PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer wants a little sit-down with President Obama and homeland security chief Janet Napolitano to talk about what really needs to be done to secure the border.
She said she wants the president involved because her predecessor seems to have forgotten what things are like here in her home state. While Napolitano was very critical of the federal response to her own calls for more security, Brewer said she has "turned a blind eye" on Arizona's problems since leaving for Washington more than a year ago.
There was no immediate response from the White House.
But Matthew Chandler of the Department of Homeland Security suggested Brewer's comments about Napolitano are inaccurate, reciting a litany of statistics about the number of new people and pieces of new equipment placed on the border since the Obama administration took over.
Brewer cited in particular testimony by Napolitano last month to a Senate committee saying the border is "as secure now as it has ever been."
"If you would look at some of her correspondence previously, they weren't very secure," Brewer said, referring to a series of letters Napolitano, as governor, sent to Michael Chertoff who was homeland security chief in the Bush administration.
Brewer said Napolitano's new view is part of why she wants to meet personally with Obama, to give him what she believes is an accurate accounting of the real situation.
The governor said she has not talked with the president since he announced his plans earlier this week to put 1,200 National Guard troops along the border. Brewer said she hasn't yet obtained any details on what that will mean to Arizona.
"But I think it's important that the leader of the United States and the governor of the state of Arizona sit down face to face and have a conversation of exactly what is going on in Arizona and ask him for his help and hope that he responds positively," she said.
The governor already is planning a trip to Washington next week to talk with other governors who, like her, are members of a special council the president appointed to provide him with advice on issues of homeland security.
The trip is to prepare for a July meeting of the actual council.