Entries in Jan Brewer (10)


Where’s Jan Brewer? Arizona Governor Takes Secret Trip

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is MIA. Sort of.

The governor, who is best known for championing the state’s controversial immigration law, is currently taking a week-long work trip out of state, but her office has refused to disclose where she is going.

The mysterious trip leaves Secretary of State Ken Bennett as the acting governor, as outlined by the state’s constitution. Bennett spokesman Matt Roberts tells ABC News that the secretary’s office was notified on Friday that the governor would be gone from Sunday through Saturday, but they were not told where the governor was going.

There has been one Brewer sighting so far this week in the Washington, D.C., area. Her whereabouts on Sunday and her plans for the rest of the week, however, are a mystery.

Brewer missed the certification Monday of Arizona’s 2012 election results. Bennett, who in his job as secretary of state is already responsible for overseeing elections, oversaw the official canvas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Republican Governors’ Message To Mitt Romney: Don’t Let Obama Lead You Down The ‘Rabbit Hole’

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(WILLIAMSBURG, Va.) — Fresh off his win in Wisconsin’s divisive recall election, GOP Gov. Scott Walker was full of advice for Mitt Romney.

“We had significant swing votes — independents, even some discerning Democrats voting for me because they like someone who was willing to take on the tough issues facing our state,” Walker said. “I think those same sorts of voters are voters that Governor Romney at least has a shot with.”

But Walker, who was among the dozens of governors who gathered at this weekend’s National Governors Association Conference in central Virginia, warned that a win in his Midwestern battleground would not be a slam dunk for Romney.

“Coming into Wisconsin, coming into Iowa, coming into other states like that, for him to do well the ‘R’ next to his name has to stand more than just for ‘Republican’ — it has to stand for reformer,” Walker said, adding: “If people view him as a reformer, willing to take on both the economic and fiscal crisis our nation faces, I think voters in swing states like Wisconsin will listen.”

When asked why voters in his state do not already view Romney as a reformer, Walker told reporters: “I think they don’t see a lot right now. I think they need to see more of him.”

“They’d also like to hear what he’s going to do to tackle the fiscal crisis our country’s facing,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “The more times he comes to Wisconsin, the more times he comes to swing states like ours and lays that message out the better off we’ll be.”

Walker was one of several Republican governors who dispensed advice for his party’s presidential standard-bearer this weekend. He encouraged Romney to “be most aggressive about” pointing out that President Obama “doesn’t have a record to run on.”

“If I’m Governor Romney,” Walker said, “I keep coming back to saying, ‘Mr. President, defend your record and lay out what you’re going to do for the future’ and keep coming back to what I think most people want to hear, which is, what are you going to do?”

But after a week when the vitriol of the presidential race spiked as both sides accused the other of peddling lies and distortions, another swing-state governor, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, cautioned Romney not to let the Obama campaign set the terms of the debate.

“Mitt Romney can’t — he’s not going to — respond to every single lame attack that the Obama administration makes,” McDonnell said in interview with ABC News. “If he starts to run down every rabbit hole the Obama administration wants to take him, we’re going to be off the message.”

McDonnell, whose state is likely to see some of the most intense trench warfare of the campaign, predicted that “voters are going to vote — especially the independents – -they’re going to vote on jobs, on spending, on energy and leadership.”

In May, McDonnell conceded that Obama’s team had a better campaign infrastructure in place in Virginia than Romney.

“The ground game’s not there yet,” McDonnell said in an editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner.

Two months later, McDonnell, who runs a state that then candidate Barack Obama won by about six percentage points four years ago, said he’s seen a vast improvement.

“We’re there,” McDonnell said of the Romney campaign’s organization in Virginia. “Mitt Romney’s personally made a commitment to come to Virginia on multiple occasions. You’ve seen him here on regular occasions. We’ve got great surrogates that are out there speaking for him, so we will not be outmatched on the ground or on the air.”

But in the part of the state where this weekend’s gathering of governors took place, television ads from both sides were already blanketing the airwaves. In new ads, the Obama campaign has been turning up the volume on their attacks on Romney’s record at Bain Capital as well as his offshore investments.

“All these attacks by the president and his campaign really, I think, speak volumes to the lack of leadership on the part of Obama,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said in an interview. ”I guess that is what I find amazing.”

In his state — another important battleground — Branstad said the Romney campaign was “doing really well considering the fact that Obama carried Iowa by a pretty substantial margin last time. The polls show they’re basically dead even.”

