February 24th, 2014
09:33 PM ET
9 years ago

Gov. Jan Brewer to CNN: 'I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona'

Washington (CNN)– Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer tells CNN she will make her decision in the “near future” about whether to sign or veto a bill that supporters say promotes religious freedom and opponents call discriminatory against gays and lesbians.

“I can assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona,” Brewer told CNN in an exclusive interview at the site of the National Governors Association meeting in Washington.

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Brewer plans to return to Arizona Tuesday, and a source tells CNN those familiar with her thinking say she will likely spend at least one full business day in the state before acting. She has until Saturday morning to sign or veto the bill. If she does nothing, the bill automatically becomes law.

The measure would allow Arizona business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian customers as long as they assert their religious beliefs.

“I'm going to go home, and when I receive the bill, I'm going to read it and I'm going to be briefed on it. We have been following it. And I will make my decision in the near future,” Brewer told CNN.

Although she was cautious in her public comments, some Arizona Republicans who know her well say they are confident that when she says she will "do the right thing," that almost surely means vetoing the bill.

Arizona GOP sources say Brewer considers herself a pro-business governor - someone who above all else wants to protect and promote Arizona’s economic interests - and she knows full well there will be economic retribution against the state if it has a law on the books perceived to effectively codify discrimination.

“I have a history of deliberating and having an open dialogue on bills that are controversial, to listen to both sides of those issues, and I welcome the input, and information that they can provide to me. And certainly I am pro-business, and that is what's turning our economy around, so I appreciate their input, as I appreciate the other side,” Brewer said.

Business leaders in Arizona and around the country, including American Airlines’ CEO, have urged Brewer publicly and privately to veto the bill.

The measure is being pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage. The group argues the proposal protects people against increasingly activist federal courts.

Brewer vetoed a similar bill last year, arguing that the state legislature should focus on more pressing issues, such as a Medicaid expansion plan she was promoting.

Sources say she is concerned about this bill taking away from other issues she is now pressing, such as overhauling Arizona’s child protective services system.

Filed under: Arizona • Gay rights • Jan Brewer
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. tinysview

    Well, fine if they don't want to serve a sinner then that should be their right. But then again, they should not serve any sinner. Oh well, I guess they have to close up shop and not serve anyone, since all are sinners. oh yeah, they can't even serve themselves.

    February 24, 2014 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. S. B. Stein

    Why is it necessary to legislate bigotry? This isn't necessary because if some people don't want to serve some customers, then they will go out of business.

    February 24, 2014 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Nothing better than to see republicans go against the beliefs of a majority of Arizonans in an election year. Pure genius.

    February 24, 2014 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Can Jan Brewer save the Arizona Republican Party by vetoing their stupidity?

    February 24, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Was Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on the original Star Trek series ?

    Maybe episode S3, Ep5 Is There in Truth No Beauty? Oct 18, 1968

    February 25, 2014 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  6. troppo1

    I dont understand, The GOP is for discrimination against who????

    February 25, 2014 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    What's to think about, veto it. Church and state SEPARATE!!!!!

    February 25, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  8. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Their GOP legislature HAS to go in 2014. Why do people vote for these GOP total IDIOTS??????

    February 25, 2014 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  9. quinLee

    Cruella De Vil is on the hot seat.

    February 25, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |