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The point: Brewer vs. Obama
This may turn out to be one of the symbolic images of the Obama years.
The governor of a major state pointing her finger at the president of the United States.
Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said President Obama objected to her description of an earlier meeting in the Oval Office over immigration policy. The White House said Brewer distorted the details of that meeting in her book.
In some ways, the point reflects the political divisions of our time.
It also underscores the disputes that underscore those divisions: Illegal immigration.
Expect to hear the echoes throughout this election season.
USA TODAY's Aamer Madhani describes this latest episode:
President Obama and Gov. Jan Brewer had a tense exchange Wednesday, sparring over the Arizona governor's portrayal of Obama as "patronizing" in her memoirs.
Obama was greeted by Brewer soon after Air Force One landed in Phoenix this afternoon. The president was handed a handwritten letter by Brewer, and they spoke intensely for a few minutes, according to a White House pool report. At one point, she was pointing her finger at him and at another, they were talking at the same time, seemingly over each other, according to pooler Carrie Buddof Brown of Politico.
"He was a little disturbed about my book, 'Scorpions for Breakfast,' " Brewer told reporters traveling with Obama. "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. "
In her 2011 book, Brewer is critical of the president and accused the president of being "patronizing" and said "he lectured me" during a June 2010 Oval Office meeting. In media interviews after the event, she described their conversation as cordial.
The White House offered a statement with their version of what transpired on the Phoenix tarmac:
"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. The President looks forward to continuing taking steps to help Arizona's economy grow."
Obama is in Phoenix to visit Intel's Ocotillo campus.
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