President, Arizona Governor Clash Over Memoir

Posted January 26th, 2012 at 1:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The Internet is buzzing over photos of an intense discussion between U.S. President Barack Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer over what the governor said was something she wrote in a recent memoir.

A pool report said the two officials traded words, out of earshot, when the governor greeted the president at a Phoenix airport during a stop in his three-day U.S. tour. At one point, Brewer was seen pointing a finger at the president.

Later, Governor Brewer told reporters Mr. Obama was “a little disturbed” about the way she described a previous meeting with him in her book Scorpions for Breakfast, published in November. In the book, the governor said Mr. Obama was “condescending” when she discussed immigration with him at the White House in 2010. The 2010 meeting came after Brewer signed a controversial immigration law for her state that the Obama administration opposed and later sued to overturn.

The governor defended her most recent exchange with the president, saying she was glad he had come to Arizona and that she would “regroup,” or recover from the incident.

“Well, you know, they always say that a picture is what it is, but I must say that I was not hostile. I was trying to be very, very gracious. I respect the office of the President, and I would never be disrespectful in that manner.”

A White House official said Wednesday's exchange came after Brewer handed the president a letter asking him to meet with her. The official said Mr. Obama told her that he would be glad to meet with her again, but noted that she “inaccurately described” their 2010 meeting in her book. The official said the White House discussion had been “cordial.”

The Democratic president and the Republican governor have previously clashed over immigration policy in Arizona, which shares a border with Mexico.