OTR Interviews

Gov. Brewer on Arizona's economic recovery: 'We did it our way'

Arizona governor sounds off on President Obama's visit, her state's economic recovery and whether she will seek reelection


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 6, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now to Arizona, where all eyes are on the tarmac, President Obama traveling to Phoenix for that economic speech. But today's sizzling question -- how would Arizona Governor Jan Brewer greet the president? Who could forget last year's tarmac tiff, Governor Brewer's famous finger pointing at President Obama!

But today a very different picture from the tarmac. Governor Brewer joins us. Nice to see you, Governor.

ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER: Nice to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, you looked a lot more chummy this time around when you saw the president. Was it a friendly meeting on the tarmac today?

BREWER: Well, I'm always really pleased when President Obama comes to Arizona and shows interest. However, rather than coming to Arizona trying to share our successes, I wish he would learn from our examples of what we've accomplished in Arizona.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I actually saw your statement after you met. I mean, first I see the smiling, the greeting, looks quite friendly. Then the president gives his speech, and then you issue a statement where you jump all over him, saying he's taking all the credit for everything that basically Arizona's done.

BREWER: Well, you know, we have turned Arizona around during the terrible economic times that Arizona faced. You know, we had a budget deficit worse than California's per capita. And today we can stand proudly and say that we've got a balanced budget, a cash carried forward and a rainy day fund. We did tax reform, school reform.

You know, we've been busy here, and we did it our way. We did it our way, not with the federal government.

VAN SUSTEREN: What did you and the -- what did you and the president say on the tarmac? What -- was there any reference to the last time you met, when you stuck your finger in his chest?

BREWER: No, there was no reference to that. He was speaking to me as he was coming down the stairs, and I welcomed him back to Arizona. I thanked him immediately for his phone call during our tragedy of the fire that we had, where we lost our 19 firefighters, and for sending Vice President Biden here to represent the White House.

I talked to him about our federal emergency declaration, hoping that we could get a little bit of energy behind it. It's been 30 days now, and we haven't heard from the federal government, and we have people hurting. So I wanted to put that on the radar for him.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, over the weekend, you mocked some of the Obama administration for saying that the borders are more secure than ever. Is -- I mean, are you -- I mean, is it -- is it the same as it was a year ago, worse than it was a year ago, or better than it was a year ago?

BREWER: Well, you know, I don't know if I mocked him. I think that there was the headline, and I don't write the headlines. But the fact of the matter is, is we've got a serious problem in Arizona. We need our borders secured. Got a lot of immigration discussion going on. And I don't think that much of that is possible until we get our borders secured, and I'm adamant about it. And I wish that they would take it seriously.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, there in governor -- in Arizona, the governor has two terms, but you filled Janet Napolitano, who was governor, became secretary of homeland security, so it's unclear whether that counts or not. But I'm curious, do you intend to run for reelection as governor?

BREWER: Well, I haven't made up my mind yet. I've got lawyers telling me that I could, if I chose to. I have plenty of time. I usually have never announced that I was running until maybe February before the election. I got a job to do. I got plenty of time.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which way are you leaning?

BREWER: I love my job, though.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which way are you leaning?

BREWER: I love my -- I love my job!

VAN SUSTEREN: So is that a hint?

BREWER: I don't know if that's a hint or not, but I do enjoy my job, I really do, and I think that I've done a good job for the state of Arizona.

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

BREWER: Thank you, Greta.