But at least one Republican governor expressed concern that Romney needed to do more to avoid the “distractions” caused by his opponent’s calls for him to release additional years of his tax returns.

In comments that drew instant attention, Gov. Robert Bentley, R-Ala., said on Saturday that Romney would be wise to “get them out and just get past that.”

“They’re doing everything they can to hurt Governor Romney and tax returns will be one of those things,” Bentley told ABC News. “So the best thing to do is just get everything out in the open and just say, ‘hey I have nothing to hide and I’m going to release my tax returns.’”

Branstad disagreed: “You’ll never quiet those people that are attacking,” he said.

So did Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who has emerged as one of country’s most controversial governors for her advocacy of the state’s tough immigration law.

“I think this is just a distraction that the Obama campaign is throwing out there,” she said. “I think Governor Romney has proven his worth. He is honest and he is upright and he has been successful.”

Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., also dismissed this week’s attacks from the Obama campaign as “negative petty stuff” and advised Romney to offer voters “reassurance that he’s got the leadership talent” to be the next president.

“Campaigns can be very negative and ugly,” Fallin said in an interview with ABC News, and the key for Romney, she said, is “keeping focused on the main thing and that is families, their pocketbooks, economic issues.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jan Brewer's Office Releases Copy of Letter She Handed to Obama

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office initially said the letter she handed to President Obama during their tarmac encounter on Wednesday was for the president's eyes only, and refused a request by The Arizona Republic for a copy of the letter, which asked for it under the state’s public records law.

A spokesman for Brewer asserted the letter was personal and the governor's office had no copy of it.

But Thursday evening, Brewer's office released a copy of the letter, which talks about job creation, Arizona’s budget and problems at the border.


Written in Brewer’s handwriting, it says in part, "You've arrived in a state at the forefront of America's recovery -- and her future.  We both love this great country, but we fundamentally disagree on how to best make America grow and prosper once again.  I'd love an opportunity to share with you how we've been able to turn Arizona around with hard choices that turned out to be the right ones.  And, of course, my offer to visit the border -- and buy lunch -- still stands."

Much has been written, said and speculated about the impromptu meeting at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport that the governor said showed how "thin-skinned" Obama is about personal criticism.

She claimed that after handing the letter to Obama, she got a lecture from the president about the portrayal of a meeting she had with him in 2010 at the White House that was depicted in her book, Scorpions for Breakfast.  Brewer was also critical of the White House response to Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law that will be ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cameras caught the two speaking very intensely, with Brewer, at one stage, pointing her finger at the president. She claims Obama walked off on her in mid-sentence, adding that it was “disrespectful.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


ABC Exclusive: Obama Says Encounter with Ariz. Gov. ‘Blown Out of Proportion’

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama denied in an exclusive interview with ABC News that he was “tense” in his airport tarmac encounter with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Wednesday, as she has described.

“I’m usually accused of not being intense enough, right,” he told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, laughing. “Too relaxed.”

Brewer said in an interview that the president was “somewhat thin-skinned and a little tense, to say the least” and that she was “shocked by the sternness of it all.” The president reportedly raised objections, when meeting Brewer Wednesday, to her description of their meeting in June 2010.

In her 2011 book, Scorpions for Breakfast, Brewer accused Obama of being “condescending” and “patronizing” and complained that she and her aides were treated coldly by White House staffers.

“I think it’s always good publicity for a Republican if they’re in an argument with me,” Obama said of their most recent meeting. “But this was really not a big deal. She wanted to give me a letter, asking for a meeting. And I said, ‘We’d be happy to meet.’"

“Last time we met, she wasn’t fully satisfied. But, you know, I think this is a classic example of things getting blown out of proportion.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Share Tense Tarmac Moment

President Obama is greeted by Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer before a memorial for the victims of the mass shooting in Tucson, on Jan. 12, 2011. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Longstanding tension between Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Democratic President Barack Obama flared into the public spotlight Wednesday just after Air Force One touched down in Phoenix.

Brewer, who was on the tarmac to greet Obama, hand-delivered a letter before engaging the president “intensely” for several minutes, including pointing her finger directly at him.

Accounts from both camps later said the terse talk focused on Brewer’s book -- Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media and Cynical Politicos to Secure America’s Border.

The book, which was released in November, describes a June 2010 Oval Office meeting between Obama and Brewer aimed at diffusing conflicts surrounding Arizona’s controversial state immigration law and the administration’s immigration policy.

