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. Chesapeake Dog

    Scare, lie, make your friends rich....got to love the GOP

    September 2, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Mike - Las Vegas

    Why are they so afraid of the facts? Typical Rushpublican, running from their lies when the truth is exposed. Didn't your teabagger queen tell you to stop makin' stuff up? You betcha!

    September 2, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. all of America

    Nobody cares what Jan Brewer said earlier this summer.This is just more of the democratic attempt to discredit . A majority of Arizona wants bill 1070 ,we want thhese illegals out of here , we have had enough! ,goddard can not win in Arizona anyway because he is a democrat,they are all loosers in the publics opinion.Brewer has already won, so you dems should go home and stop whining, wa,wa,wa,wa,wa,

    September 2, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    David Koch and Charles Koch (the libertarian conservative billionaires behind all this crap) need to set up to the plate and defend their 'indian', Brewer. She's beginning to screw up big-time. While the Koch brother are at it, they should sit Sarah Palin on her butt and tell it like it is. I still think Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly should be deported for un-American activities or something? Trouble is, I can't think of any country that might accept them. Any ideas?

    September 2, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Kahuna

    She is lying. Plain and simple. The GOP continues to yell FIRE in the theater and then blames the Dems for not getting people out fast enough.

    Brewer hasno platform. She has nothing but SB1070 to run on.

    September 2, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Nelson

    She has the support of AZ so AG Goddard should focus on his current position. The usual liberal smear tactics won't work when everyone knows the Agitator and Chief won't even secure our own border. Brewer is a breath of fresh air and will remain Gov.

    September 2, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    The fact is that there is a literal war taking place just across the border in which thousands are being killed. And the southern part of Arizona is being controlled by the drug cartels, which even the Feds admit and warn people about. So the real question is why Big Sis (and former gov of AZ) make this stuff up that we are safer than ever along the border. These are MUCH MORE dangerous statements...

    September 2, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. water bearer

    Just another example of the dangerouse extremists that want to take over our country. Sane people with common sense MUST get out and vote against these dangerous extremists who are being funded and supported by the Tea Party/Republican Party!

    VOTE NO TO THE PARTY OF NO!

    September 2, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Papasan in AZ

    Fascism has come to America wrapped in the U.S. flag and carrying a cross...
    What the Fascists fear most of all is intelligence.
    Stay stupid America, they love you that way.

    September 2, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Whatever

    Arizona papers reported yesterday that the number of illegals dropped in 2008/2009 (Hmmmm) as did crime. Brewer... you're a liar, liar !!!

    September 2, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Pat in IL

    .......and I thought Illinois had the worst track record for voting in bad governors. If she can't even be accountable for, and won't address, her public statements, then she's completely unfit for any public service office.

    September 2, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. michael

    Doesn't matter, the GOP will still vote for her, they have been specializing in in untruths and lies this year and it doesn't seem to matter to the robot voters.

    September 2, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Janice

    Jan Brewer is a true patriot. The kind of individual that we need to save this Republic. Illegals are dangerous for country in many ways. But I have a suggestion..why don't all of you who love them so much move to their respective countries. I am tired of paying for your government handouts.

    September 2, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Patriot

    The question is, does there come a point when someone is so unqualified for the job that you vote against her even if she is from your party?

    September 2, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Is it really "fear mongering"? When the Feds themselves put up signs in south AZ to warn US citizens that dangerous drug smugglersare roaming the area??

    September 2, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Robert

    crazy is as crazy does. vote these whack jobs out of office.

    September 2, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. mama panda

    Has anybody ever considered the possibility that people like Brewer and McCain are suffering some type of dementia? They're certainly irrational!

    September 2, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    typical of all the GOP so candidates..They all seem to run from the cameras when they are asked any kind of relevant question..I call what she did, was " pulling a sara palin" which is another word for dodging the media !! they seem to forget this is part of the job and facing the media and tough questions only gets harder when you are in office..Is this the type of behavior we can expect ffrom these candidates ???? I am arfraid so....But remember folks. silence isn't always golden !!!!

    September 2, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Squigman

    Here's two words for all republicans. Take a four letter verb, and push it in front of a three letter pronoun. Wouldn't vote for one, if the barrel of a gun was pushed against my temple.

    September 2, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. debbie

    So what we're hearing is that Republicans use lies and fear-mongering to hoodwink ignorant American voters? And this is news?

    September 2, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Phil in KC

    When you make a statement like that, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. She needs to address it and get it behind her – one way or the other. Right now, it's political fodder and taking attention away from her central message. That said, I don't want her to win any way, so it doesn't bother me that she's entangled in this mess. It is of her own making and if she's not smart enough to extricate herself, she shouldn't be governor.

    September 2, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. manhandler

    Living in California, I always thought of Arizona more as a State with beautiful scenery than for ultra right wing nuts. Often toured to Sedona, a rather amazing place. All of the sudden this racist witch pops her head up and decides to further her political ambitions on the backs of Latinos. Then we find out that McCain is nothing more than a slimy politician with no principles worth standing for. Arizona's crime rate is as low as it has been in decades and has plummeted in the last couple years. What can Arizonans be thinking by not demanding her ouster,

    September 2, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Eric

    "So governor, when exactly did you stop smoking crack and beating your spouse?"

    Can you say "manufactured controversy?"
    Typical liberal media smear.

    Good to know whenever a conservative is beating the pants off the liberal, that the media will always be there to frag the conservative on the flanks. Hey hippies, don't worry... the media has your back!

    September 2, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Headhog1

    Why doesn't anyone ask her about connection to the private prison company that would benefit from the imposition of the new law regarding undocumented workers being arrested. Two of her staffers are consultants for that company.

    September 2, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. Radagast

    Sounds like she's been watching Breaking Bad and is mixing up scenes from the show with reality. This woman is way out of her depth and is obnoxious besides. Hopefully the voters of Arizona will realize she's mentally, uh, "challenged", and send her into retirement.

    September 2, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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