(CNN) – On the eve of an expected court ruling on the federal government’s challenge to her state’s controversial immigration law, the governor of Arizona is continuing her confrontational stance toward the Obama administration.
In an exclusive interview Tuesday on CNN’s John King, USA, Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Arizona, said until the borders are secure, she has no interest in working with President Obama on passing a comprehensive federal immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the country.
“I would tell him: Secure our borders,” Brewer told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King after King asked how the Arizona Republican would respond if Obama asked for her help with an immigration bill after this November’s midterm elections. “You know, everything's off the table, I believe, in Arizona until we get our borders secure. That's our number one priority. It's unfortunate it has to be that way. But the people of Arizona, the people of America, have been promised that our borders would be secured for years and years and years, with it not happening.”
When it comes to immigration, Brewer added that she thought the public – in Arizona and throughout the country – was not interested in discussing anything other than securing the borders.
“Let's take care of this issue of illegal immigration [by securing the borders]. Then we can sit down and be open and have good dialogue to discuss what it is that [Obama] would like to accomplish,” Brewer also told King.
In a prior appearance nearly two months ago on CNN’s John King, USA, Brewer defiantly said she would see Obama’s Justice Department in court when asked about the possibility that the federal government might challenge her state’s immigration law.
"We'll meet you in court," Brewer said at the time. "I have a pretty good record of winning in court."
Since then, Attorney General Eric Holder decided to challenge the law primarily on the grounds that it interferes with the federal government’s authority under the Constitution to control the borders and set foreign policy. The law is set to take effect Thursday and a federal court is expected to rule before then on requests that enforcement of the law be enjoined, a move that would effectively prevent the law from taking effect.
On the eve of the court’s highly anticipated decision, Brewer said the law was not discriminatory.
“[R]acial discrimination is illegal,” Brewer told King in her exclusive interview Tuesday. “It's illegal in the United States. It's illegal in Arizona. It has been and it will continue to be.”
She added, “I hope that it doesn't happen.”
While Brewer said Arizona’s law enforcement officers “are so well trained, they understand what America's all about,” she also said that anyone who engaged in discrimination while enforcing the new law “w[ould] be punished. And the people that are feeling that they're being racially discriminated against can, you know, pursue a legal relief through the courts.”
Editor's note: Occasionally we will ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation in and outside Washington.
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– Democrats' new talking point is that the Bush tax cuts did nothing for the economy, but that's only if you ignore historically low unemployment, rapid acceleration out of the 2000-2001 recession, and huge surges in GDP.
– The FDA is taking Avastin off label. Conservatives are gearing up to make this a fight over Obamacare.
– Consumer confidence falls again. It might be better renamed "Voter Confidence in the Democrats".
The Dewey Square Group Principal Maria T. Cardona:
– Tom Tancredo wreaking havoc among the Republicans as he calls for the impeachment of President Obama and the bombing of Mecca. Even more proof that Republican candidates this election are way out of the mainstream for Americans to trust. Hey but Dems love that guy! Do your thing Tom!!
– While the past two weeks have been a major distraction for the WH (some of it their own doing), Dems need to focus on their long list of accomplishments for this fall (this has been one of the most accomplished Congressional sessions) – voters have a true choice, electeds who will actively work to solve problems vs electeds who will take us back to the failed policies of the past.
– AZ ground zero for immigration debate – yet another poll showing Latinos overwhelmingly support POTUS and Democrats. Republicans continue to dig their grave with Latinos for the long haul. Dig baby dig!
Led Zeppelin, "Kashmir"
Big Country, "In a Big Country"
Bruce Springsteen, "Glory Days"