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. Greg

    Democrats WAKE UP! You have not gone all this way to give up now!! Don't let your sacrifices be in vain!!!! Don't be afraid!! You have to do this for your families, your counties, your states, and your country!

    September 2, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. teena

    Just like the Leader of the Mama grizzlies-when the going gets tough they flee!
    Where is all the Personal Responsibility these yahoos keep advocating? If you say something, then at least have the guts to stand and defend your position–you know TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for what you SAY instead of running!

    September 2, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. virgil leonard

    And we wonder why the rhetoric in America has been so vile lately. resorting to lies and half truths to get elected should be grounds for a DQ

    September 2, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Brewer to the sewer

    Hey Jan,
    please open all your financial books to the public. I want to know what else is going on. Are you involved in human trafficing from Mexico?Making a buck on getting them arrested too? Please go hide under the rock you came out of and let intelligent people take over. Make a Discovery Series..... "Jan's Arizona" like your sister Sarah did. You can do an entire episode on desert wildlife and beheadings.... Ooops didn't happen.

    September 2, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Molly Weasley

    The reasons some of these outlandish claims don't cause more of a stir is that the country has just come to EXPECT Republicans to lie all of the time –Jan Brewer in Arizona, Mark Kirk in Illinois, Dan Maes in Colorado (and this is after he beat the plagiarist in the GOP primary).

    Come on, America - you can't trust these people. They don't tell the truth. They're not going to create jobs. They're not going to help anyone but their big business allies. GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's "budget" plan is to RAISE taxes on the middle class and let the wealthiest keep their tax cuts.

    Do your homework before you vote. Instead of watching the Fixed News Channel or listening to professional con artists like Glenn Beck, $arah Palin or Rush Limbaugh, go to candidates' web sites and see what they're actually proposing. Read or watch news stories from legitimate news organizations to find out the facts.

    September 2, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Bob F.

    Jan Brewer is a female Evan Mecham. Long-time Arizona residents will know what I mean by that.

    September 2, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Rose

    I remember seeing a movie about something like this in Hillsborough County. It was in Riverview, Florida. The actor's name was either John or James Cusack way back in March of 2008. Anyway, in cases like this, shouldn't the Attorney General be involved? This was a fraud. When people have problems like this, shouldn't they see a mental health counselor or a therapist? I'll bet if he was on medicaid instead of some private insurance this never would have happened. Someone will eventually be arrested for this.

    September 2, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. rs

    Jan Brewer is Sarah Palin plus 25 years. Trust me it doesn't get better with age.

    September 2, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. rb from va

    Please why should she care about people getting beheaded in the desert . Remember they are just illegal immigrants . Not human beings trying to seek a better life for themselves . The GOPers are the most self serving group of clowns i have ever seen or heard . Ooops . i forgot theres one group worst the tea party . OH OH . I FORGOT THEY ARE ONE IN THE SAME .

    September 2, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. ramtruck2500

    personally i rather like Brewer but as of late things are getting a bit harried.i do agree with the whole of the AZ law. Recently I wrote a check in a discount store where I live. I was asked for three form of ID plus a legally residing relative just in case of a bounce. Interesting... the person behind a cute brown person also did a check and was not asked for any ID? So if asking for ID is discriminatory who was it against??? Yup me. I like her and I think we need to load um and drop them on friggin calderon himself. However I do really agree with one point dont exagerate! We don't need to follow the official corrupt as heck Mexican ways. Listen to that ASS of a president lecturing us on how to treat His people. Not me man. i want the liars , frauds and crooks out screw lthis debate on drugs – nonsense then just legalize pot and be finished with it tax and make money off it but Calderon does'nt wnat that either. And now what are my politics??? I am a 6 generation from wisconsin a socialist and very proud of my country and my family. Dont rule out partners till you hear us first.

    September 2, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. p

    I think the governor lost HER head somewhere out in the desert.

    September 2, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. don

    Go Jan go. Don't allow the facts get in your way.

    September 2, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Jack in Des Moines, IA

    At least the candidates in Arizona debate each other. Here in Iowa, incumbent House Rep Steve King(R) has consistantly refused to debate his opponent claiming his opponent has not EARNED the right to debate him.

    September 2, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Bob, Virginia

    A typical teabagger candidate: Gutless and stupid.

    September 2, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. SLimbo

    Liberals have their heads stuck in the sand. If you lived here you would understand. It IS like third world country. WAKE UP LIBERALS!!!

    September 2, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Johnny Five

    No matter your party or ideals, it is common sense and well known that Mexican mafia and drug criminals have been beheading for many years.

    Whether they are legal or illegal I am not sure, but it is most likey true given the fact many times it happens across the border.

    September 2, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Rosslaw

    I bet its those terrorist brown babies that are doing the beheadings. They're ruthless!!

    September 2, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. janjan

    just like all racists and losers she is starting to unravel. wont be long for her to completely fall apart.

    September 2, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX CNN has decided to be journalists again? Why wasn't Obama "peppered" with more questions when he ran for president (Rev. Wright church, Weather Undergorund connections, communist sympathizers who surrounded Obama during campaign, etc)? I think the outcome may have been different. No wonder Fox News continues to be #1. You "mainstream" journalists, need to go back to journalism school and learn what it means to be an "objective" reporter.

    September 2, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Duh...GOP does this day in day out without surcease and IT WORKS. Their blind, angry, resentful, oftenbigotted followers WANT TO BELIEVE IT AND DO NOT CARE IF IT IS SUPPORtABLE. It's the media's job to catch ANYONE trying to pull this kind of crap, but journalism is dead. Now it's just a game of seeing how long they can squeeze ratings out of the "he said, she said" game...having bobbleheads pretend to generate a meaningful discussion about claims like "death panels" that are the equivalent of debating whether water is wet or does doodoo stink.

    September 2, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  21. Beverly - NYC

    Herr brewer sound more like a wing nut tea partier every time she opens her mouth. But in typical Republican fashion she is a do as I say not as I do politician. Last night Maddow outed Brewer's campaign manager as the head of a security company who would directly benefit from the round up of illegals. Must be nice having a boss who can sign laws where you benefit huh.

    September 2, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Robin Bray

    Plain and simple, she is a lying wack job. Make stuff up with zero proof and then ignore the facts when presented with them. Then again she is from a state that is also against evolution.

    September 2, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Larry Bradenton, FL

    Now thats funny!

    September 2, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. M-AZ

    Willa in PA,

    Amen, baby! And I am loving the Brian Adams quote. I also believe that most of the American people do hold some critical thinking skills, and will make the correct decision.

    September 2, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. Tony in Maine

    Sadly, were it not for making stuff up, Republicans would have nothing to say.

    September 2, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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