Mesa mayor: Brewer-Obama moment tense, but finger pointing overblown - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Mesa mayor: Brewer-Obama moment tense, but finger pointing overblown

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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 1:01 pm | Updated: 4:45 pm, Wed Dec 3, 2014.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith saw and heard the heated tarmac confrontation between President Barack Obama and Gov. Jan Brewer, but he's not convinced her finger pointing was what it appeared to be in the already infamous photo.

Smith said he thinks a photographer lucked out by snapping a picture as the governor moved her arm.

"As animated as the discussion was, I don't ever recall her pointing her finger," Smith told the Tribune Thursday.

Smith said he and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton were the only people close enough to hear Wednesday's tense exchange at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Smith later traveled in Obama's motorcade for Obama's speech at a $5 billion Intel microprocessor facility in Chandler, while Brewer did not.

Smith acknoledged the tension but wouldn't repeat what Brewer and Obama said. He noted Stanton has taken the same approach when interviewed.

"It's not ours to get in the middle of that," Smith said. "I'm hoping that it doesn't mask all the good things that are going on in Arizona. I think the president was here to celebrate something big. The Intel expansion is huge for this state."

Smith teased an audience of 500 on Thursday that he would reveal details of the argument over Brewer's book, "Scorpions for Breakfast." At Smith's state of the city address, he joked that he'd never seen two people more passionate about their Super Bowl picks.

"As a matter of fact, what really happened is that the governor said if the Giants win, you have to have a breakfast of scorpions," Smith told the crowed. "That's how it all played out, none of that other political stuff."

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