OTR Interviews

Ariz. Gov. Brewer recalls 'terrible encounter' with Pres. Obama: He's 'thin-skinned' about my book

Ariz. governor gives the inside story on tense encounter with president


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 25, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And now, a confrontation on the tarmac. Just moments after Air Force One landed in Arizona, President Obama and Jan Brewer appeared to have a heated exchange. What caused the tension moments? It was Governor Brewer's book. Governor Brewer joins us.

Governor, nice to see you. We've all seen the picture. We had on GretaWire.com. You are pointing his finger right to his chest. What were you saying to him?

ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER: I was trying to be there in a tone to welcome him to Arizona. I was very pleased he was coming to Arizona to see part of Arizona's come back. I had written a handwritten note to him to deliver welcoming him to Arizona and to thank him for being here and gave him the letter. He immediately took umbrage with my book I wrote, "Scorpions for Breakfast" and was disgruntled about the way he was portrayed in the book.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did he actually say anything to you, you got it wrong, you said this about me and this is not true?

BREWER: I said "You read by book?" He said "I read excerpts from it." The bottom line is the book is factual. The book is true. I want our borders secured. I want our nation protected. He wants amnesty. We'll never going to agree on that. So I don't know why he was surprised by my book. He evidently is and thin-skinned in regards to it.

VAN SUSTEREN: One of the things you asked him to do and actually Senator McCain as well and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords recently resigned today have asked him to go to the border. Did you bring that topic up with him to go to the border and take a look?

BREWER: I wrote that in my handwritten note to him. I tried to talk about the Arizona comeback and what we've done with the economy and great Arizona is. And I asked about the opportunity to be able to sit down and talk to him about it.

And again, at the end of my letter, I say and reiterated my invitation to come to the border and see what was going on and that I would buy lunch begin. It was great respect and signed my name to it. I was trying to be gracious to him. And he just reacted in a very negative manner of which took me back, kind of left me breathless to tell you the truth.

VAN SUSTEREN: He hadn't read it, but I'm curious after you had the exchanges when you put the finger in the president's chest, did it end well. Was it let's be friends, did it end well?

BREWER: I think I was in the middle of a sentence and he walked away from me. You know me, when I talk, I am animated and I talk with my hands. I suppose that the picture was probably shot when I was moving my hands around. But it was just, in my opinion it was a terrible encounter to bring up the book at this particular time. Here we are talking about jobs and the economy. We're celebrating the growth and the comeback of Arizona has made, and he wants to go immediately to the book.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, I got to go. Thank you. Hope you come back soon, governor.

BREWER: Thank you, Greta.