January 25th, 2012
07:46 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama shares intense encounter with Arizona governor

Chandler, Arizona (CNN) - When the president arrives in any city, he is usually welcomed by state and local officials at the bottom of the stairs to Air Force One with normal pleasantries and handshakes. But in Phoenix Wednesday, the president had an unusual moment with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

She and Obama had an intense encounter as the president was getting ready to board his motorcade. Pool reporters noticed the two were interrupting each other and at one point, the governor was pointing her finger at the president as she spoke.

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The issue?

As Obama greeted Brewer, he expressed his disappointment with the book she published last year, "Scorpions for Breakfast," which discusses border control and immigration in Arizona, among other issues.

Brewer told reporters on Wednesday night that Obama was "disenchanted" with the way he was portrayed in the book.

"Bottom line is that I wanted to be there to welcome him, to come and see first hand what Arizona has done in regards to our economic recovery," said Brewer. "He wanted to talk about the book and I thought that he was pretty thin-skinned..."

Brewer, who said she felt "a little bit threatened" during the encounter, also said that Obama walked away from her in mid-sentence. 

Brewer, a Republican who became governor at the beginning of Obama’s term, told reporters the president took offense with her portrayal of him not being cordial in the past.

"I have all the respect in the world for the office of the President, but the book is what the book is," she said.

She handed him a letter welcoming him to Arizona and inviting him to meet with her to discuss Arizona's comeback.

The White House responded by saying Obama would be glad to have another meeting, but noted "after their last meeting, a cordial discussion in the Oval Office, the governor inaccurately described the meeting in her book. The President looks forward to continuing taking steps to help Arizona's economy grow."

After the 2010 meeting, CNN interviewed Brewer as she was leaving the White House. She said she was "encouraged" by the meeting and described it as a "successful" encounter. To watch the video, click here.

The two met in the White House in June 2010 and have been at odds over immigration. Brewer filed a lawsuit accusing the Obama administration of not controlling and enforcing border issues. The suit was dismissed by a federal judge last fall.

President Obama was in Arizona to visit the Intel facility in Chandler on the first day of his three-day, five-state tour. He was reiterating his message about American manufacturing and job creation from Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

Intel's Ocotillo campus was touted as an example of a company creating thousands of jobs in the new $5 billion facility.

Brewer did not join the president at Intel for the event. She told reporters she had hoped to talk about other issues.

"I thought we probably would've talked about the things that were important to him and important to me, helping one another. Our country is upside down. Arizona was upside down. But we have turned it around. I know again that he loves this country and I love this country," she said.

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Filed under: Arizona • Jan Brewer • President Obama
soundoff (371 Responses)
  1. JImG

    The Newt's running mate.............

    January 25, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. NEOCON

    TIf Brewer really did point her finger at the Presidnet, one of the SS should have grabbed it and stuck it in her eye.

    January 25, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. CA Dream USA

    She should be impeached..For disrespecting the Office of President

    January 25, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. Ed

    Brewer is a disrespectful mess and wil never get voted into anything again.

    January 25, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Ray

    that woman is a bigot anyways

    January 25, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  6. E,Earle

    i just saw the photo of this women pointing her finger towards the President;s face and I was appalled. I have never seen anyone so disrespectful towards the president and especially coming up so close and personal. Seems like she was scolding him like a BOY and you know that word is historical.

    January 25, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. mike

    This woman is a basket case and is a disgrace to Arizona

    January 25, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  8. Sensible Joe

    Jan Brewer's behavior has proven her to be a buffoon.

    January 25, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. ARMYCSM

    I feel very sorry for you Arizonians who elected this disrepectable fool as your governor. So Freaking Pathetic

    January 25, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    Obama has been a dictator to AZ. Of course the governor has little use for him.

    January 25, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. Cathy

    Why don't you show the pic of Brewer shoving her finger in the president's face? There was nothing "respectful" about the encounter.

    January 25, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. PROUD FEMALE DEM IN NC

    Brewer is another Sarah Palin clone. Nothing upstairs. Typical Teapublican.!!!

    January 25, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. Freddy

    Seems as if Tea/Republicans can only get along with other Tea/Republicans not Dems or Independents. Too bad–we're all Americans.

    January 25, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Freedom1

    Another wacko from Arizona!

    January 25, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. mms55

    how did this woman ever get in the position of govener.i was appauld at the picture of her sticking her finger in the presidents face,i wish the secret service had taken her to the ground.these goper's have lost their frigen minds.i cannot wait for november and we can vote them out.

    January 25, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. D

    Pointing a finger at the President of The United States of America? Are you kidding me? Without a doubt, the most disrespected President ever!

    January 25, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. Richard Porterhouse

    Is this really news?

    January 25, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  18. Bugs

    Lovely ! Barry is such an arogant man.
    Ms. Brewer should have drawn him close and kneed him one while whispering "Welcome to Arizona"

    January 25, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. Matt

    Sounds like Obama, he is so in love with himself he gets upset when someone doesn't tell him how "great" he is. Way to go Gov Brewer, one tough lady who isn't afraid to speak the truth!

    January 25, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. outawork

    She and Obama had an intense encounter as the president was getting ready to board his motorcade. Pool reporters noticed the two were interrupting each other and at one point, the governor was pointing her finger at the president as she spoke. I wonder which finger she was using? ;>)

    January 25, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  21. Tony

    Regardless of what the Arizona governor thinks, the president is deporting more illegal immigrants per year than all of his predecessors. If that is not enforcing the immigration law, the Arizona governor should explain what is enforcing the immigration law.

    January 25, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. liyahofarizona

    Can she not see how cheap and two faced she is. If her last meeting was really as bad as she says why would pretend to smile and invite him to something that has nothing to do with his visit.
    I am a republican but honestly I feel like the President should always be respected and this woman really should behave better. I dont see why politicians would write tell all books about others when they need to maintain cordial relatioships whilst still in office. Its like writing a book about a value client whilst you are still working for the company that provides a service to the client. You just dont do that

    January 25, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Brenda from AZ

    PLEASE OH PLEASE will someone please take our Governor to their state and keep her???? She is a total embarrassment to most of us in this beautiful state. Take Sheriff Joe too please? We won't miss them...I promise

    January 25, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  24. racegirl1

    If I was President Obama I wouldn't give her the time of day.

    January 25, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. A Texan

    Oh !!! –How the Repuglicans hate Obama......... Stick it to em Prez.

    January 25, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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