AZ Gov. Jan Brewer Backs Obama In Live TV Gaffe

12:47 PM, Aug 30, 2012   |    comments
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Written By: Yvonne Wingett Sanchez,

No one will ever mistake Gov. Jan Brewer for a great orator.

But her blunder Wednesday during a live television interview with a cable network from the floor of the Republican National Convention in Tampa left some speechless.

Brewer accidentally threw her support behind President Barack Obama, just months after she put her pointer-finger in his face during a heated exchange on the tarmac of a Mesa airport.

A reporter asked Brewer, an immigration hardliner, if she's had conversations with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney about border and immigration issues.

She responded, "I believe that Governor Romney understands the issues, certainly being a former governor, he understands states rights, he understands that as governors we have to govern," she said before the gaffe.

"And I know that if President Obama is elected in November, which I hope that he is, that he will be able to come together with all of us and come up with a solution and I believe he will secure our borders and therefore we can resolve all those other issues, it's a simple matter," Brewer said.

Video of Brewer's gaffe immediately hit Facebook and Twitter, with critics condoning her.

Brewer has endorsed Romney. And she's no fan of Obama.

Matt Benson, the governor's spokesman, was inundated with media requests following the oops moment.

"I'm sure no one was more surprised than President Obama," he told The Republic Thursday morning. "Of course the governor misspoke. It was a noisy situation, with a lot of activity on the floor and this kind of thing happens from time to time with every elected official in the heat of the moment on live TV."

Sen. John McCain also mistakenly avowed his faith in Obama during a Romney campaign rally in South Carolina earlier this year. The senator slipped up and said he believes in the President's ability to improve the economy.

"I am confident, with the leadership and the backing of the American people, President Obama will turn this country around," McCain said.

Members of the Arizona delegation in Tampa either rolled their eyes or laughed off Brewer's slip of the tongue.

They made the point that everyone on the trip is exhausted.

On top of that, Brewer is a popular attraction on the convention floor, constantly responding to media questions and signing autographs.

"Nobody cares," said Laura Knaperek, an Arizona delegate and a former state lawmaker from Tempe. "It doesn't bother me because it really could happen to anyone."

"I'm sure that Obama would want her endorsement, don't you think?" she joked.

Brewer frequently misspeaks during press conferences, interviews and events. Earlier this year at a veteran's event, she butchered President D. Roosevelt's famous quote about the attack on Pearl Harbor, calling it "a date that will live in affinity."

Brewer once called the Legislature a "deliberatory body," and during a televised gubernatorial candidate debate, she paused for 13 seconds as her train of thought derailed midway through her opening statement. During that debate, she also uttered the phrase "we have did what was right for Arizona." Clips of Brewer's debate performance ricocheted around the nation, were picked up on cable news, talk radio and liberal corners of the blogosphere.

Staff writer Dan Nowicki contributed to this report.

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