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Jan Brewer 'breathless' after encounter with Obama

January 26, 2012|By Amy Hubbard
  • Jan Brewer, in Phoenix earlier this month, has described a "terrible" encounter with President Obama.
Jan Brewer, in Phoenix earlier this month, has described a "terrible"… (Ross D. Franklin / Associated…)

Jan Brewer says that her now much-ballyhooed encounter with President Obama on Wednesday on an Arizona airport Tarmac left her "breathless."

Pool reporters at the airport greeting that went awry say the two seemed to be talking over one another and Obama turned away when Brewer was in midsentence. Afterward Brewer told Fox's Greta van Susteren that Obama had taken "umbrage" over her book, "Scorpions for Breakfast" and their "terrible" encounter "kind of left me breathless."

At issue is a meeting in 2010 that took place after she signed SB-1070 -- a controversial, notoriously tough immigration law -- before the Obama administration sued to overturn it.

Brewer says in her book that Obama was "condescending" to her, telling her the government was doing everything it could "but the system was broken," according to the Arizona Daily Star: "It wasn't long before I realized I was hearing the president's stump speech," she said. "Only I was supposed to listen without talking."

The White House, on the other hand, has described the meeting as "cordial."

Brewer and the White House seem to disagree on this latest encounter too. As The Times reported Wednesday, a White House official offered this comparatively sunnier version of the event:

The governor handed the president a letter and said she was inviting him to meet with her. The president said he'd be glad to meet with her again, but did note that after their last meeting, a cordial discussion in the Oval Office, the governor inaccurately described the meeting in her book.

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