January 25th, 2012
07:46 PM ET
11 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.

CNN LIVE: Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate hosted by Wolf Blitzer and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the Florida primary, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @politicalticker

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.

Also see:

Live blog: 2012 State of the Union

New Freddie Mac contract prohibits 'lobbying activities'

Romney resets image with postcards from the edge

Gingrich gets major help

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

    Arizona....you elected this woman why?

    January 25, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    She's disrespectful to the office of the president, and she's an elected official.
    Must be a GOPer.

    January 25, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    Temperamental isn't she? (90% temper, 10% mental-– kinda like Palin, Bachmann, etc., all those republican girls are a little "off").

    January 25, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Nicholas

    Never before have I seen such disrespect for a sitting president.Although Democrats opposed Bush for the way he squandered a perfect economy, they always respected the office. The republicans continue to disrespect Obama at every turn

    January 25, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. Len Smith

    She shows us how low class she really is as governor.

    January 25, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. kevjoseph.

    I've never seen a sitting president treated with such continuous disrespect. Good for Obama on keeping his comosure like a true leader. Good for Brewer plugging her book

    January 25, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. Jake

    how embarrassing for Brewer & McCain when Arizona goes blue in November!

    January 25, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. gt

    must of forgot what he said in his speech last night about getting along... good job gov. make obama help secure the border,,,

    January 25, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. Independent in NC

    Is she related to McCain or did he teach her everything she knows.

    January 25, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |

    Pointing her finger at him? What? He refused her indecent proposal? Whom does she think he is? Newt Gingrich?

    January 25, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. Jim

    You go, girl.

    January 25, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  12. David B.

    How did she become governor again?

    January 25, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. david

    Brewer is a racist corporate puppet

    January 25, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  14. Erika

    WOW!!!!!!!!! THE PICTURE OF Gov. Brewer's finger pointing at the President is NOT GOOD.


    January 25, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. jrc1in

    Brewer has a better chance of winning a race on her pms cycle than being invited back to the White House.

    January 25, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. John in Chicago

    Jan Brewer is certifiably nuts.

    And she's lying when she says she has "all the respect in the world for the office of the President" (unless, of course, she means the room space that statement may imply).

    January 25, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Henry Gondorff

    Brewer is more of a man than Obama.

    January 25, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. K.C.

    ...Arizona...need I say more...smh...

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

    Thank you, Mr. President, for taking the time to meet with the employees of Intel and for deciding not to meet with a wacko governor who will hopefully be voted out in the next election.

    January 25, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When has any republican ever told the truth? Remember when Brewer told of non existent beheadings in Arizona? McCain, Kyl, and Brewer have real hurt Arizona.

    January 25, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. Pat in IL

    She is nuts, and he is smart to keep a certain distance.

    January 25, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. 32slim32

    Way to go Governor Brewer. Give him an ear full.

    January 25, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. Kay

    She is TOTALLY DISGUSTING, How rude of her. Whether you agree or not with the president, show some RESPECT for the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Come on Jan Brewer, put your big girl panties on and act like a LADY instead of a repub pit bull; it does not look good on you. How sad and disgusting!!!!

    January 25, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. Mojojo

    She just want to get ATTENTION and POPULARITY. She thinks that Arizona State and herself are above the law and federal govt in order to show right wing extremist ideology.

    January 25, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. 32slim32

    Awwww.......poor little Barry is upset about the Governor's book. Wahhhhhh.

    January 25, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15