OTR Interviews

Gov. Brewer Very Disappointed in Obama Snub, Vows to Beat Feds in Court Over Illegal Immigration Law

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 17, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: So what did Hillary Clinton say, our Secretary of State? She did drop a bombshell during an interview in Ecuador, speaking about Arizona's illegal immigration law.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy. And the Justice Department under his direction will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.


VAN SUSTEREN: Now, that is huge news because no official decision has been announced about the Obama administration suing Arizona. So what is the deal? And could Secretary of State Clinton be in hot water with President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder? A Department of Justice spokesperson will only say the Justice Department continues to review the law. The spokesperson will not confirm or deny the substance of Secretary Clinton's statement.

Joining us by phone is Arizona governor Jan Brewer. Good evening, Governor. And before we get to the question whether or not the president's kept his word on his two weeks he'll give you information, tell me, have you heard anything about whether or not the Justice Department has made a decision to sue Arizona over your new statute?

GOV. JAN BREWER, R-ARIZ. (Via telephone): No, we have not! What a disappointment! You know, when you hear from the president of the United States and he gives you a commitment, you would think that they would stand up and stand by their word. It is totally disappointing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, she actually said something that might be a little -- something that the people of Arizona might be happy about because she said that it's the federal government's job to determine immigration policy. Isn't that what you all have been asking, is the federal government to do something? I mean, she said it's their job. I mean, if nothing else, is that she's laid it out, you know -- you know, to the president, Do it!

BREWER: Well, exactly, you know? Secretary Clinton understands it is their responsibility. And maybe they're saying that we don't have to do their job. Maybe they are going to step up.

But it was an unfortunate way in which we heard today. I was down in Tucson. And to get this information released to me vis-a-vis that they heard of the lawsuit through an Ecuadorian interview is outrageous! It would seem to me that if they were going to file suit against us that they definitely would have contacted us first and informed us before they informed citizens, by the way, of another nation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, you can't see the picture on your screen, but we just looked at a picture of you and President Obama two weeks ago in the Oval Office, when he -- when you were here, and I think the -- at least the observation I have is he was sort of pressured into seeing you because you were in town and you'd been asking to see him.

But he made some promises about some deployment of National Guard, and you were going to hear within two weeks what the federal government -- what President Obama had decided. We asked you last night when we were Arizona. You still hadn't heard, but you said today was the last day for the two- week period. Have you heard anything today?

BREWER: We have not. And you know, I was so hopeful. I really was hopeful that today that during early hours that we would hear from the Obama administration. But unfortunately, now it is night and we have not heard a word in regards to what they're going to deploy or how many troops we're going to get. And I am really disappointed.

What can I say? You know, you make a commitment -- you know, people there with us, we all heard the same thing, two weeks. And so that was our drop-dead date. So I'll be anxious to just hear what we hear in the next couple of days. I'm hopeful that we can reach out to him tomorrow in some manner and get some answers to this. This is unacceptable! Unacceptable!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he promised two weeks, and he didn't get it, so what was that, just a photo-op of the two of you in the Oval Office? I mean, what do you make of that?

BREWER: Well, you know what I make of it? I think that the people of Arizona and the people of America put a lot of pressure on this issue and that they responded to kind of cool it down. And I think they thought maybe they could go away and placate us. Unfortunately, they didn't. I think by the actions that we've experienced now today and with no comments from the White House back to my office in regards to their promise, and then the action that took place down in Ecuador with Secretary Clinton, you know, it's just going to make people that much more outraged at the administration.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, what's interesting -- Secretary of State Clinton admits it's the federal government's job. And so Arizona finally, after being quite patient, steps in, passes a statute, whether it's constitutional or not, and the reaction now seems to be, by the federal government, you guys are the bad guys, and so you're going to get sued, rather than you're going to get your help.

BREWER: It's outrageous! It's just -- it's just bizarre! It's just bizarre! But I will tell you, Greta, we are not going to back away from this issue. We are going to pursue it. We're going to be very aggressive. And we'll meet them in court! We will meet them in court. And we will win. I truly believe that we will win. And the population of America, again, agrees with Arizona.

And I feel that the administration -- I do -- I believe that the Obama administration and the that party is going to probably feel some ramifications in this next coming election in regards to the behavior on this problem. We've talked a little bit about...

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well...

BREWER: Go ahead.

VAN SUSTEREN: And if -- if you hear from them, let us know. If you hear from them tomorrow, maybe they're just a day late, so we'll...

BREWER: I will, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... stand by. All right, Governor, thank you.

BREWER: Thank you. Bye-bye.

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