In an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer to air Friday night, President Obama downplayed the exchange between him and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) earlier this week that distracted attention from his post-State of the Union tour of swing states.

The president smiled when Sawyer brought up the photo taken during the exchange and Brewer’s comments in follow-up interviews that Obama was “tense” and “thin-skinned.”

“What I’ve discovered is I think it’s always good publicity for a Republican if they’re in an argument with me, but this was really not a big deal,” Obama said.

Obama said he was not “tense” in the exchange, which reportedly began when Obama criticized passages about him in Brewer’s book “Scorpions for Breakfast.”

“You know Diane, I am usually accused of not being intense enough, too relaxed,” Obama said.

The full interview airs at 6:30 p.m. Friday on ABC’s World News.


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