OTR Interviews

Gov. Brewer on NY Mayor Bloomberg's Undercover Gun Sting in Arizona: Thanks, But No Thanks

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 1, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Arizona is in a struggle for survival. That's what Governor Brewer is saying about her own state, specifically regarding health care costs. What does she have to say about the bombshell health care decision in Florida? That judge declared the national health care law unconstitutional. Governor Brewer went "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: Governor Brewer, nice to see you.

GOV. JAN BREWER, R-ARIZ.: Nice to hear from you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, on January 25th you sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius asking for special favors in terms of the health care because of the cost in Arizona your financial condition. But now the health care law has been declared unconstitutional, so now what?

BREWER: Well, first let me say we are very pleased and encouraged in the state of Arizona. We will continue our negotiations with Secretary Sebelius and try to get some flexibility and reasonability out of the federal.

Although we are very encouraged that Obama health care plan was found unconstitutional, we've always known it was unaffordable, unsustainable, we know that they will move forward and make an attempt to get a stay or go to the Supreme Court. So we can't take any chances. We have budgets we have to get out.

So I need flexibility. I need a waiver or some type of help from the federal government to solve the issues we are facing.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't really get it. So many states attorneys general are certain this is unconstitutional. And it is an enormous cost to go forward with the expectation it will be enforceable or by stopping. And I really don't get that so many states seem to be willing to ignore the fact that the judge said it was unconstitutional and move forward as though they don't agree?

BREWER: Well, you know, I'm hoping my attorney general, I think he was on last night, we need to continue to pursue it. But right now we have won. It is my opinion from my council we've won. We are waiting to see what the federal government is going to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why don't you just call stops on any sort of adjustments made that you expected to make in light of the national health care bill and proceed? That doesn't seem like aunt reasonable option in light of the fact it has been declared unconstitutional.

BREWER: Because, we know they still have remedies. They can still go through the courts. We have to be prepared. We can't all of a sudden have something fall on top of us and have to move forward and be able to turn this ship of the great state of Arizona around on a moment's notice.

So we will continue actually on a three-track, if you will, Greta. We will try the lawsuit remedy, the congressional changing the law remedy, and we will try to get the waiver remedy. We simply cannot afford it. We need help from our government to back off and let the states do the job we are entitled to do under the constitution.

And in the meantime, they are out there and they are not helping us. They are hindering us.

VAN SUSTEREN: You wrote a letter asking for the waiver January 25th to the secretary, Sebelius. Has she responded?

BREWER: No, we have not heard from the secretary. But our staffs have been in contact. We are trying to get an appointment face-to-face with her in Washington, D.C. in the next couple of weeks. I'm hopeful that gets remedied and I can fly back there and speak to her person-to-person. I have been on the telephone with her try to try to explain to her the situation here in Arizona. As a former governor herself, she understands what other states and Arizona are facing in regards to this.

Even as we ask for this waiver, you know, with the waiver, if we have to do the things that we're going to do, you know, the bottom line is, our plans still will be more generous than Kansas and equal with Florida. Only six states, including Arizona, have this very generous Medicaid plan that Arizona has. So, it would just -- if they give us the flexibility we will save over a million people from being kicked off access totally.

VAN SUSTEREN: At least she is responding in some way the staff has been talking, so that sounds like a positive step forward.

Let me turn to something else. Mayor Bloomberg of New York, which is 2,000 miles from your state, apparently has decided to investigate your gun shows, Arizona. I'm sure you have a thought about that?

BREWER: Well, I find it interesting that he's out here in Arizona solving our problems. I guess he believes that he has solved all the problems in New York. Here he is in the good state of Arizona.

It has been a fascinating story, but we are a big Second Amendment state I support our laws here. I've signed gun laws here. What he went after the way it was portrayed is not what the issue is. I think all laws should be enforced. And those people that buy guns from private owners at a gun show have the responsibility, if they knowingly realize it, someone cannot pass a background check or if they suspect that maybe they are mentally incompetent, it is a state felony and a federal felony. So those laws need to be enforced.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's interesting, according to the newspapers he spent $100,000 with eight investigators. I guess on the bright side, they probably stayed at a company of hotels in Arizona so at least


VAN SUSTEREN: He might have helped you out a little. Do you intend to send investigators to the city of New York to investigate anything?

BREWER: Actually, no. I'll let him take care of his state.


BREWER: And I'll be taking care of Arizona.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, always nice to see you, thank you for joining us.

BREWER: Thank you, Greta.