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Arizona governor: Obama was 'thin-skinned' in airport exchange

January 26, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey

Reporting from Washington — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says President Obama was "somewhat thin-skinned" and "tense" in a testy greeting caught on camera on a Phoenix-area tarmac.

Brewer and Obama were seen exchanging brief words by reporters as the president arrived for an event Wednesday to promote his economic plan. Brewer handed the president a letter, the two appeared to talk over each other and the governor pointed her figure at the president.

Brewer, known for her tough stance on illegal immigration, told a Phoenix radio talk show that she was surprised that the welcome went so sour. She says she welcomed the president to the city warmly and said she hoped to sit down with him some time.

The president responded by bringing up a passage of her recent book, "Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure the Border."

"He was somewhat thin skinned a little tense to say the least," Brewer told KFYI radio. As for the pointing her figure at the president: "I was trying to be very calm. The picture is interesting, I don't remember doing that," she said.

A White House spokesman declined to say more about the exchange. Yesterday the White House put out a statement noting the president felt Brewer's book inaccurately described a meeting between the two. In the book, Brewer says she felt lectured to when she met with Obama.

A spokesman for the governor says the letter Brewer gave to Obama is "personal, hand-written note welcoming him to Arizona."

"It pointed out the President Obama loves this country and she loves this country, too, but they have difference views on this economy," said Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson.

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