigman

    If the republicans really wanted to put a stop to the birth certificate question, they'd brand the people doing the finger pointing, by admitting that the finger pointers are basically motivated by race, and nothing else. But, this may isolate and shed a not too pretty light on a part of the republican base, that republicans need for future elections. And it makes for good drama in the news. How much ad space gets sold everytime this crap comes to the fore? Or is this classified information?

    April 25, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. Jan Brewer is a Distraction

    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig, Jan Brewer.

    We still have all the years of you on video with all your bigotry, conspiracy theories, and lies.

    April 25, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  3. trex

    Man oh man, even JAN knows this BS is over.

    April 25, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  4. Just Me

    Interesting. She is not as half crazy like the rest of them as I origianlly thought. Good for her. She deserve credit when credit is due.

    April 25, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. Roscoe

    Every time I see Jan Brewer, I get the feeling something is seriously wrong with her health. She just isn't right.

    As far as her political views go, she's a mental midget. Anyone who looks to her for reasoned thinking is looking in an empty box. Her decision to veto the birther bill is all about politics, not her beliefs.

    April 25, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Dr Matrix

    Our governor was never attorney general. I surprised she vetoed this one. It's just what the extreme right controlling this state worry about.

    April 25, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  7. here we go again

    Please no more "birthers" stories...........ok we get it, they don't believe the President was born in the U.S even after all the supporting documents was presented and plus the C.I.A background check for all presidential canindates. It's time to move on, let them live in there on insanity!............whats next?

    April 25, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Jay

    wow, the first sane thing that the Arizona Gov has done yet.

    I suppose there comes a point where associating Arizona and "Crazy" start to affect tourism. I certainly don't want to go there any more.

    April 25, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    I heard Brewer speak live on this and she "ALMOST" sounded sincere. Actually, she was sincere so maybe there is still hope?

    April 25, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  10. Kahuna

    Jan Brewer has finally grown a pair. After being a Mormon lap dog since Napalitano left, she finally realized that she would not get very far bending over for Russel Pearce. Too bad it's probably too little too late.

    April 25, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  11. Alina77

    A Republican that "hates" is worth then a monkey with the grenade. Brewer is an "old type" of Republican that still can separate "crazy" from "US dignity" and "hate" is not one of her "purposes" being who she is.

    April 25, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  12. Henry

    No, Governor, I think it is great to have this discussion. You and your minions, or is it bosses, in your legislature, have spent so much time diminishing the President, that we need to continue to discuss this. Why is it that you and the rest of the Republicans thought it was great to discuss this issue for over two years only to see it as a distraction now? It is because there is a no longer a value in doing so for your and your party.

    Kind of reminds me of the "death panel" issue you all embraced only to drop it when it no longer served your purpose.

    You, governor, are a fool. I live in Arizona and I am so ashamed of my state leadership. I hope we can get rid of you and your friends.

    April 25, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Newslash, Gov: The Republican party has become nothing more than a "huge distraction." But then, what else do you have? Nothing but lies, hatred, fear and division to offer our country because all of your economic, military and foreign policies are PROVEN FAILURES!

    If you guys actually knew what you were doing, you wouldn't have to resort to non-issues, scare tactics, fear-mongering, name-calling and character assassination (questioning the patriotism of Max Cleland, who left three of his limbs in Viet Nam while GW was stumbling around stateside in a boozy haze, comes to mind) to try to get attention.

    You have no one to blame but yourselves for the abject distaste thinking people have for you and your sorry party!

    April 25, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  14. CBR

    Amen, Governor Brewer. You are correct.

    There are plenty of ways for Mr. Trump to help his country. One would be to get off this "birther" trip by trying to dig up new allegations. If the only way this man can run is by tearing down other candidates including the President then he should return to NY and do as Governor Brewer suggests.

    April 25, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  15. CedarRapids

    So Trump is claming the birth certificate is missing and doesnt want to say how he knows. Well that is interesting as the files are protected by law and thus if he knows it is 'missing' then he has either engaged in illegal activities or has business with someone who broke the law.

    April 25, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  16. CSM

    Birthers go home. Obama will not be impeached over this nonsene. States will not be able to keep him off the ballots because of this nonsense, nothing will rise out of this nonsense, let's face it, manned up and just go on home now your arguments are imploding. Go on home. it's over, .Seeya!.

    Glenda, BTW, why are you so bitter? is it a "man thing" or "klan thing" What ever! It's your thing, live with it!!!

    April 25, 2011 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. Birfer

    Never stop Birfers! Obama was born on Muslim planet and you will PROVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  18. Common Cents

    The so-called "birther bill" was a veiled attack on President Obama?!?

    (Sarcastically): "Noooooooo!"

    April 26, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  19. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Man, it's scary when Jan Brewer is the voice of reason in the Republican Party.

    April 26, 2011 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  20. Jeffer65

    Good. A Republican who does the right thing for a change.

    April 26, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  21. Abudu Rahman

    Haley Barbour's exit means good riddance and the might have a chance with some intelligent candidate now. Not many would have supported a hardcore bigot like Barbour.

    April 26, 2011 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  22. BrianInMesa

    There is a recall petition to recall Brewer. Regardless of what she does I don't trust her. Most of what she does is for the private prison system in Arizona. Look closely at her advisors.

    April 26, 2011 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  23. McCain-in-4

    The Birthers' claim is nothing short of voter suppression, in my opinion. Demoralize the independent vote and give just one "truthfully american" candidate is a really foul method of approaching the next election. Even Donald Trump is marketing his version by privately funding a "truthiness commission". Can the FEC look into the sources and funding of these claims and prosecute the offenders?

    April 26, 2011 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  24. GaryB

    There's another possible reason why Brewer vetoed the bill. If the bill passed and then Obama provided the necessary documentation, the birther issue would be dead (even the birthers would have a hard time believing that Arizona - their new mecca of ethnic intolerance - was in on the "conspiracy"). This way, the GOP gets to wink and nod and keep this non-issue alive.

    April 26, 2011 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  25. Roger Mitchell

    She is keeping her eye on the prize while carefully picking her battles. I give her a lot of credit. Even after the illegal pandering crusade that has crucified Arizona, she sticks to her convictions (unlike Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.) Fallin rode a wave of anti-amnesty sentiment to the governors mansion. But after a recent meeting with our Chamber of Commerce, she has more or less dropped her signature platform. She has been listening to the wrong people and we will crucify the Republicans in 2012 for this. Then our voices will be heard.

    April 26, 2011 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
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