PHOENIX - Gov. Jan Brewer says President Obama was "condescending" to her in the lone face-to-face meeting they had over the issue of border security.
In her new book, "Scorpions for Breakfast," the Arizona governor details how she engineered time with the president last year at the White House. The meeting took place after she signed into law SB 1070, the measure aimed at illegal immigrants, but before the Obama administration sued to overturn it. She sought the meeting to explain to Obama "exactly what is taking place down there in Arizona and that we need to have our borders secured."
But the governor said the president apparently had a different agenda, telling her about how the government was doing everything it could "but the system was broken."
"It wasn't long before I realized I was hearing the president's stump speech," she wrote. "Only I was supposed to listen without talking."
She called him "patronizing."
"Then it dawned on me: He's treating me like the cop he had over for a beer after he badmouthed the Cambridge police, I thought," Brewer continued. "He thinks he can humor me and then get rid of me."
Brewer said she did "give him a piece of my mind" and asked him to come to Arizona to see the border for himself, something he did not do.
In her 228-page book due out Nov. 1, Brewer also:
• Defends signing a law banning ethnic studies programs in Arizona schools, saying she was "not going to allow Arizona's tax dollars to be spent on programs that tell some Arizona children that other Arizona children were their oppressors."
• Chides Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for "irresponsible comments" and calls him a "craven opportunist" for comments linking overheated political rhetoric with the January mass shooting that killed six people and wounded 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
But the heart of the book, which Brewer is promoting at www.scorpionsforbreakfast.com involves SB 1070, which she signed into law.
That law has various provisions designed to give police more power to detain and arrest people who are in this country illegally. But the state has been barred from enforcing most of the key provisions after the Obama administration persuaded a federal judge to issue an injunction.
Waiting on Supreme Court
That injunction has been upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Brewer is now seeking Supreme Court review.
The governor said, though, the issue is bigger than the Obama administration.
"There was an agenda at work that didn't want the law enforced," she said.
On the Mexican side, Brewer said, money sent home by its citizens in Arizona is the second- highest source of that country's foreign income, behind oil.
But her strongest criticism of the attack on SB 1070 is reserved for Obama.
"It seemed as though the only thing he liked better than the status quo of uncontrolled illegal immigration was having the target of SB 1070 to shoot at," she wrote. "By accusing us of being bigots, he could look as if he were doing something about immigration when he was actually doing nothing at all."
That question of racism comes up again as Brewer discusses her reasons for signing legislation banning ethnic studies programs, a bill aimed at the program run by the Tucson Unified School District.
She said Arizonans "wear our Mexican and American Indian cultural traditions proudly." And Brewer said she understands the push to learn and understand other cultures.
"It's another (thing) to deny that there is a set of values that define what it means to be American," the governor wrote. "And it is another thing entirely to teach your students to hate their country."
Brewer also wrote Dupnik is, in some ways, guilty of fanning that same kind of hatred - and giving ammunition to the "liberal media."
In the hours after the January mass shooting, the Pima County sheriff said people are angry about what's going on in our country. "I think that it's time we take a close look at what kind of hatred that we inflame by all the crap that goes on," he said.
"Here, this craven political opportunist was exploiting our shared tragedy to score a cheap political point," Brewer wrote. "And, of course, Dupnik's comments from the scene in Tucson were all that the liberal mainstream media needed to unleash their residual bias against Arizona."
The governor said the man arrested was "a deeply unbalanced young man with no discernible political beliefs or agenda."
"Yet as the days went by, liberal journalists and politicos repeatedly accused Arizonans, gun owners, the Tea Party, and supporters of SB 1070 of being accomplices to mass murder," Brewer wrote.
In her book, the governor also detailed some early political missteps as a legislator. One involved her 1990 bid to ban the sale of records with offensive lyrics to anyone younger than 18.
She said a reporter, in a phone interview, tricked her into reciting some of the dirty lyrics from a rock album, "including the four-letter words and all of the awful, misogynist things that were polluting our children's minds." Then the reporter showed up at the Capitol with an amplifier and speakers on a flatbed truck, with a sign saying "Hear Jan Brewer Talk Dirty," and played the recorded tape.