September 2nd, 2010
12:41 PM ET
4 years ago

Brewer takes heat for not addressing beheading claim

A frustrated Brewer wouldn't answer reporter's questions about her beheading statement.
A frustrated Brewer wouldn't answer reporter's questions about her beheading statement.

(CNN) - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer sparred with her Democratic opponent in an at-times contentious debate Wednesday night, but it was what the Arizona Republican didn't say that is making waves the day after.

Brewer - who has become a prominent leader in the fight against illegal immigration with her steadfast support of Arizona's controversial immigration law - wouldn't address statements she made earlier this summer suggesting illegal immigrants are responsible for beheadings in the Arizona desert.

"What is hurting us right now economically are statements, false statements made by Jan Brewer, about how Arizona has become so violent, that we are a place of fear, and we have beheadings in the dessert," said Arizona Attorney Gen. Terry Goddard, the Democrat challenging Brewer, during the debate.

Quickly changing the subject, Brewer refused to address Goddard's injection of the beheading comment - a statement for which she has previously taken heat because it appeared proof was lacking that any beheadings ever occured. When reporters peppered her with more questions about the statement after the debate, Brewer immediately exited the room, saying, "Ok, thank you all."

The comment in question came in June, amidst national fury the state's new immigration law was overly severe and facilitated racial profiling.

"Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," she told reporters as part of her argument that the law was vital for public safety reasons.

Medical examiners from six of Arizona's counties, several of which boarder Mexico later told the Arizona Guardian that they had never witnessed victims who had been beheaded.

Brewer's office never clarified the basis for her beheading statement.

Brewer is also facing criticism Thursday for her opening statement in the debate, during which she appeared to lose focus several times.


Filed under: Arizona • issues • Jan Brewer
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. RickRude

    We knew this about Brewer.............................. She wants to ride the wave of republican victory in nov. I hope they win so when this country go to the facist.............All those who were going to revolutionize against obama WILL YOU STILL FIGHT?

    September 2, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Donnatella

    Gov. Brewer needs plastic surgery!

    September 2, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. yokayoka

    what about the connection of privately owned prisons and her staffers? Everything stinks

    September 2, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. MR AMERICA

    Just own up and admit you were given bad info and that you made a mistake, lady. Politicians are so freakin PHONEY.

    BOTH sides have done this. Just stand up and be honest.

    September 2, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. golinus

    She has consistently refused to provide any substance to her arguments for the new Arizona law, or explain why illegal immigration, crime, etc. has gone down. She follows the Republican policy that they can re-gain power through fear mongering even though they have just been the party of "No", without any ideas for improving the lives of Americans. Gov. Brewer's "ethnic cleansing" objectives, however, are being met and because of her policies, Arizona will have a tougher time recovering from the economic downturn. Wait until shops, stores, etc. start closing due to lack of demand since she has chased half of the Hispanic population, llegally or illegaly here, out of the state.

    September 2, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Alex

    Tea Party – the spam of politics.

    September 2, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Tom

    That statement alone is why I won't visit the state. Perhaps it's better though, my tourist dollars went to states that get their crazies help rather than elect them to public office.

    September 2, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. DIANA

    What is it with these Tea Party candidates? They have a news conference then run away. First Angle, then Brewer. I hope the people of Arizon take a close look at her and see who's supporting her, it's people who would most profit from the jails created to house these immigrants.

    Using fear mongering won't cut it.

    September 2, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  9. Willie12345

    Do we have Taliban trying to sneak into this country also?

    September 2, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    She is a real class act!

    September 2, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Sissy

    This is the ONLY way the Republicans and the Tea Party can run on creating FEAR and SCARE tactics......you should all be ashamed ....... but the old saying goes "WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND" and I hope all of you get what is coming to you........defeat.......

    September 2, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. hobart

    Brewer's accusations of "beheading" and that most illegals are "drug mules" certainly indicates her pure hatred of illegals, considering there is no factual basis for either accusation. It's one thing to be a strong proponent for secure borders; it's another altogether to lie, bear false, witness, violate the 9th Commandment.

    Jan Brewer should be forced to resign for her conduct unbecoming.

    September 2, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. ColoMatt

    She's the typical Western Conservative Woman: a sun-damaged, hard-drinking, heavy-smoking tramp!

    September 2, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. mike

    she's just doing what all republicans do; stoke fear to drum up votes. It's not because she is particularly slimey, this is what passes for normal campaign speech from republicans,

    September 2, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. cjr

    she even looks mean! she is also avoiding questions about her involvement in the for profit prison system in AZ=– AZ is now considered a terrorist state according to international law. Stay away!

    September 2, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. Seattle Sue

    It's pretty hard to defend a LIE!

    September 2, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Steve

    Her mistatement pales in comparision to what the Dems are doing to this country.

    Don't let the liberals harp on this and persaude you to vote for the Dems or you'll be amoung the masses that deeply regret voting for Obama after a year passes.

    Look at the whole picture not just one unsubstanciated comment

    September 2, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Lisa P

    I wonder what she had to say about illegal immigration being down since 2009, well before her endorsement of unreasonable search, seizure and imprisonment tactics. But, hey, at least it's something she and the Republicans can credit Bush with - by tanking our economy he made America a much less desirable destination for job-seekers of all nationalities! Doesn't that make it all worth doing some more? Let's really tank the economy this time!

    September 2, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. carlos

    vote repugnant and: LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, PRAY and DANCE because your tomorrow is not guaranteed.............

    September 2, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. bobden

    beck can get away with lying because that's what he is paid to do.
    Lying is NOT Brewer's job. She is supposed to work for everyone, not just for repugnants.

    September 2, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Ed L

    Brewer is a Fascist HAG and typical GOP HYPOCRITE.....

    September 2, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Mad in CT

    Ah, yes, the new Republican strategy in action: Palinate (the art of one-way communicating); prevaricate (lie or mislead); alienate (escape scrutiny from serious media outlets through estrangement or hostility); celebrate (you won despite non-disclosure).

    September 2, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Watch out! The monster under your bed will kill you in your sleep! Vote for me!

    September 2, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. JohninTampa

    Yeah, beheadings DOES go a bit beyond exaggeration, doesn't it? I'm surprised Sarah Palin didn't pick up on that and give it to her 'death panels' as method.

    September 2, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    More of a figure of speech, than actual, I suspect. Main thing is......the violence is crossing the border, and it is impacting on the citizens of AZ.

    September 2, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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