In the letter she delivered to President Barack Obama just before she wagged her finger at him during a tense discussion Wednesday, Gov. Jan Brewer urged the president to take notice of Arizona’s economic recovery and reiterated her longstanding request that he tour the Arizona-Mexico border with her.
Though the Governor’s Office had previously denied requests from media seeking a copy of the letter because it said a copy didn’t exist, gubernatorial spokesman Matthew Benson said today that he hadn’t realized a copy was made before Brewer gave it to Obama.
Most of the one-page, handwritten letter was about Arizona’s economic recovery. Brewer wrote that Arizona went from being at the “bottom of the list” for job creation in the United States to the top 10. She said she hoped Obama would have an opportunity to see “our tremendous results firsthand.”
The governor suggested she could give Obama some advice on how to improve the U.S. economy.
“We both love this great country, but we fundamentally disagree on how to best make America grow and prosper once again. I’d love an opportunity to share with you how we’ve been able to turn Arizona around with hard choices that turned out to be the right ones,” Brewer wrote.
She also repeated her invitation for Obama to tour the border with her, a request she famously made when the two met at the White House in 2010 to discuss SB1070.
“And, of course, my offer to visit the border – and buy lunch – still stands,” Brewer wrote at the end of the letter.
The letter sparked a highly publicized spat between Brewer and Obama that ended with the governor pointing her finger in the president’s face. Brewer, who was part of a small delegation that greeted the president at Mesa’s Williams-Gateway airport, greeted Obama after he debarked Air Force One and handed him an envelope containing the letter.
Brewer said the argument started when Obama complained about her depiction of their 2010 meeting in her book, “Scorpions for Breakfast.” The White House said Obama was only responding to Brewer’s invitation to visit the border with her, saying the last time they met she inaccurately described the meeting.