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. Joseph

    Trouble is lies and fear mongering win elections. So much for ethical democracy in the USA.

    September 2, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Republicans is smart in the head area

    For everyone who keeps predicting Republican victories in every contest, please pay attention. Your candidates have to actually get up and explain themselves to the voting public between now and November and more often than not, they are clueless.

    September 2, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. barry

    Brewer will beat Terry Goddard by 15%. He is a wimp and doesn't support the Arizona immigration law. Every state should have it and eventually will. If you are here illegally you are a criminal. Show some character, get in line and apply like everybody else has to. Jan Brewer has stood up for Arizona and is under constant attacks for doing the right thing. President Obama has done nothing to help the people of Arizona he has just created more problems for them. I don't really blame the President because he is in over his head and isn't capable of doing his job. It's the voters fault for electing a President with no experience.

    September 2, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. front page

    I know where she got the "beheadings in the desert" notion – it was on an episode of "Criminal Minds". But she can rest easy – it was a rogue sheriff's deputy who did it, not an illegal immigrant, and the FBI (on the show) got him.

    September 2, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Josh

    My only question is; when will the American public catch up with all the Republican fare mongering and lies. Their opposition theme against health care was Death Pannels for grandma. Now it's terrorist from Mexico and beheadings. And they are the Christian right.

    September 2, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Orlando Patriot

    Let's see – Democrats run this economy into the ground over the last two years, pass multiple laws that the people overwhelmingly don't want, support illegal immigrants to have citizenship (which the people don't want), support a mosque being built at ground zero, and so on. In summary, Democrats have been in FULL power for almost two years but can't talk about ONE thing they have done that would convince people to vote for them?

    Democrats have to try and find a comment that was made, blow it out of proportion, point the finger, and tell the people "See!! See!! We are awful at what we do but if we can distract you with a "beheading" comment then you may not remember how awful we are!! I think it is blatantly pathetic that the Democrat Party has shrunk SO LOW that they cannot even run on their own merits anymore?

    September 2, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Voice of Reason

    Crazy lady made her bed, but now doesnt feel so inclined to lie in it. The fear tactics used by the Governor of Arizona are now beginning to haunt her, as people wake up and realize that there arent really any monsters in the closet.

    September 2, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. johnrj08

    CNN is calling Brewer's beheading remark a "quip", which makes it sound like a rather harmless statement. The fact is, Brewer and her cronies have done everything they can to instill fear in the population in order to gain support for their racist law, SB1070. We're seeing this same extremist tactic being used by the right-wing is other parts of the country. The Republican Party has become the official party of fear-mongering for political gain. And the people who are keeping these jerks in office are just ignorant enough to buy into all of it. They're the same kind of people who thought flouridation of the water supply was a communist plot.

    September 2, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Mitch

    To all independent voters....

    Do you really prefer a party of lies, deceit, anger and hate??? Do you really think that this new GOP is what America needs?

    Americans are not about hate, they are not about NO and they are not afraid of anything. Why would you vote for these people let alone nominate them?

    The economy will recover, the wars will end, taxes will not run amock and your children will have the same debt burden as you did, your parents did and your grandparents did.

    This country has to end this era of right wing hate and fear. Otherwise, this country may end it's era of being important on the world stage.

    September 2, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Ben

    montag – "How could anyone in Arizona even consider voting for this woman? "

    Because voting for Goddard is a complete waste of time and energy. People overwhelmingly love Jan Brewer and she will easily be reelected.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

    September 2, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. KatR

    montag..........
    I live in Arizona and often say just what you did about voter brains in this state...fried by the desert heat.

    Nobody voted for this lady for governor. As secretary of the state (we have no lt. governor position) she stepped into the position of governor when Obama tapped Napolitano for Homeland Security. While I fully support Obama's decision it sure has hurt our state. Hopefully, AZ voters will chase her out of office soon.

    September 2, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. Dano

    The truth doesn't mean anything to this crazy woman. Why do we Americans have to have an enemy to fight with to feel good about ourselves? First there were communists, then jihadist muslims, now it's illegal immigrants.

    September 2, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. David Scott

    This woman is not using her head... MAYBE SHE LOST IT IN ARIZONA? Maybe it is just the way rip-publicans do things..... they try to scare the hell out of everyone.... they are low life losers. Get straight America, the rip-publicans trade in FEAR. DO NOT VOTE FOR ANY RIP-PUBLICAN WHO USES THESE TACTICS. THEY ARE MEAN SPIRITED RACIST BIGOTS.

    September 2, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. Ben

    Damien – "The GOP, with their lies and fear mongering, know no bounds."

    If you want lies and fear-mongering why don't you take your blinders off and look at your Dumbocrats? I know, it'd be too much like looking in the mirror.

    September 2, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. BD70

    I am praying that Brewer and the likes of her do not take control of the country. These people are down right scary with their lies..and most of their followers swallow it hook line and sinker. To lazy to actually search for the truth or to verify what they are being fed is reality. Woe to us is if they do take control and start hacking at SS, Medicare and unemployment. Don't people realize they are shooting themselves in the foot? Jobs? They won't bring jobs.

    September 2, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. joe blow

    ask her about the kidnappings, too. this woman is an idiot.

    September 2, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Bob

    So do the Democrats just ignore the beheadings in the Desert?

    September 2, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. CK in SD

    So it turns out that more people are avoiding AZ out of fear of the non existent violence than to protest the law to combat the violence that was imagined to support the bill? I guess that backfired.

    September 2, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. works for me

    I hear Scott (Florida) is looking for a running mate. These two would make a perfect pair. Crook One and Sleaze two. And, as icing on that cake, think of all the illegals coming ashore. They could drop mines all along the beaches.
    Be headings... ha!

    September 2, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Jerry D

    Brewer was never elected, she got to her position due to the way the Constitution of this state is written. She has an Associates Degree in Radiology, and has never held an elected office prior to her promotion. Voters in this state need to realize that keeping her in power is just an invitation to let her make more money than she would know what to do with. Her intentions are soley for her own gain, not in the interest of the state. Hopefully last night's debate can shed light to those who were wondering who Brewer is, and change the tide to keep her from doing any more damage.

    September 2, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. jackson

    Oh yeah, she doesn't want to talk about it. However, if that comment had been made by a Democrat, FOX would be all over it, day after day after day.

    The hypocrisy on the right knows no bounds.

    September 2, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Ben

    beth – "yeah, tea partiers....can't wait 'til they're all found out."

    And I can't wait until the hate-mongering, fear-mongering, tax-and-spend Libtards get flushed out of Washington. Look in the mirror. People like you are a big part of the problem.

    September 2, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. E. Coli-Tainted Palin Word Salad Consumed By Media

    Jan Brewer lying? Oh, the disbelief!!! This old washed up hag wouldn't know the truth from an illegal immigrant.

    September 2, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Enrique

    Jan Brewer has resorted to the same old Republican tactic of fear mongering. She has even taken it one step further by outright lying. She is pathetic.

    September 2, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. jim atmadison

    Why do Tea Partiers always run when they get asked actual questions?

    Run away! Run away! Or the truth might emerge.

    September 2, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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