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National Politics

Ariz. governor misspeaks, says she supports Obama re-election

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 01:46 AM

FLAGSTAFF — Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer clearly misspoke in a recent television interview from the GOP convention floor where she supported President Barack Obama for re-election, a spokesman said today.

The governor's comments came as she discussed immigration during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and were broadcast Wednesday on MSNBC.

Brewer renewed her call for improved security on the U.S.-Mexico border and said she was hopeful Obama would be elected in November so he could help come up with a solution. She didn't correct herself, nor was she prompted to.

Brewer, however, has been at odds with Obama, verbally and legally, on immigration and other issues.

Brewer "misspoke, obviously, and certainly isn't the first official to have done so amid the noise and chaos of a crowded convention hall or rally," spokesman Matthew Benson told The Associated Press.

"It happens, even to newscasters and TV pros," he added.

Benson said Brewer continues to endorse Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

An NBC correspondent asked Brewer in the television interview whether she has had conversations with Romney about securing Arizona's border with Mexico and immigration.

Brewer started her answer by saying Romney understands states' rights to govern themselves. The confusion came as she continued, saying, "I know if President Obama is elected in November, which I hope he is, he will be able to come together with all of us and come up with a solution.

"I believe he will secure our borders. And therefore, we can resolve all of the other issues as a simple matter," she said.

Illegal immigration and border security have been sore points between Obama and Brewer, as illustrated by a tense discussion at an airport tarmac in Phoenix in January when Brewer pointed her finger at Obama.

The two are at odds over whether the federal government has done enough to secure the southern border.

Brewer has acknowledged other speaking gaffes.

For instance, she made a claim during her gubernatorial run against Terry Goddard in 2010 that rising violence along the U.S. border had led to headless bodies turning up in the Arizona desert. She later said she was referring to killings across the border in Mexico.

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