OTR Interviews

Ariz. Gov. Brewer Highlights Political Battles, Struggles to Secure Border in New Book

Ariz. governor details political wars and struggle to secure border in new book


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: A billion-dollar drug ring busted. The feds team up with Arizona authorities to crack a massive trafficking operation. They say it was tied to Mexico's most powerful cartel and that the cartel was smuggling drugs right through Arizona's desert.

As you know Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, has been waging an ongoing fight to get the Obama administration to tighten border security. And she just wrote a book about her political battles. It's called "Scorpions for Breakfast." Governor Brewer joins us. Good evening, governor.

ARIZ. GOV. JAN BREWER: Good evening.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, governor, we have to start with the title. Who came one that title and why?


BREWER: It is a fun title, isn't it? Actually Chuck Norris came up with it. He was making comments and was on TV or radio and said that Jan Brewer is so tough she eats scorpions for breakfast. And we thought that was a clever title. And we know we're up against a huge battle and we have to be tough, so why not?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the book starts about issues that are very personal to Arizona and to much of the country. But start with the personal stuff, the rancher who was murdered in south Arizona. That's where you start. Why did you start with him?

BREWER: Because I believed that that was really, truly our wake-up call. The bottom lean is we knew we had a battle on our hands, but when Rob was murdered down there on his ranch, after all the pleading and all the crying out to help us, federal government, protect and secure our borders, it was just absolutely devastating. It was a terrible thing to have to hear via the telephone that that had happened to that particular family, to anybody.

But then I knew that I was not going to give up, I would not stop. I would not let that of ever -- under my governorship allow that to happen again. I was going to shout it from the rooftops, and that's what I've attempted to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: But to sort of jump ahead to today, big news about a huge drug bust in Arizona, huge. I mean, millions and millions of dollars.

BREWER: Absolutely. And again, it's just another example that our borders aren't secure, and that the federal government is not doing their job. And it's just so unfortunate, Greta, that we continue to have to be placed in these kinds of circumstances. And although they did arrest, I believe, what, 76 people in regards to this bust, the bottom line is that they will reorganize and they will continue to go and that vacuum will be filled with another gang.

You know, it just -- it's unnerving to realize that we sit there somewhat helpless, and our federal government just simply won't step up and do their job and won't allow us, by the way, to do it. That's why I wrote the book. The bottom line is "Scorpions for Breakfast," we keep fighting, we try to help them, we try to do something, and it just never gets -- our story never gets told.

And so I think in my book that I'm a truth-teller. I'm trying to tell the public just exactly what we are under, what we have been put up to as far as being tested, and how radical the liberal media has been in sharing our story with the people of America. Our borders are not secure. Our citizens not only in Arizona are not secure, and certainly the people of America are not secure.

VAN SUSTEREN: One of the sort of interesting things, you refer to the -- there's some reference to Jan Bo, which is sort of fun. And I don't know if people realize in every state there is bipartisanship, and you and Congresswoman Gabby Giffords are friends, different political parties, but friends. And you write about when you first heard that she was shot.

BREWER: That was a terrible day in the history in the state of Arizona, something that one would never, of expect to be involved in. And it just broke our hearts. And it was such a touch and go situation for so long, not knowing whether she was shot, if she had died. We kept getting reports back that she had been killed. So it was somewhat of a relief after we found out that she had survived and had been taken to the hospital.

Of course we all know from that point forward it was all touch and go. But Gabby and I had a good relationship. She was one and is one of the sweetest, nicest people that anyone would ever, ever meet. So it was a terrible tragedy. You know, obviously created by a madman.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I don't mean to -- there are several people who died. I don't mean to minimize their suffering and deaths, but she is obviously someone we all new.

And here's the interesting mart from the book. Page 193 you talk about the Obama administration including Arizona in its report to the United Nations human rights council. And it looks like you are sort of -- your colleagues on this are Libya, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and China, and Arizona. What a combo.

BREWER: What a combo. And that was so outrageous. It's almost unbelievable that they would try to ask those countries to judge us in Arizona about our human rights? Oh, please. That just really frosted me. Are you kidding me?

VAN SUSTEREN: It's extraordinary. And you had some nice words for the president when he came down and spoke at the memorial and the first lady. So I mean there are times when even though you are battling with the administration, there are times when at least even in your book you talk about when you can work together.

BREWER: Absolutely. And he did come to Arizona and we were very grateful that he did, and he made some very kind and good remarks at the memorial there for the people that passed away and talked about civility. And we appreciated it very, very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor Brewer, thank you. I know your battle will go on because I can tell from your book that you are not giving up. I read it and I enjoyed it. Thank you very much and good luck. And I hope you come back. I expected to see you in New York but I got held up here. So next time.

BREWER: Nice seeing you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Governor.