PHOENIX - In the days before Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed Arizona’s controversial “Religious Freedom” bill, the state quickly became the butt of jokes across the country.
“This was unquestionably bad for the state of Arizona. There's nothing good when the proponents were running from defending their position, when you’re the butt of late night jokes, when Anderson Cooper is making minced meat of a Republican gubernatorial contender,” said public relations crisis expert Jason Rose of Rose+Moser+Allyn in Scottsdale.
Rose has handled public relations for political figures in the past. The P.R. guru was watching the situation closely and says the governor’s veto may not be enough to save Arizona from some backlash.
“It should’ve been vetoed on Saturday, but then every gubernatorial contender had weighed in. This was a bad moment for this governor,” Rose said.
Rose said while Brewer’s delay may have only bruised her legacy, it was a deep cut for the state’s Republican Party.
“I think a lot of us in the Republican Party were wondering what she's doing. She's hurting the Republican Party candidates that are running to succeed,” Rose said.
Even with Brewer’s announcement that SB1062 did nothing to protect religious freedom, and proponents couldn’t come up with any instances of religious rights being violated, Rose contends she needed to say more.
“It was no Nixon-in-China moment,” Rose said. “I thought there would be something more than a speech that could’ve been written by an intern.”
Rose tells ABC15 the governor needed to go into crisis mode by acting swiftly, apologizing (or in this case a quicker veto) and correcting the action.
Since that didn’t happen in a timely manner, from a public relations stand point he believes Arizona will continue to feel the repercussions from SB1062 with the loss of business and tourism.
“There’s not a chance of the Republican Convention coming here now,” Rose said.