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. ATR

    Get it together, Arizona. Is this really the best you can do? This woman is a complete fraud and she is also a complete moron. Watch out Sarah Palin, Brewer is strong competition for your current standing as the most "know nothing" politician in America.

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

    Brewer also stated in the debate, "there but for the grace of God, I arrived and I have to solve all this." She is saying the God sent her? Sorry, Jan, God is not that stupid.

    While she badgered Terry Goddard to produce his plan, she never EVER, produced one of her own. Goddard's can be found on his web site. And lastly, it is no wonder our state is last in Education. We have a Governor that keeps saying things like, "We have did"! Oh, what an embarrasment to we Arizonans.

    September 2, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Dave

    Bush and company did the same thing...remember the plastic sheets and duct tape crap???

    btw; bush bravely flew over texas during the viet nam war

    September 2, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Derrick

    its unbelievable to me that people have not noticed on their own how crazy this woman is. She is speaking from complete ignorance and fear mongering. Yes, we need to secure the border but it you look at the data. Really look you'll see that crime has dropped and border crossings are way down. I'm surprised how many support her over Terry Goddard, a true Arizonan who's done so much good as the states attorney general. As a Tucsonan she makes me ashamed.

    September 2, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. PaulH

    Brewer taking a page ouf of the Sharron Angle playbook. Run like hell when the heat gets too much for non-yes-men of the media to ask a legitimate question. Nice going.

    September 2, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Jay

    She needs Palin's team. That way you never have to answer a spontaneous question again for the rest of your political life.

    September 2, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. LouAz

    She is the Default Governor that got the job when Napolitano went to work for Obama. November will be her first candidacy for Gov of the United State of Aridzona. She does a very good impersonation of Sharon Angle, but has bigger cajones, you betcha ! No one has seen her papers yet.

    September 2, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. joe dokes

    Typical GOP strategy... say something insane, refuse to talk about it... (and I'm sure will be the case)... later pretend you never made the statement in the first place but that the "liberal" media made it all up. They don't seem to realize what they say gets captured forever and can be reviewed later.

    September 2, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. fishy fish

    Why do Republicans always think that their lies will not come back to haunt them?

    September 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. NVa Native

    Brewer is a typical right-wing wacko. She has two prison for profit lobyists in her administrationa dn running her campaign. When she pushes for stronger immigration laws that put people in jail she is financially rewarding these lobyists. Why would this be a surprise when all the Repubs ever do is financially reward big business at the expense of the middlw and working class of America.
    BTW – because of less jobs immigration is down dramatically. Imagine what could happen if Repubs actually worked to fix the immigration problem rather than offer political posturing and demonizing?

    September 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Hank

    She should show integrity and either stand by what she said or apologize for making a mistake.

    September 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. W.N. Sanabria, Escondido, CA

    Before we totally condemn the people in AZ, let's remember that this loony was not elected to the office. She inherited it when the then governor (Napolitano) was appointed to the cabinet. [I wonder if the President ever has regrets about the consequences of that.] If they elect her this time after seeing her true colors, then they deserve her.

    September 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. april

    dessert? c'mon cnn...you can do better than that. I forgive you though, thank you for exposing her blatant lying and fear-mongering. unfortunately this is very typical republican behavior these days, exploiting the fears of those among us with less than average intelligence to get votes. absolutely despicable.

    September 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. HypocriCNNation!

    This Is The Same Governor And Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Jan Brewer (Wicked Witch Of The Southwest) That Just Pulled All Of Her Ad Revenue From The CBS Phoenix Affiliate For What Her Camp Deems To Be A Witch Hunt! Go Figure!

    September 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. felicia

    jan brewer looks like and act like a old wrinkled robot. Who does not care about the well being of her state. Please people don't be fooled. I mean don't get it twisted these illegals should be sent back over the border. I just don't like the fact that brewer is a complete lier and for what she stands for.

    PEOPLE OF ARIZONA PLEASE VOTE HER OUT NEXT ELECTION.

