Gov. Brewer-President Obama Meeting on Ariz. Immigration Law: Productive or White House Photo-Op?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 3, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer "On the Record" chose the location for our interview. On short notice, the best we could do was a hotel bar where the governor was staying. Here it is.


VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, nice to see you again.

GOV. JAN BREWER, R-ARIZ.: Nice to be with you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, what a switch. Moments ago, you were in the Oval Office with the president of the United States. Now you're in a bar with me.


BREWER: We're flexible!

VAN SUSTEREN: Very flexible. And this is not gin, this is just water, right?

BREWER: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, tell me. You went over to the White House.


VAN SUSTEREN: Take me through this. You walked in, and the president -- was he behind his desk? Where was he? Tell me the whole scene.

BREWER: No, he was in the hallway and greeted me and invited us into the Oval Office and offered me a seat in front of fireplace, and he sat in the other seat. And the other people in the room sat around on the couches and in some chairs in front of his desk.

And he kind of started off the conversation. We had some pleasantries. And then he indicated that his position on the border, on the security of the border, and on Senate bill 1070 and the direction of which he thought that the nation should go. And it was very cordial, I must say, you know? And so I listened and then he gave me the opportunity to respond. He has -- let me begin first by saying right off the bat that he's not comfortable with Senate bill 1070, but he...

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he say that, I'm not comfortable?


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, how did he say it?

BREWER: He indicated he disagreed with me on 1070. So would feel that would mean that he wasn't comfortable with it. However, he said that he wasn't going make any comment on it, that he was going to leave that up to the Department of Justice.

VAN SUSTEREN: He's already commented! He said it's misguided.

BREWER: Right. He has. So I mean, that's what I read from what he was saying, but we didn't discuss it. It was, like, that was what was said and that was the finish of it. I responded by saying that I think there was a lot of misunderstanding about the bill because I made it perfectly clear that it mirrored federal law and that I was absolutely adamant making sure that there was no racial profiling in the bill.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you told him your view and he sat there and listened to your view.

BREWER: He did. He did.

VAN SUSTEREN: And he was essentially silent, saying -- you just listened, I guess.

BREWER: Yes. Exactly. Exactly. And then we talked about the secure -- necessity of securing the border.

VAN SUSTEREN: What'd he say about that? Because, you know, he has said during the campaign, and frankly, going all the way back to President Reagan, everyone -- everyone has said and every candidate and every president has said we have to secure the border. I take it he said that today.

BREWER: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he say what he was going to do to secure the border?

BREWER: No. He told me, because I asked him when, I asked him specifically when, and he said that he would be sending staff to Arizona to provide that kind of information to our staff because I wanted to know, Greta, how many of those National Guard were going to be sent to Arizona and what other resources were going to come to Arizona.

He indicated to me today that the majority of those resources will be coming to Arizona. Now, in two weeks, I assume that we'll have definite information on that. And I'm encouraged. I'm encouraged by that. I'm a little bit further ahead than I was yesterday. At least I've got a two- week period now to get some information to determine just exactly what we're going to receive.

VAN SUSTEREN: In two weeks, he's going to send staff? Is that what (INAUDIBLE) going to send staff? And what's the staff supposed to do when they get there? Tell you?

BREWER: To communicate with my staff exactly what is going to take place in regards to the National Guard and the resources that they are sending to the border states.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you understand, from my perspective, here we have the two principals, we have the governor of the state and we have the president of the United States sitting across from each other in the Oval Office, and the president says, We're going to send a staff to do all the talking to your staff, instead of the two of you talking together.

BREWER: That's correct.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So you must -- I take it by your silence or your pause that you have sort of a little of the same thought of mine, why not do it now?

BREWER: Right.


BREWER: And you know -- yes, I'll leave it at that.


VAN SUSTEREN: OK, leave it at that. Did he say anything else about the border, about securing the border?

BREWER: Well, you know, he was pretty adamant about giving that information to me later. He was very, very clear that he wanted comprehensive immigration reform. And I was very clear that we needed to secure our borders before we discussed any of those kinds of issues and that we have heard that from previous administrations as far back as I can remember with Ronald Reagan, when amnesty was bestowed upon the illegal people that were in America, and nothing, again, happened at our border.

And I believed and I told him that the people of Arizona and the people of America want our borders secured. We have a right to ask that of our federal government and that we are going to insist that that gets done before I am going to discuss anything else, s...

VAN SUSTEREN: You sound like you're pretty tough.


BREWER: I don't -- you know, it's a tough issue. But we are -- we're -- I hate to use that word "relentless," but we are -- we -- we have been under siege. I mean, I think everybody understands we have been under siege. We're not -- we cannot put up with it. We cannot tolerate it. And I will do everything in my power to make sure that the people of Arizona are safe and they feel secure and this illegal trespassing is stopped!

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think he learned -- I understand what you learned from him or what he told you. What do you think he learned from you, or what do you think his impression was, walking out of that meeting?

BREWER: I think that he found that we probably weren't going to agree 100 percent on a lot of the issues. I think he -- if I can paraphrase what he said, and that I was perfectly capable of defending myself. So you know, maybe I should wear that as a badge of honor. You know, I indicated to him I was there to find solutions. I want help. But if the federal government wasn't going to stand up and do their responsibility, then I believe we need to stand up and do the job that we know we have to do. But we need their resources and we need their help.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who -- who was in the room?

BREWER: It was Valerie Jarrett. It was -- oh, I can't remember their names.