At the time, the White House called it a “good meeting,” while Brewer’s staff said it was “cordial.”

But Brewer paints a much different picture in her book.

Brewer complains in Scorpions for Breakfast that she and her staff were treated coldly by White House aides, prevented from taking pictures in the holding room outside the Oval Office and that their cell phones and cameras were “confiscated” by Secret Service.

“Too bad we weren’t illegal aliens, or we could have sued them,” she writes.

During her meeting with the president, Brewer said Obama was “condescending” and professorial, “lecturing” on his efforts to promote comprehensive immigration reform.

“It wasn’t long before I realized I was hearing the president’s stump speech,” she said. “Only I was supposed to listen without talking. Did he care to hear the view from the actual scene at the border? Did the opinions and observations of the people of Arizona mean anything to him? I didn’t think so.”

“He was patronizing,” she said. “Then it dawned on me: He’s treating me like the cop he had over for a beer after he bad-mouthed the Cambridge police, I thought. He thinks he can humor me and then get rid of me.”

Obama raised his objections to Brewer’s account face-to-face with the governor Wednesday.

“He was a little disturbed about my book,” Brewer told reporters after the meeting broke. “I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president. The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt.”

Obama told Brewer "that he didn’t feel that I had treated him cordially,” Brewer said. “I said I was sorry he felt that way but I didn’t get my sentence finished."

“Anyway, we’re glad he’s here. I’ll regroup,” she added.

A senior administration official later told reporters that Obama’s comments were in response to Brewer’s request for another one-on-one meeting.

“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,” the official told reporters, on condition of anonymity.

Brewer, who said in her letter to Obama that she wants to discuss “Arizona’s comeback” with him, did not attend the presidential event at a Phoenix factory today. But she did make several subsequent media appearances to talk about her tarmac encounter.

In an interview with KTAR radio in Phoenix, Brewer said Obama was “a little thin-skinned about what I wrote in my book."

“I was a bit taken aback by his stance and his attitude,” she said, adding that she, “tried to listen and tried to be respectful to him.”

Brewer said that she "would never disrespect a president," and says she told President Obama "that I know that he loves our country."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arizona Governor Decides Against Holding State Primary In January

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Friday night that she has decided against holding her state’s presidential primary on Jan. 31, temporarily easing the concerns of GOP leaders around that country that she would throw the primary calendar into chaos.

What she got in exchange is a promise by the Republican National Committee of a GOP presidential debate to be held in her state, which she said would “make certain that the major presidential candidates travel to Arizona, speak with our voters and address issues unique to the Southwest.”

Brewer had been threatening to hold her state’s primary in late January—a violation of national Republican Party rules—and a date that was all but certain to force a quartet of other states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) to push their primaries up in response.

In her statement on Friday, Brewer said she would set Arizona’s primary date, now scheduled for Feb. 28, at a later time.

“Just as important as what I’m announcing today is what I’m not announcing: a formal date for Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election,” she said. “I will for the time being keep my options open.”

Earlier Friday, ABC News reported that other states—namely South Carolina and Florida—were already sending signals that they might join forces against Brewer if she had picked Jan. 31 for Arizona’s primary.

The current calendar, which is still in a state of flux, has the Iowa Caucuses being held on Feb. 6, the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 14, the Nevada Caucuses on Feb. 18 and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 28. No other state is supposed to hold their primary before Mar. 6 and states that leapfrog ahead face sanctions from the Republican National Committee.

But that calendar is far from finalized as other states continue to jockey for an earlier slot on the nominating timeline. And Brewer could still cause headaches for Republican Party officials who are trying to sort out the timeline of nominating contests.

“Governor Brewer has punted the decision,” said Josh Putnam, a political science professor at Davidson College who follows the primary process.

Putnam said the Arizona Republican faces another series of deadlines throughout the month of September that would still allow her to choose a date before Feb. 28 to hold her state’s primary.

“With whatever date I choose, my goal remains the same as ever,” Brewer said. “To provide Arizona voters the biggest possible platform with which to impact the presidential nomination process.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Arizona Appeals to Supreme Court Over Immigration Law

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is so determined to have her state's controversial immigration enforcement law enacted that she's skipping the full 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and taking the matter directly to the Supreme Court.

It's widely assumed that was the Republican's intention all along, after a federal judge last July imposed an injunction on the most contentious provisions of the law, which includes allowing police officers to question a person's immigration status during the course of an arrest.

