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Hannity

Brewer 'unnerved' by unexpected Obama confrontation

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MONICA CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer got an unexpected greeting from President Obama as he arrived in Phoenix yesterday. The Governor handed the president a handwritten letter, inviting him to return to Arizona and take a trip to the border with her. That's when things got heated.

Apparently, the president thought this was an ideal time to critique her book, "Scorpions for Breakfast." The president reportedly said, he was disturbed by some of the passages in the book and felt he was not being treated cordially. According to the governor, she said she felt a little threatened by the exchange.

And of course, the White House is defending the tension on the tarmac, saying the whole situation is being blown out of proportion.

Joining me now to set the record straight is Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. And great to see you as always, Governor. I have to say, you had quite the exchange with the president on the tarmac yesterday. What surprised you the most about his interaction with you?

GOV. JAN BREWER, R-ARIZ.: Well, I was surprised that he referred to my book "Scorpions for Breakfast." I had gone to the airport to welcome him to Arizona and was cheery and happy at heart and got there and was excited, of course, that he was coming to see firsthand the Arizona comeback. And after we had some exchanges, I talked to him, I had a letter for him, I wanted to get to him. He wanted to know what was in it. I shared with him about the fact that Arizona has really led the nation, I believe, in economic recovery and that we have grown in job growth and that I wish I could have the opportunity to sit down and talk with him and share some of the things that we had completed. And then the last sentence of the letter, I asked him to -- to come and join me again at the border, or come and join me at the border and that I would buy lunch.

And he indicated at that point in time that he was a little uncomfortable, a little unappreciative, if you will of my book in the way that he was portrayed in it. And I felt a little unnerved by the way that he spoke to me about it. But I explained to him that the bottom line is, is that I believe what I wrote in the book to be factual and to be true and that I thought it was interesting, of course that he decided to talk about -- about himself and not exactly about what the book really, really was about. It was about immigration and securing our borders.

CROWLEY: You know on that subject.

BREWER: It was more about him.

CROWLEY: Well and that is sort of the point, isn't it? That's in this exchange, Arizona is on the frontlines of the illegal immigration invasion. The state has some grave problems, directly connected to the fact that the federal government, the president of the United States, his attorney general and in fact, the government at large, will not deal with this issue. It is their responsibility, they won't do it. So you guys in Arizona are trying to deal with it. And the fact that you are trying to fend off this or at least engage the president in the issue, the fact that he took the opportunity to start talking to you about something you characterized your last meeting with him, I find it remarkable. I guess I am not surprised that he did this with you. But I find it remarkable that he is so thin-skinned.

BREWER: Well, you know, he is very, very sensitive. And it's unfortunate because, I mean, we should be talking about the important things that America is facing and what Arizona is facing. And it's all about the economy. It is all about jobs. And of course, I believe America is also a very concerned about getting our borders secure. And we are the gateway for the illegal drugs and for the drug cartels and the violence, and it's their federal responsibility to take care of those kinds of issues, and we get no results. And when he comes and I want to talk to him, -- I mean, I love my country. I know the president loves his country. But please! Don't come when we are faced with all of these issues of jobs, the economy and a border that's out of control and feel, you know, that the whole issue is all about the way you are portrayed in my book. I wrote that book in earnest. And you know, I was unnerved. But I'm going to stand on what I wrote. And it's the truth. It's a truth-telling book.

CROWLEY: And I have to say, this exchange has really bumped up your book on the best-seller list, so good for you on that.

Governor, the president has not been to the border. And in fact, when I think about his last big confab about illegal immigration at the White House, he had the Eva Longoria, the actress there, but he didn't have you there and in fact, he didn't have a single border governor at that meeting. What does that tell you? Does that tell you that as long as he's president, you can pretty much forget about any kind of border enforcement?

BREWER: You know, it is really unsettling to know that he must realize exactly what is going on on the border. In fact, I mean, he did indicate he had my book. I mean, he did indicate he had read parts of it at least. He knows we have a problem. And then not to invite any border governor to that meeting, you know, I felt snubbed. I think that we are faced with it on a daily basis. We know what is happening down there. We would like to be able to explain to him exactly what we are faced with, what our citizens are faced with. And it's just doesn't seem to resonate with the White House. And it is unfortunate because we are in crisis. I believe we are in crisis. And we appreciate the additional troops that he has brought to the border, but it is not enough. And of course, the illegal immigration camp probably is down because our economy is bad. But we still have, what? Four times the population of the City of Nogales coming across our borders daily -- I mean, yearly. It's out of control.

CROWLEY: It's absolutely out of control. Well, you are doing -- you are doing an amazing job there, Governor Brewer. We admire your fearlessness not just in taking on this illegal immigration invasion, but also getting in the president's grill yesterday and holding his feet to the fire on the issue. You are one of my heroines. You go girl. Thanks, Governor.

BREWER: Thank you, Monica. Thank you.

CROWLEY: Great to see you.

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