heated exchanges

Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Have Heated Exchange on Airport Tarmac

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer points during an intense conversation with President Barack Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, in Mesa, Ariz.
Welcome to Arizona. Photo: Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP

President Obama did not take so kindly to Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s greeting at a Phoenix airport. In addition to a handwritten letter containing an invitation to tour the Mexico border with her, she gave Obama a finger in the face and, reportedly, an earful, when they spoke on the tarmac. “I thought we probably would’ve talked about the things that were important to him and important to me, helping one another,” Brewer said afterwards.

Apparently Obama was peeved with the way Brewer portrayed a conversation they had, on immigration, in a book. Brewer is a huge proponent of Arizona’s controversial immigration law that allows police to stop anyone they suspect is an illegal and wrote on the subject in her book, Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure the Border.

According to reporters on hand, Brewer and Obama had an “intense exchange” and the two appeared to talk over one another. And of course she shoved her digit in his face. Obama ended the exchange by walking away when she was still speaking.

He was a little disturbed about my book,” reporter Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico quoted Brewer to the press corps. “I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt. So.”

The White House version goes like this: “The governor handed the president a letter and said she was inviting him to meet with her. The president said he’d be glad to meet with her again, but did note that after their last meeting, a cordial discussion in the Oval Office, the governor inaccurately described the meeting in her book.”


Does the invitation to tour the Mexico border still stand?

Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Have Heated Exchange on Airport Tarmac