VAN SUSTEREN: Was his lawyer there?

BREWER: Yes, the White House lawyer was there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your lawyer?

BREWER: Yes. And oh, the gal, the PIO (ph), Mariel (ph) -- Lauriel (ph) -- can't remember their names, Greta!

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. No, I understand.

BREWER: I'm sorry.

VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't mean it that way.

BREWER: Yes. Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess I was more concerned whether the lawyers were there...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... I guess where I'm sort of a little bit fixated on the fact is that, you know, we had the -- the two staffs were there.

BREWER: They were.

VAN SUSTEREN: And so the two staffs could have spoken. And we have the two principals there. And now we have to put it on hold for two more weeks for something that the people of your state have been quite anxious about.

BREWER: Right. And in fact, my lawyer had to catch the red-eye last night and arrived here this morning around 9:00 o'clock because I knew that his lawyer was going to be there, so I had to have Joe Cayfield (ph) come in this morning. And so he's been without any sleep now for a few hours. So I hope on the plane back, he gets to sleep so he can be at work tomorrow morning!


VAN SUSTEREN: So -- all right, so two weeks, the two staffs get together in Arizona. And then what -- so what's your anticipation after that? You get your number of how many troops you'll get?

BREWER: Right. And what he's going to do. Is he going to build a fence? Are we going to have more troops on the border? And are we going to have any resources in regards to additional aerial defenses and recon and surveillance equipment? That's what we need. I mean, we absolutely need that. And we need to know the timeframe in which this is all going to be developed.

And he's going to continue to pursue, of course, what he says (INAUDIBLE) and work with us. And then in the meantime, of course, he believes in comprehensive immigration reform. And I think -- I believe he's going to -- I believe he's going to do that, you know, and leave the bill of senate bill 1070, which he finds misguided, in the hands of the Department of Justice. So I would assume I'll be hearing from the Department of Justice maybe soon.

You know, I got five lawsuits already on that bill, you know? And so, you know, I don't know why...


BREWER: I don't know why it's necessary for them to file, you know? (INAUDIBLE) could take that money and put it to work on the border for security.


VAN SUSTEREN: I guess it's clear we're in a bar. We hear a telephone. All right, now, tell me, going into the White House -- protesters?

BREWER: I understand there were protesters. I did not see them. Somebody said they could hear them, but we kind of came in through the -- you know, the executive building back way into the side office there.

VAN SUSTEREN: We've had protesters both ways, protesters for you, protesters against you.

BREWER: Oh, yes. Today?

VAN SUSTEREN: No, just in general.


BREWER: I had protesters at my house. I had a busload show up at my house, two great, big motor coach houses (ph) about -- about three weeks ago at my house, which was a little disarming.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now the question that -- you know, all the politicians -- we're fact-checking everything you say. We're going over with a microscope. Mr. Blumenthal in Texas -- in Connecticut got hit last week, or a week ago, before when he said he -- something about Vietnam, and he hadn't served in Vietnam. You're getting hit by your newspaper by some for saying that your father -- well, actually, let me ask you what you said about the Nazis and your father.

BREWER: Well, you know, I have a very interested -- very interesting story in regards to my life, and I have told that story many, many times in many, many places about my father, my mother and my brother moving out from Minnesota and him working in -- as a civil servant in an ammunition depot in Hawthorne (ph), Nevada, and served proudly, making bombs during World War II inhaled a lot of terrible chemicals and fumes, which created these great lung problems, which made him disabled and had to be put in the military hospitals and died a very long, painful death, you know, six, seven years before he became deceased, when I was 11 years old.

And it's unfortunate that there are people out there -- in fact, I believe it's pathetic that they want to spin something to the fact that I have said this or I have said that in respect to what he did for his country, a very patriotic man. I grew up on a base. I know what it is to lose family members overseas. I know what it's like to lose someone that's fighting a war by making bombs during the great Second World War. You know, it was America's greatest generation, and everybody went to work. Everybody was fighting against that.

And for them to embellish and pathetically try to twist that into something ugly is ridiculous. And you know, I have determined at this point in time that I'm just not going to give it any more notice because it's so wrong. It's so wrong. It was painful for me, losing my father like that, a patriot, and everybody in Arizona that's ever heard me speak knows my story. I've got it in speech after speech after speech about my background and where I grew up and how I lost my father, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: Did -- but -- (INAUDIBLE) clarify -- the paper quotes you as saying is that the Nazis killed your father.


VAN SUSTEREN: Is that...

BREWER: I never said that.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's a misquote, or you never said it?

BREWER: I never said that. I said my father...

VAN SUSTEREN: And maybe I'm misquoting (INAUDIBLE)

BREWER: You know, is said my father died fighting -- fighting the German -- fighting the German regiments of Hitler. And he did. He was building the bombs. I never said he was overseas. I never once said he was in the military. He was working on a military base in Hawthorne, Nevada, making bombs and ammunition to send, as were many people. Just like when you see in the movies where people and women are out there making airplanes. They were all fighting the Nazi regiments in Germany to keep America free. And it's as simple as that. If my choice of words were odd, you know, so be it. But the bottom line is, is that I'm proud of my father. And I think it's pathetic that those people have to come after me in regards to my deceased father.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, thank you.


VAN SUSTEREN: And I know you have a flight back home because...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... you got a lot of work on -- work back home.

BREWER: And come out.


VAN SUSTEREN: I would love to. Thank you, Governor.



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