For a brief moment on Sunday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) appeared to back away from her firm position that border security must be addressed before comprehensive immigration reform can be put on the table. A short time later, however, her office clarified that her opinion on the matter hadn't actually changed.
In a "Sunday Square Off" interview taped on Friday with KPNX's Brahm Resnik, Brewer was pressed on recent post-election comments from Republican leaders who appeared to show support for addressing immigration reform and proceeding with border security initiatives simultaneously.
"Whatever works," Brewer responded. "If we can do both at the same time, I'm fine and dandy with that. But we cannot resolve these kinds of issues today and then have the problems still existing."
She was later asked to confirm those remarks, with Resnik asking her directly if she was "willing" to move forward with immigration reform and pursue a secure border "at the same time."
"Yes," Brewer said. "Of course, I think everybody is on board."
But Resnik's Sunday report on the interview notes that Brewer's office issued a statement following their sit-down on Friday reaffirming Brewer's stance as one that held border security as her foremost priority.
Brewer spokesman Matt Benson said the governor would be willing to "come to the table" to deal with all immigration issues, but that she believed the first step needed to be securing the border.
KPNX reports that Brewer's office was also forced to walk back comments suggesting that she would support an expansion of Medicaid rolls under President Barack Obama's health care reform law.