What Brewer Wrote about Obama

by Brian Bolduc

When Arizona governor Jan Brewer greeted President Obama on the Phoenix airport tarmac, he voiced his displeasure with her account of a White House meeting between the two in June 2010. The president claimed Brewer’s portrayal of him was inaccurate, and Brewer asked him if he had actually read the book. Obama replied that he had read the relevant excerpt.

The book in question is Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America’s Border. Starting on page 162, Brewer describes her encounter with the president. After sitting down in the Oval Office with him, she writes:

The president’s tone got serious — and condescending. He proceeded to lecture me about everything he was doing to promote “comprehensive immigration reform.” . . . He mentioned that the Department of Justice was reviewing SB 1070 and that he was leaving to them the decision whether to sue [Arizona]. “I will not put my finger on the scales of justice with regard to this review,” he said. “I have completely delegated the decision to them.” . . .

She continues:

It wasn’t long before I realized I was hearing the president’s stump speech. Only I was supposed to listen without talking. Did he care to hear the view from the actual scene at the border? . . . I didn’t think so. His mind seemed made up. . . . It was as though President Obama thought he would lecture me and I would learn at his knee. He was patronizing. He understood that we were “frustrated,” he said — heck, yes, we were frustrated! — but he didn’t seem interested in knowing why. Then it dawned on me: He’s treating me like the cop he had over for a beer after he badmouthed the Cambridge police, I thought. He thinks he can humor me and then get rid of me.

Afterward, Brewer describes how she complained that her five letters to the administration had never been answered. Obama said he didn’t know about them, and within minutes of their meeting, the White House called Brewer’s office to obtain copies of the letters. Brewer also says she asked the president to visit the Arizona border with Mexico himself.