Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” former Arizona governor and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump supporter Jan Brewer defended Republicans that have been attacked as “bigots” and “racists” just for disagreeing with the left.
Partial transcript as follows:
TAPPER: Attack-dog-in-chief on the stump this weekend in Washington State. Here with me to talk about this and everything else, Martin O’Malley, former Democratic candidate for president and governor of Maryland, now a Clinton supporter, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who backs Donald Trump, Ken Cuccinelli, former Virginia attorney general who has endorsed Ted Cruz, and Nina Turner, former Ohio state senator and backer of Bernie Sanders. Governor Brewer, let me talk to you first. Some tough words from President Obama calling Donald Trump a charlatan and a flim-flam man. Do you think that this ultimately might hurt him, Donald Trump?
JAN BREWER (R), FORMER ARIZONA GOVERNOR: No, I don’t believe it. President Obama just always comes tearing after Republicans constantly. Calling names and calling people bigots and racists, and that’s their big comeback and absolutely ridiculous.
TAPPER: It’s actually an interesting point though, governor —
BREWER: To see a president speak like that is offensive, period.
TAPPER: But we’ve heard President Obama in three — this will be the third presidential election where President Obama has understandably gone after the Republican nominee twice. They were challenging him directly. Is there kind of like a built-in numbness that the American public might have to this, given that he’s gone after Mitt Romney and John McCain and now it’s Donald Trump. I mean, maybe they just tune it out.
BREWER: And me.
MARTIN O’MALLEY (D), FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: No, I think that —
TAPPER: He went after you? Is that what you’re saying?
O’MALLEY: I think there’s something very, very different here, Jake. Governor Brewer, President Obama doesn’t say this about all Republicans, but he does say rightly that Donald Trump is a bigot. Donald Trump is a racist. Donald Trump in fact is making fascist appeals. That’s why many self-respecting Republicans are not supporting Donald Trump for president. Look, being president of the United States is the toughest job in the world and I can tell you, as someone who has worked with Secretary Clinton and competed against her that she is a tough person who is ready to do this job. Donald Trump is an unstable charlatan who is appealing to the worst instincts in people, and I believe ultimately the American people are going to reject that. This is a very different sort of candidacy. This is not the party of Lincoln.
TAPPER: Let me, Ken —
BREWER: You know, Martin.
TAPPER: OK. Governor Brewer.
BREWER: Martin, you know —
O’MALLEY: Yes, Governor Brewer?
BREWER: We need to discuss policy and every time with…
O’MALLEY: I’m willing to do that. Let’s talk about immigration, governor.
BREWER: … President Obama and Hillary Clinton, every time you disagree with them it doesn’t matter which subject it is, you’re a bigot or you’re a racist.
O’MALLEY: No, that’s not true. Let’s talk about —
BREWER: … immigration until we go on all night. Absolutely.
TAPPER: Let me bring in Ken Cuccinelli.
O’MALLEY: Let’s talk about immigration.
TAPPER: Governor, let me put one breaker here for a second. I want to bring in Ken Cuccinelli.
KEN CUCCINELLI (R), FORMER VIRIGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Look, Governor Brewer is absolutely right about that. This is a fall back when you have a president who cannot defend his policies and their outcomes and so he jumps immediately to the race card, racist card in particular, it’s a common tactic for Democrats.
TAPPER: Have you endorsed — have you endorsed Donald Trump?
CUCCINELLI: I expect to vote for him in November. So — but I have seen this — I’ve seen this tactic. I’ve seen this — it’s not November yet. I’ve seen this tactic over and over and over. We’ve all seen it.
And frankly the media plays along with it. They publish it and it’s the first question we’re talking gives it legitimacy. Look, I supported —
TAPPER: We’re just playing a quote from President Obama.
CUCCINELLI: But look, he’s got — I understand that. He’s got plenty — what you cover matters and he’s got plenty of, you know, inflammatory statements for the —
NINA TURNER (D), FORMER OHIO STATE SENATOR: That’s very (INAUDIBLE) to say that about the president.
CUCCINELLI: And it — well, I’m not saying that about that President I’m saying about Donald Trump. He’s got plenty of inflammatory statements —
TURNER: The president doesn’t go off every day calling people bigots but what he has said about bigotry and what Mr. Trump is shaking up within the American people is very real. And as a leader, somebody who wants to be the next president of the United States of America, he does have a responsibility not to enflame.
Now on the other hand side of that though as Americans we do have to deal with racism. I mean Mr. Trump didn’t put a sleeper spell on folks who voted for him. I’m not saying everybody who voted for him are racist but we have deep seeded racism in this country that we need to deal with. But to say that the president plays to that when Mr. Trump is the one that called him a birth, you know, the leader of the birther movement trying to delegitimize his presidency. You want to talk about race? This is real but the president is on to something that we don’t have time for this.
TAPPER: Let me ask you a question, Governor Brewer. I get your point that every time in your view that Republicans do or say something that Democrats don’t like, Democrats accuse them of being racist.
TAPPER: But have you heard anything from Donald Trump that you consider to be at the very least racially tinged or offensive on a racial level?
BREWER: I think that Mr. Donald Trump is new to the political arena and that he has said things that he had to walk back a little bit, things that I wasn’t comfortable with, but dang it, I get fed up that we hear over and over and over again from the president of the United States that every time somebody wants support on the Constitution and the rule of law, that we are out there because we are racist and bigots, and we who live in Arizona…
O’MALLEY: That’s just not true.
BREWER: … have lived with diversity our whole lives.
TURNER: But governor — he doesn’t say that, governor.
BREWER: And it’s unbelievable that they (ph) constantly — Hillary does the same thing. Look at Hillary out there.
BREWER: Hey, that’s ridiculous.
TAPPER: Governor O’Malley.
O’MALLEY: Let’s look at what Donald Trump actually says. I mean in the recent case, I mean, he was running the (INAUDIBLE) and the flim-flam to try to rip people off with Trump University.
BREWER: Oh, please, Martin.
O’MALLEY: And the judge — the sitting judge on that case, governor, was a judge whose parents happen to be of Mexican descent.
TURNER: Not happen to be, they are.
O’MALLEY: And Donald —
TAPPER: They’re from Mexico. The parents are from Mexico.
O’MALLEY: Donald — but the judge was born in the United States, and Donald Trump tried to get that judge — tried to say the judge isn’t qualified because he’s of Mexican background. Because Donald Trump hates Mexicans, that means that judge can’t do his job. Now surely, governor, you can’t agree that that is proper behavior for a man who is running for president.
TAPPER: Governor Brewer, I’ll give you the last word and then we’ll have to take a break.
BREWER: In that respect I think that Judge Curiel has a stunning reputation and I don’t believe that Donald Trump meant it in the manner that he said it. I believe that he felt that he was being treated unfairly in regards to this issue.
O’MALLEY: Because he hates Mexicans?
O’MALLEY: I can’t believe you’re supporting Donald Trump, Jan.
BREWER: Believe it —
TAPPER: Let’s take a — let’s take a —
O’MALLEY: I just can’t believe it.
TAPPER: Let’s take a very quick break, a very, very quick break, got to pay some bills. We’re going to come back. Stay with us. We have a rather intense debate going on here. Also if you want to be Donald Trump’s vice president, you better call him now.