Jan Brewer Smacks Down Piers Morgan: 'You Don't Know What I Was Saying' to Obama on the Tarmac
After Tuesday's Arizona GOP primary, CNN's Piers Morgan accused Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) of "jabbing him [Obama] in the chest and threatening all sorts of things," in reference to Brewer's tarmac meeting with President Obama where she was photographed pointing her finger at him. Brewer immediately called Morgan out for embellishing the story, during the interview early Wednesday morning.
"Now Piers, you don't know what I was saying," she corrected her host. "I was not threatening him." It certainly was not the first time Morgan had characterized the President as a victim of Republican behavior. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Brewer then tried to set the story straight about her meeting with the President. "I was talking to him, and he was a little bit taken – he took offense to the book that I wrote, which is a truth-telling book, by the way," she told Morgan. "I think he was a little thin-skinned."
Brewer recounted how she "welcomed" the President and asked for a sit-down conversation with him. According to her, Obama replied that the last time they did so she portrayed it in a negative light in her book.
"And I indicated that it was a truth-telling book, and he walked away from me. And I said did you read my book? And he said, excerpts," she stated.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on February 29 on Piers Morgan Tonight at 12:11 a.m. EST, is as follows:
PIERS MORGAN: I mean if your man Mitt does win the nomination, he takes on Barack Obama. We've already seen you in spectacular fashion on the tarmac jabbing him in the chest and threatening all sorts of things. Is that what you want to see from Mitt Romney when the battle royale starts?
Gov. JAN BREWER (R-Ariz.): Now Piers, you don't know what I was saying. The President and I know what I was saying, but you weren't there. I was not threatening him. I was talking to him, and he was a little bit taken – he took offense to the book that I wrote, which is a truth-telling book, by the way. And I went there with a happy heart to welcome him to Arizona, and to tell him about the Arizona turnaround, which I'm so very proud of, of what we've been able to accomplish here in Arizona. You know, growing our employment and growing our job growth, and everything that we've done with education has been marvelous.
And I asked him, when he came down off the plane, I said I welcomed him to Arizona, and I said to him you know I would like the opportunity if we could, to sit down and talk about the good things that we've done here. And he said that the last time we sat down, I went out and I told the press that it was cordial, when I wrote my book, that he didn't like the way I portrayed him. And I indicated that it was a truth-telling book, and he walked away from me. And I said did you read my book? And he said, excerpts. You know, I -- the book is truthful, you know I was a little bit unnerved. I think he was a little thin-skinned. And no, but he did help the economy. The book sales went up, so I'm grateful for that.
MORGAN: Just to be serious, but if Mitt Romney does win and is the nominee, and he gets to take on Barack Obama, should he be making some kind of advantage of the apparent thin-skin that you've identified?
BREWER: Oh, no. I don't think that would be nice, and I don't think that it would be the right thing to do, unless he exhibited thin skin. You have to call them like you see them. You have to be a truth-teller.
MORGAN: Well I had to laugh when you said that Mitt Romney would, you know, wouldn't play on this apparent vulnerability, because it wouldn't be nice. Mitt Romney has done some of the most vicious, far-from-nice commercials we've ever seen in election politics. So he's got it in him, doesn't he, to really stick the knife in?