John King, USA

The latest political news and information on the most important stories affecting you.
July 27th, 2010
09:30 PM ET

Brewer to Obama: 'Everything's off the table' til borders secure

(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.”

July 20th, 2010
07:29 PM ET

Breitbart: 'This was not about Shirley Sherrod'

Washington (CNN) – Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who published video of a speech by former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod, said Tuesday that his decision to release the video was not motivated by wanting to target Sherrod, the African-American woman shown in the footage talking about racially-charged matters at an NAACP event.

Instead, Breitbart told CNN he released the Sherrod video because he believes it shows the NAACP itself tolerates racist behavior within its ranks – a stinging accusation just one week after the civil rights group made a similar charge against the conservative Tea Party movement.

"This was not about Shirley Sherrod," Breitbart said Tuesday in an interview set to air on CNN's John King, USA.

"This was about the NAACP attacking the Tea Party and this [the video of Sherrod] is showing racism at an NAACP event. I did not ask for Shirley Sherrod to be fired. I did not ask for any repercussions for Shirley Sherrod. They were the ones that took the initiative to get rid of her. I – I do not – I think she should have the right to defend herself."

Breitbart also described his decision to publish the Sherrod video as an effort to expose what he sees as the NAACP's hypocrisy when it comes to allegations of racism.

"[R]acism is used by the left and the Democratic Party to shut up opposition," Breitbart told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, "And [by releasing the Sherrod video] I am showing you that people who live in glass houses should not be throwing stones."

And Breitbart also sounded off on claims by African-American congressmen that they had been greeted by racial slurs during a Capitol Hill protest earlier this year. The protest included Tea Party activists.

The conservative blogger said the NAACP had "resurrected the false charge" that racial slurs had been directed at the black lawmakers in order to help justify the civil rights organization's recent resolution calling on the leaders of the Tea Party movement to condemn racist elements within their movement's ranks.

"[I]t is a manufactured political hit against the Tea Party because they're fearful that this group of people is going to amass going into November," Breitbart told King.

Editor's Note: Full video coming soon

March 23rd, 2010
10:55 PM ET

McConnell: Republicans will run on 'repeal and replace'

Washington (CNN) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Tuesday that the GOP will make Democrats' recently passed health care bill the centerpiece of its midterm election strategy.

"Repeal and replace will be the slogan for the fall," McConnell said in an interview on John King, USA.

The leading Republican told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King there were some reforms in the health care bill that could have been agreed to on a bipartisan basis. But McConnell charged that the bill's cuts to the Medicare program, new taxes and the possibility of higher individual insurance premiums were all things that Republicans would like to see changed.

Explaining the "repeal and replace" slogan, McConnell added, "And we're going to remind the American people of that in the future and hopefully we'll be able to repeal the most egregious parts of this and replace them with things we could have done on a bipartisan basis much earlier this year."

McConnell sat down with King on the same day that debate began in the Senate on a second bill of amendments to the main health care bill that Congress passed Sunday. Republicans have already begun to submit a barrage of amendments to the second, smaller bill which are intended to make it very difficult for the second bill to make its way through the Senate unchanged as required by the special procedure Democrats are using to avoid a GOP filibuster.

Asked about the second bill, the Kentucky Republican predicted that the smaller bill would not get any support from Senate Republicans.

"All of our members will vote no," McConnell told King. "And actually a number of Democrats will vote no as well. The only thing bipartisan about this bill will be the opposition to it."

McConnell left open the possibility of more debate over health care reform if his party is successful in preventing passage of the second bill in the Senate.

"The American people expect us to try to change this if we can, and if we can get a simple majority under the procedures that are laid out in this particular measure, we can change it, send it back to the House and continue the debate," McConnell told King. "And the debate, by the way, will not be over today. This is the beginning of it."