Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who faced off with President Barack Obama on an airport tarmac last month, will skip a White House dinner Sunday honoring the nation’s governors, explaining that she has a scheduling conflict.
“I’ve just decided I wasn’t going to be going because I had some other commitments I had to attend to,” Brewer said.
The annual dinner hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, is one of the conference’s highlights.
“The tarmac issue was a little distorted rather than reported probably the way that it actually happened,” Brewer said. The White House didn’t comment on Arizona governor’s absence.
The Huffington Post writes that Brewer won’t dine at the White House because she does not want to participate in a “social” event.
Brewer, who attended dinner at the White House last year and is to take part in a policy discussion with other governors and Obama on Feb. 27, laughed when asked to identify her scheduling conflict.
A spokesman, Matthew Benson, declined to say whether the conflict was state business or personal: “We’re not going to get into our schedule.”
On Jan. 25, Arizona Gov. greeted the president in Phoenix with a letter asking for a meeting on Arizona’s economy and suggesting they visit the U.S.-Mexico border. According to Bloomberg, they talked closely for several minutes and reporters took an image of Brewer and Obama.
A photo of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer aggressively pointing her finger very close to the President face made the headlines a month ago.
It was a scandal as the fact that the governor felt she could point her finger that close to President’s Obama’s face, shows a total lack of respect for the Office of this Presidency, wrote All Voices.
Later the governor explained her behavior. “He was a little disturbed about my book,” Brewer said, referring to her political memoir, “Scorpions for Breakfast.” In the book, Brewer depicted Obama as “patronizing” during an earlier meeting.
In her book Brewer accused Obama of mischaracterizing the immigration law’s provisions and describes a sharp exchange during a meeting with Obama in the Oval Office.
“I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president,” Brewer said. “The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt. So.”
As for the rest invited to dinner, they haven’t changed their plans. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad intends to attend the National Governors Association dinner as he thinks it’s quite an important event.
“When the president of the United States invites the governors to come to a formal dinner, you don’t turn him down, OK?” Branstad said. “My youngest son is going with me. It’s a nice honor. I’m not going to deny that for my son.”
Florida’s Governor Rick Scott, a frequent Obama critic, will fly into Washington today for the dinner having to skip the NGA’s meetings on job creation, health care and other topics.