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Obama and Arizona governor have tense exchange at Arizona airport

January 26, 2012 - New York

Barack Obama and Arizona governor Jan Brewer apparently had a confrontation on Wednesday when the president touched down at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport.

At one point, Brewer was pointing her finger at him, and at another, they were talking at the same time, seemingly over each other. Then Obama appeared to walk away from her while she was still talking, the New York Post reported.

It all began when she handed over a letter to the US President, inviting him to meet with her.

Obama replied that he would 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," a senior administration official revealed.

He was referring to her book, "Scorpions for Breakfast," which is callously critical of the president. The pair has clashed harshly on immigration policy, with the Obama administration suing Arizona to block its enforcement measure.

In the book, she gave an account of an Oval Office meeting, and claimed he was lecturing and patronizing, something which the White House denies.

After her encounter with Obama, the governor spoke about what happened.

"He was a little disturbed about my book," she told reporters.

"I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president. The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt."

The governor was then asked about the part of book that hurt the president.

"That he didn't feel that I had treated him cordially. I said I was sorry he felt that way but I didn't get my sentence finished. Anyway, we're glad he's here. I'll regroup."

East Valley Tribune's account of the book mentions that Brewer was insulted during a 2010 meeting with the president at the White House.

"It was though President Obama thought he could lecture me, and I would learn at his knee," she wrote, calling his tone "patronizing."


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