Brewer accidentally backs Obama in live interview at RNC

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

TAMPA, Fla. -- Known for her somewhat questionable skills as an orator, Gov. Jan Brewer made a major political gaffe on live television at the Republican National Convention Wednesday. She accidentally backed the wrong candidate -- President Barack Obama.

"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," Arizona's Republication governor said.

While Brewer did not correct herself, her spokesman did, saying the governor merely misspoke and firmly supports Mitt Romney.

Earlier this month, Brewer was by Romney's side at a campaign event in Colorado. Despite her formal endorsement and ongoing support of the former governor of Massachusetts, Romney's name wasn't the one that rolled off her lips while speaking with MSNBC on the convention floor Wednesday.

"Governor 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," her office said in a news release to the media shortly after the MSNBC interview. "It happens - even to newscasters and TV pros. Regardless, given the Governor's record of challenging President Obama, it's a stretch to think anyone would believe she's supporting his re-election. The Governor stands with Mitt Romney."

Brewer herself has not said anything about her comment on MSNBC, but she has been outspoken of Obama and his administration, saying they have done nothing to secure Arizona's border with Mexico.

And it was just earlier this week that Brewer told Politico she believes Obama is "race-baiting" to Hispanics.

"There's no doubt in my mind," she said during that interview, going on to say she believes Obama panders to Hispanic voters.

AP Photo

In January, the governor made headlines over a photo in which she was pointing her finger in the president's face in what could be interpreted as chastisement.  While many made that leap, Brewer insisted that was not her intention.

"I hope that people will take it in the context that I was talking and I talk with my hands," Brewer later said, explaining that she meant no disrespect and that the photo, which quickly went viral, was a single frame of a conversation.

During at least one day of the convention, Arizona delegate Debra Jean Forrest wore a button -- autographed by Brewer, featuring that photo.

In the course of the flap over the snapshot, the governor also described Obama as "thin skinned" when talking about his less-than-enthusiastic reaction to her book "Scorpions for Breakfast," in which she recounted her 2010 meeting with him at the White House.

This isn't the first time Brewer has been confused while speaking on live television.

During a debate among four gubernatorial candidates in September 2010, she got off to a decidedly rocky start. It wasn't clear if she forgot her opening statement or couldn't read her notes.

After a painfully long pause -- nearly 15 seconds -- shortly after she began her opening statement, the governor looked into the camera, smiled and said "We have did what was right for Arizona." 

It was another headline-making performance as clips from the debate became fodder for all forms of digital media.

Despite Wednesday's misspeak at the RNC, Brewer has been staunch in her support of her party and its candidate, even telling Greta Van Sustern of Fox News that she would not allow Arizona to "turn blue" as long as she's governor.

"On my watch, it won't turn blue," Brewer said.


Interview with Gov. Jan Brewer originally aired on MSNBC