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Updated Jun 12, 2012 - 4:17 pm

Jan Brewer blasts Obama as 'failure' in CA speech

(Photo: Leonard Ortiz/Orange County Register)

IRVINE, Calif. - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer took her battle with President Obama on the road Monday.

Brewer was the keynote speaker at $150-per-ticket fundraiser for the Republican Party of Orange County in Irvine, California. She spent her entire 15 minute speech attacking the President.

"She called him a failure twice," said Martin Wisckol, a political reporter with The Orange County Register. "She criticized the growth of the national debt. She put that at his feet, as well cuts to defense spending, high unemployment, political divisiveness and, of course, illegal immigration."

Wisckol recounted Brewer as saying "this is what failure looks like," when talking about Obama. She then told the crowd, "I'm here to tell you what success looks like. It looks like Arizona."

Wisckol said that Brewer was surrounded by a famous picture as she spoke.

"They had a bigger-than-life photograph on either side of the stage of the governor with the president on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport back in January," he said. "She is waving her finger in the president's face."

Brewer would not tell the audience of 700 people what she was saying to Obama when the picture was taken. Wisckol said that she instead encouraged them that if they ever get the chance to talk to Obama, they should tell him "we don't need're a failure."

The picture was captioned with the words "You Go Girl."

Brewer's spokesman, Mathew Benson, said that Orange County Republican Party was responsible for placing the picture on the stage and that the governor had nothing to do with it.

At least one person at the event asked for a picture with the governor, in which she posed wagging her finger at him in the same way.

Wisckol said it's ironic that 700 supporters turned out to see Brewer in California, where many people called for a boycott of Arizona after she signed SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law.

"Governor Brewer has become an iconic figure, certainly not to the majority of the very Democratic state of California, but certainly to a very active anti-illegal immigration faction," said Wisckol.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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