Jan Brewer to Skip Out on White House Dinner

While in Washington D.C. for the weekend at the National Governors Association conference, Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer will not be crossing paths with President Obama at events unrelated to the conference’s focus on economic issues. Considering their now infamous encounter last month, some may not be surprised by the news that Brewer plans to skip out on a White House dinner honoring the nation’s governors Sunday. Bloomberg reports on Brewer’s pass on the black-tie dinner invite:

“Brewer said in an interview today that she had a scheduling conflict.

‘I’ve just decided I wasn’t going to be going because I had some other commitments I had to attend to,’ Brewer said.”

[...]

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Brewer’s absence.

Brewer, who dined at the White House last year and will attend a policy discussion with other governors and Obama on Feb. 27, laughed when asked to identify her scheduling conflict.

A spokesman, Matthew Benson, declined to say whether the conflict was state business or personal.

‘We’re not going to get into our schedule,’ Benson said.”

While Bloomberg reports that the scheduled absence is result of scheduling conflicts, The Huffington Post suggests that the snub may be a little more calculated, and that Brewer told staff that she does not want to participate in a “social” event:

“‘I’m not,’ Brewer told The Huffington Post when asked whether she would attend the dinner.

The Huffington Post overheard Brewer telling gubernatorial staffers prior to Saturday’s opening NGA session that she would skip the dinner because it was a “social” function, but that she would attend Monday’s White House meeting between governors and Obama because it was a ‘policy’ event.

When asked about her plans for Sunday night and her reasons for skipping the dinner, Brewer was ushered away by an aide. Her spokesman, Matthew Benson, stepped in to answer questions on her behalf.

‘We have other plans now,’ Benson said, without elaborating on what Brewer would be doing Sunday night.”

Brewer is expected to attend all other events at the conference.

The image of the heated exchange between Brewer and the President on January 25 was the subject of much media scrutiny, as the Arizona governor was photographed with her finger in the President’s face after delivering a handwritten letter. At the time it was reported that the two were talking over each other, and Obama appeared to eventually walk away while Brewer was still speaking.

Brewer told reporters that the President was disturbed by her recent book; Scorpions for Breakfast, where the governor criticizes White House opposition to Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)

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