Below is video of an interview that took place about 6:15 PM West Coast time at the Republican convention Wednesday night. I don't have a transcript of the whole thing, but will provide a few meaty nuggets. There's also a funny moment, a typical Brewer blunder, that the Dems should steal immediately.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was interviewed by MSNBC reporter Ron Mott on the convention floor. Of course the topic was immigration and Brewer's support of SB 1070, more border fences, self-deportion, and other anti-brown tactics—which is essentially the GOP platform this year. Mitt Romney called SB 1070, which even the Roberts Supreme Court has gutted, "a model" for the nation.
Here's an example of the brain trust behind Arizona's immigration policy: Jan Brewer was a supporter of Sen. Steve Smith's dickheaded scheme to raise $50 million in donations to build a 200-mile border fence—a bill she gleefully signed. I wrote yesterday that, after more than a year, the project has collected less than $200,000, enough to build about 370 feet of fence, a little short of their goal. These are the Keystone Kops running our state (no offense Kops).
Reporter Mott first asked the governor if her hardline policies, and the Republicans' embrace of them, aren't hurting Romney's chances with Hispanics. She dodged the question about the lack of Hispanic support for Republicans, natch, and repeated what she always says, like pulling the string on a Chatty Cathy doll: "I believe in the rule of law," which is her lame excuse for sending 11 or 12 million undocumented people south.
As usual, she also said a couple things that are downright lies, but, as we've seen with the GOP's medicare ads, a statement's truth, or lack thereof, is immaterial. At one point Brewer said, in not very grammatical fashion:
But in Arizona alone, has an $8.3 billion budget and $1.7 billion goes to people because of illegal immigration for incarceration, healthcare, and education.That's the kind of bullshit SB 1070 author and recalled Sen. Russell Pearce used to toss around, yanked from the ass of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigration group that's been feeding the bigots overblown statistics for years to justify measures like the "papers please" law. (Happy parenthetical comment: Pearce lost in last night's GOP senate primary!) Brewer's statistics include, for example, the cost of educating children born here—American citizens—and, if she's concerned about the economy, it makes absolutely no sense to not educate them:
[A]n immigrant high school dropout—which characterizes nearly half of today's unauthorized people—received $89,000 more in services than he paid in taxes in his life. But an immigrant with at least some college—a quarter of today's unauthorized—gave $105,000 more than he got. WaPoWhich speaks to the value of President Obama's recent deferred deportation program—one Brewer and the GOP naturally oppose. Brewer's "cost of immigration" claim also conveniently overlooks sales taxes, Social Security, and other taxes paid, and work done, by the undocumented. And, of course, if Arizona wasn't locking up immigrants, the incarceration costs would be much less.
Brewer said a couple times that she's just upholding the law, and Congress should change the law if Americans don't like it. Okay, but when Chris Matthews asked her if she'd be open to a compromise, if, for example, she'd be willing to consider a guest worker program, she reverted to the old "rule of law" BS without answering Chris's question because, you know, a guest worker program means "amnesty" in GOP-speak, and we can't be having that.
Then Rachel Maddow asked Brewer why she's on such an anti-Obama tear when he's deported far more people than Bush, when he's sent way more money, resources, and patrols to the border than Bush. Why didn't Brewer and her Republican goonballs in Arizona screech "secure the border" when Bush was in office? Again, Brewer had no answer, other than her "rule of law" crap. She never addressed Rachel's fact-based question: Why beat the anti-immigration drum during Obama's term but not Bush's, who accomplished considerably less?
To listen to Brewer, it's the Wild West along the border, with drug cartels invading Arizona, leaving "headless bodies" littering the desert. The truth is (there's that nasty fact thing again), although immigration remains an issue the nation must address in a fair and intelligent manner, border crossings and crime are down considerably from Bush's years, due in part to America's sucky economy and Obama's policies. Yet Brewer conveniently ignores that reality and spews her "secure the border" nonsense, when the border is more secure than it's been in years.
Oh, the "ha ha" moment? Go to 1:25. Jan Brewer, who's never been known to light up the TV machine with her brilliance, said,
And I know that if President Obama is elected in November, which I hope that he is, we'll be able to come together with all of us and come up with a solution, and I believe he will secure our borders.That's about the only thing she said right, which the Obama team should swipe for their campaign ads.