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ABC Exclusive: Obama Says Encounter with Ariz. Gov. ‘Blown Out of Proportion’

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama denied in an exclusive interview with ABC News that he was “tense” in his airport tarmac encounter with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Wednesday, as she has described.

“I’m usually accused of not being intense enough, right,” he told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, laughing. “Too relaxed.”

Brewer said in an interview that the president was “somewhat thin-skinned and a little tense, to say the least” and that she was “shocked by the sternness of it all.” The president reportedly raised objections, when meeting Brewer Wednesday, to her description of their meeting in June 2010.

In her 2011 book, Scorpions for Breakfast, Brewer accused Obama of being “condescending” and “patronizing” and complained that she and her aides were treated coldly by White House staffers.

“I think it’s always good publicity for a Republican if they’re in an argument with me,” Obama said of their most recent meeting. “But this was really not a big deal. She wanted to give me a letter, asking for a meeting. And I said, ‘We’d be happy to meet.’"

“Last time we met, she wasn’t fully satisfied. But, you know, I think this is a classic example of things getting blown out of proportion.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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