A three-member panel of the 9th Circuit Court upheld the lower court ruling, leaving parts of the law, known as SB 1070, in limbo.  Brewer decided she stood a better shot with the Supreme Court rather than the full appeals court, given the high court has five conservative justices who may be sympathetic to her cause.

The Justice Department will argue against the law, claiming that only the federal government can arrest and deport illegal immigrants.

Some parts of SB 1070 were allowed to go into effect, such as a provision dealing with sanctions for employers who hire illegal immigrants.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lawmaker Seeks to Stop Politically-Themed License Plates

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Arizona wants to honor the Tea Party with a commemorative license plate, but a U.S. congressman says that's a bad idea.

New York Democrat Gary Ackerman maintains states shouldn't be in the business of promoting political parties on the right or left and so he's introduced the "License Plate Political Slush Fund Prevention Act of 2011."

Ackerman's bill would slash 15 percent of a state's federal highway funds if they make license plates that fill the coffers of groups that work toward the election or defeat of political candidates.

The lawmaker is taking particular aim at Arizona's bill, which he says is the Republicans' attempt to "create a slush fund for its Tea Party friends.  It’s a scheme that smacks of cronyism, and should not be allowed to become law."

Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, hasn't said whether she'll sign the measure, which allows some of the proceeds from the plates to go into a fund that promotes "Tea Party principles."

Republicans from other states, including Nevada, Texas and Virginia, are also considering vanity license plates that pay tribute to the Tea Party.?

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Arizona Governor Vetoes Presidential Birth Certificate Bill

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill Monday that would have required President Obama and all other presidential candidates to prove U.S. citizenship before their names could be placed on the state’s ballot.

She also vetoed legislation that would have allowed individuals to carry weapons on college campuses in the state.

The birth certificate veto comes amid new calls from so-called “birthers,” people who continue to claim that Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore not eligible to be president.  Hawaii has long certified that the president was born in that state, and courts have rebuffed efforts to allegedly prove otherwise.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports the bill would have required candidates to present certain information to Arizona’s secretary of state.  In announcing her veto, Gov. Brewer said the person holding that office should not have that much authority, adding, “It could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions.”

Concerning the weapons bill, the Daily Sun reports Gov. Brewer vetoed it because she declared it was “poorly written.”  The measure would have allowed persons to carry weapons in the public rights of way going through college campuses, but the governor said the bill never defines what those “public rights of way” are.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Arizona Governor on Shutdown: 'Government Is a Necessary Evil'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Facing an oncoming federal budget crisis, Republican governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Jan Brewer of Arizona both said a government shutdown would not be productive for the country.

"I think government is a necessary evil," Brewer said.  "But it's necessary to provide services, and they should be able to come to some solution.  We need to trim the budget and move on."

"We appreciate our public employees but our job as governor is to look after our taxpayers," Haley added.

Along with Brewer and Haley, two other governors -- Democrats Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and John Hickenlooper of Colorado -- joined in a round-table discussion with ABC News to discuss the possible government shutdown.

A longtime friend and supporter of President Obama, Patrick said the fiscal crisis was a "real opportunity" to learn how Americans want the government to function.

"All of us are dealing with these kinds of challenges, and trying to get our budget gaps closed," Patrick said.  "There's another way, it's about turning towards each other instead of against each other."

Haley, at 39 years old the youngest governor ever elected, praised the GOP's proposed plan for $50 million in spending cuts, but said she felt it was Obama's responsibility to listen to Republican legislators instead of forcing Republicans to listen to his plan.

"[The Republicans] are just doing what the people are asking of them," she said.

The effort to slash the federal budget could cause difficulties for Brewer and Arizona, because one of the proposed cuts would mean 685 fewer border patrol agents.  The Republican governor acknowledged that fewer border patrol agents could be a problem for all the states that share a border with Mexico.

"I believe we need as much resources as necessary to get our borders secured," Brewer said.  "I hope that will be reinstated.  We all know that Arizona is the gateway for illegal immigration, and the drug smuggling and the drug cartel. ...We're going to continue fighting the battle on our border."

Patrick repeatedly touted how Massachusetts was able to "close huge budget gaps" successfully, including in education spending, and Hickenlooper defended his proposed $300 million in spending cuts for Colorado.

"We have to balance the budget and get back on the fiscal track," Hickenlooper said.  "For one year, we're going to have to retrench with less money."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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