    September 2, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. patrick

    She has learned from her idol – Sarah Palin. During the vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden, the moderator – Gwen Ifill asked Sarah Palin a question, when Palin ducked the question, Ifill asked her to answer the question and Sarah Palin said that she does not have to answer the "gotcha" kind of questions from the media but tell the American people what they need to hear. This has been the tactic of the Tea Party candidates ever since – The Palin Doctrine.
    Well, we need to know the truth.

    September 2, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Jeff

    This woman is a danger to the future of our state.

    She has exhibited what I feel are racist and homophobic tendencies; neither of which has a place in civilized society.

    Jan Brewer has no place in politics or the public spotlight. She's an embarrassment.

    September 2, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Got a Clue

    She is avoiding the questions because she is starting to feel the pressure of guilt.: she is the culprit!

    It was Gov. Jan Brewer in the desert with a candlestick...err hatchet!

    September 2, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. dick delson

    Sarah Palin is not the only right wing imbecile. Jan Brewer is right up there with her.*

    September 2, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. bennie new york

    Brewer is as much an opportunist as she is a racist. Last year she raised taxes and recieved a lot of flack for it from her state's conservative base. SB 1070 was an election year political move by Brewer to rally the base. I think this whole monstrosity would have actually looked better had it been motivated by racism only. Brewer and SB 1070 are actually more despicable when the political motives are taken into play, and there is nothing more racist than selling out an entire group of people for political gain.

    September 2, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Peter

    Mort.....too funny, love it

    September 2, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Padraig

    The question is are there beheadings going on? Her challenger and supporters are pulling out anything and have gone to a mudslinging campaign.

    I imagine most of the people who object on this forum are not living in Arizona or not visited Arizona for extended stays. Your view is obvious. You believe one's bringing these immigrants illegally into our country are good and honest people. These people are parasites and vultures and have no second thought of doing hideous and criminal things to these illegal immigrants.

    September 2, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. Sandy

    @ Beth "Hey she's being investigated for staffers of hers being affiliated with privately owned prisons...where they plan on sending illegals they take...what a sleeze...and now she's withdrawaling her ads from the CBS affiliate who's responsible for the investigation..."

    Yeah I saw that last night on Maddow. Appalling, but some how not surprised by the revelation! Apparently her Campaign MGR and his company are also lobbiest for the Correction Companies of America, who have the contract with ICE. Booo

    September 2, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Jim

    It won't make a difference. The bulk of the voters in Arizona are blind to her faults because she is so anti-immigrant. Can't wait to see what happens when everything goes back to the Bush Don't tax but spend anyway economic model and the country has to declare bankruptcy. We deserve it for paying attention to the likes of Brewer. Arizona is just one state that is at risk of becoming a boiling plate of hatred and intolerance, and they are embracing it. Fine, let them have it, and when the really DO get invaded, we all just fortify the borders around Arizona and watch them burn.

    September 2, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Peggy - TX

    Privately owned prisions.. that is the real story.

    Greedy capitalist looking for new customers with no regard for the needs of society or consideration for the human beings, whom are so often just mentally impaired human beings that represent little threat to the greater society.

    Quick, must make some new laws so that more and MORE people will be thrown in jail and thus expand the need for services from the privately owned prisons. Don’t worry, be happy, because with these laws, you and your family are not at risk, the laws are targeted to harvest this OTHER group of people. A sound business model is employed, designed to squeeze more and more millions out of Arizona state and provide less and less actual rehabilitation and medical services. Then, when in prison, add more and MORE years to the sentence with each minor or made up transgression and when the prison sentence is over, just toss these badly abused and even more mentally ill folks back on to the streets where they will be ill-equipped to deal with reality, but then they will be returning customers in need of prison services. But as a private enterprise the prisons will be run efficiently, operation cost will continue to be made lower, even as the demand increases and thereby make the private owners of these prisons more and MORE rich and then they will OWN every Arizona politicians.

    September 2, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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