Gov. Brewer has 'no regrets' as she prepares to leave office

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- After serving six years as Arizona's Governor, Jan Brewer's time in office is winding down. On January 5, Brewer will hand over the reins to Governor-Elect Doug Ducey.

3TV's political editor Dennis Welch spoke with Gov. Brewer about her last five years. And she told him she has no regrets.

"I would want to be remembered as being a good governor, being honest, being a truth-teller and doing what I believe is the right thing for all people in the state of Arizona," says Brewer.

Brewer took office in January 2009, following the resignation of Governor Janet Napolitano, and during the height of the great recession. With little money for schools, she bucked her own Republican party and won a tax increase to benefit K-12 education.

"I was going to do what I believed was right," she says. "It wasn't about Republicans or Democrats. I was governor for everybody."

Brewer would later overhaul Child Protective Services following a major crisis. And despite her record on children's issues, she will largely be defined by immigration.

She talked to us about SB1070, a law that took a tough stance on illegal immigration.

"When I signed SB1070 I had no idea that it was going to have the impact that it did have; it was huge," she says. "It was unbelievable in a lot of people's minds for a lot of different reasons."

SB1070 was popular at first, according to polls, but then prompted massive protests. "At first I tried to defend myself," she says. "The name-calling and the signs and all the brouhaha, that I believe was generated mostly by the media."

She also fought to keep young immigrants from driving illegally in Arizona. "I understand their plight of not having a driver's license," she says. "But it's not me, Jan Brewer, that's not allowing them to do that. I'm upholding the law, which was written. And their families knew, when they brought them or when they came here themselves that they were coming illegally."

She also discussed the infamous picture of her pointing her finger at President Obama on the tarmac. "He needs to listen," she says. "I'm assuming at that moment in time when that picture was taken I was talking to him and wanted to emphasize how important it was. He was a little thin-skinned that day."