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

Brewer takes heat for not addressing beheading claim

[cnn-photo-caption image= [cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="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. Rob in MO

    She is a loose cannon. If she cannot support extremist statements, she should just shut up.

    September 2, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    You know what? I too am tired of hearing about how the 8 years prior to Obama's election are what put us in the current mess. That's total BS and 100% wrong.

    We've been applying GOP/conservative economic ideology for 3 decades.

    September 2, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Richard Larson

    At the risk of appearing to be anti-female, I must say that she is only acting like other right-wing extremist female politicians have acted over the past couple of years by claiming one thing and then walking away from a debate, or press conference when asked to amplify her claims.

    The problem is that the standard female method of communication doesn't work in politics. You have got to have some semblance of truth and factual evidence to support your claims.

    She obviously has confused the resulots of mexican drug wars in the mexican desert with possible deaths of illegal immigrants from any one of a number of misfortunes that can occur in the desert to an unprepared person.

    Brewer, Palin, and Bachman have all used this ploy to gain notoriety then they have back-tracked, or simply walked away when called on it. For them there is, apparently, no necessity to be truthful as long as what you say gets attention to your cause.

    September 2, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. John Henessy Black

    I LOVE Jan and she certainly has my vote!

    More beheadings in the Arizona desert... many more!

    September 2, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Rob

    This story is not listed anywhere on Fox News. Not surprised... fear and unbalanced.

    September 2, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. richard marks

    Lamestream media can spin this all they want: this election is an absolute BLOWOUT. This woman could be elected pope in Arizona for her courageous stand against the impotent feds!!! Get 'em Jan!

    September 2, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Freddy

    What's the story with her connections to private prisons? The entire country should know about this. No wonder she's so hot about arresting illegals. How low can you go?

    September 2, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Ann

    This woman has more courage than all these stupid male Democrats. Don't care if she is Republican or Democrat, she simply had the courage to address a tough problem.

    September 2, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. rachel

    She's losing, maybe she will blame Hillary for including Arizona in the UN report for this latest turn of events.

    September 2, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. stormerF

    How can they say illegal immigration is down,If they can count them why can't they deport them?The 70 some people killed in Mexico in one place would have been illegals comming here,but ran afoul of the drug lords. Why is the left so against the protection of the Az people? Illegals are illegal bet over it bed wetters,they are criminals that have broken our laws.

    September 2, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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