Obama: Exchange with Jan Brewer 'blown out of proportion'

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer came to greet President Barack Obama upon his arrival outside Phoenix Wednesday. What she got was a critique of how he is depicted in her book. The two leaders could be seen engaged in an intense conversation. (Jan. 25)
President Obama

is downplaying his supposed tense encounter with Arizona Gov.

Jan Brewer

, saying the incident is "a classic example of things getting blown out of proportion."


Speaking with


"World News" anchor

Diane Sawyer

in an interview to air Thursday evening, Obama mocked the media's obsession with the story.

"I'm usually accused of not being intense enough, right? Too relaxed?" he said, according to the network's account.

He seemed to blame Brewer for feeding the frenzy, saying that it is "always good publicity for a Republican if they're in an argument with me."

Brewer has done several interviews since she greeted Obama outside Phoenix Wednesday night. In one, she called the president "somewhat thin-skinned."

"This was really not a big deal," Obama told Sawyer. "She wanted to give me a letter, asking for a meeting. And I said, 'We'd be happy to meet.' "

He noted that according to her own account of a previous meeting between the two, she wasn't "fully satisfied."

White House

officials seem more than eager to put the imbroglio behind them.


When Press Secretary

Jay Carney

was asked about it during a flight to Colorado, he shot back: "I'm glad you guys are focused on the important things," and he called it "political theater."