Arizona Governor Jan Brewer endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, citing his “pro-business background and political history.”
“I think he’s the man who is going to carry the day and I’m going to work as hard as I know how to see that he wins,” Brewer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program today. Romney “would serve America best of all the candidates,” she said.
Arizona holds its primary Feb. 28, the same day as Michigan. Arizona has the fourth-highest Mormon population in the U.S., after Utah, California and Idaho, according to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints website. Romney is a member of the church.
Brewer, a 67-year-old Republican, has drawn attention for her disputes with President Barack Obama’s administration over immigration policy and health care. She took office in 2009 after Obama’s appointment of Democrat and former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security secretary.
Brewer sparked a national outcry after she signed legislation in 2010 requiring police officers to check immigration status and immigrants to carry identification documents, a move that led to boycotts and a court challenge by the Obama administration. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the case in April.
Romney, 64, pledged to stop the federal government’s lawsuit blocking that 2010 law “on day one” if he is elected. During a Feb. 22 debate in Mesa, Arizona, he also praised another state law that requires employers to check immigration status as “a model.”
Brewer has used her defense of the law to challenge Obama’s border policies.
“The bottom line is that we do need our borders secure,” Brewer said on NBC. “Mexico is in terrible unrest -- the whole state of Mexico being controlled by the drug cartels and all of that crime is coming across our boarder, and Arizona is the gateway.”
The governor’s public-approval ratings in Arizona increased after she criticized Obama’s 2010 health-care overhaul and signed the immigration law in 2010.
Brewer is also known for cutting Medicaid funding for organ transplants and for signing legislation allowing any citizen over 21 to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. She backed a 1-cent sales-tax increase, approved by 64 percent of Arizonans in May 2010, to help ease a $3 billion deficit.