Jan Brewer says Barack Obama was “condescending’’ to her in the lone face-to-face meeting the pair had over the issue of border security.
In her new book, “Scorpions for Breakfast,’’ the Arizona governor details how she engineered a meeting with the president last year at the White House. Brewer said she wanted the meeting, which took place after she signed SB 1070 but before the Obama administration sued to overturn it, to explain to Obama “exactly what is taking place down there in Arizona and that we need to have our borders secured.’’
But the governor said the president apparently had a different agenda, telling her about how the government was doing everything it could “but the system was broken.’’
“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.’’
She called him “patronizing.’’
“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,’’ Brewer wrote. “He thinks he can humor me and then get rid of me.’’
Brewer said she did “give him a piece of my mind’’ and asked him to come to Arizona to see the border for himself, something he did not do.
In her 228-page book due out Nov. 1, Brewer also:
• Defends signing legislation banning “ethnic studies’’ programs in Arizona schools, saying she was “not going to allow Arizona’s tax dollars to be spent on programs that tell some Arizona children that other Arizona children were their oppressors.’’
• Chides Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for “irresponsible comments’’ and calls him a “craven opportunist’’ for comments linking overheated political rhetoric with the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
• Blasts “the left’’ for trying to equate efforts by Arizona and other states to exercise their sovereign rights “along with the race and Hitler cards.’’
But the heart of the book, which Brewer is promoting at www.scorpionsforbreakfast.com, involves SB 1070.
That law contained various provisions all aimed at giving police more power to detain and arrest people who are in this country illegally. But the state has been barred from enforcing most of the key provisions after the Obama administration convinced a federal court judge to issue an injunction.
That injunction has been upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Brewer is now seeking Supreme Court review.
The governor said, though, the fight goes beyond the Obama administration.
“There was an agenda at work that didn’t want the law enforced,’’ she said, with interests on both side of the border.
On the Mexican side, Brewer said that money sent home by its citizens in Arizona is the second-highest source of that country’s foreign income, behind oil.
But her strongest criticism is reserved for Obama.
“It seemed as though the only thing he liked better than the status quo of uncontrolled illegal immigration was having the target of SB 1070 to shoot at,’’ she wrote. “By accusing us of being bigots, he could look as if he were doing something about immigration when he was actually doing nothing at all.’’
That question of racism comes up again as Brewer discusses her reasons for signing legislation banning ethnic studies programs, a bill aimed squarely at the program run by the Tucson Unified School District.
She said Arizonans “wear our Mexican and American Indian cultural traditions proudly.’’ And Brewer said she understands the push to learn and understand other cultures.
“It’s another (thing) to deny that there is a set of values that define what it means to be American,’’ the governor continued. “And it is another thing entirely to teach your students to hate their country.’’
Brewer writes that Dupnik is, in some ways, guilty of fanning that same kind of hatred.
In the hours following the January incident, Dupnik said that people are very angry about what’s going on in our country.
“I think that it’s time we take a close look at what kind of hatred that we inflame by all the crap that goes on,’’ the sheriff said at the time.
“Here, this craven political opportunist was exploiting our shared tragedy to score a cheap political point,’’ Brewer wrote. “And, of course, Dupnik’s comments from the scene in Tucson were all that the liberal mainstream media needed to unleash their residual bias against Arizona.’’
The governor said the man arrested was “a deeply unbalanced young man with no discernible political beliefs or agenda.’’
“Yet as the days went by, liberal journalists and politicos repeatedly accused Arizonans, gun owners, the Tea Party, and supporters of SB 1070 of being accomplices to mass murder,’’ Brewer said.
In her book, the governor also details some of her early political missteps as a legislator, including how a reporter in a phone interview tricked her into reciting some the dirty lyrics from a rock album, “including the four-letter words and all of the awful, misogynist things that were polluting our children’s minds.’’ Then the reporter showed up at the Capitol with an amplifier and speakers on a flatbed truck, with a sign saying “Hear Jan Brewer Talk Dirty,’’ and played the recorded tape.
Brewer uses the book to air some other criticisms of the “liberal media’’
There is one story about an interview with an Arizona Republic reporter new to the beat who wrote about how Brewer talked about resenting the comments calling her a Nazi, “knowing that my father died fighting the Nazi regime in Germany.’’
The truth was that he had passed away a decade as a result of toxic fumes he had inhaled while working as a civilian at a Nevada ammunition factory.
Brewer acknowledged she could have been clearer in her comments and did not blame the Republic reporter, saying she “had never heard my life story.’’ Others, the governor said, did not have that excuse.
“The liberal media began sliming me as a liar,’’ the governor said. She complained how “Newsweek’’ “lumped me in with Connecticut Senate candidate Richard Blumental, who lied outright about his military service, and Illinois Senate candidate Mark Kirk, who served in Iraq but said during his campaign that he had been fired upon while doing so.’’