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. Frank Talks

    You need only look at her to see that she is crass, unsophisticated, and lacks any cultural mores.

    Is anyone surprised by her comments? I'd be ashamed if I lived in AZ

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

    Beheadings in the Arizona desert?? I haven't seen anything on the news.. Is she the only one who knows about this? Why? Maybe she should be headed out of office... LOL

    September 2, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. pepper

    WOW! PALIN, has most of the repub by the nose, why, because he is black and they can't get over the fact that he won. Bush was great right. what has happen to America? hate and more hate! all because the whites are no longer totaly in charge of the country, that's waht this is about. het use to it! this country is a melting pot! and Brewer is another Palin!

    September 2, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Sharon

    Governor Brewer was absolutely found to have been lying about many statements claiming how dangerous illegal immigrants are for Arizona. Claimed crimes up up. Made claim Arizona is dangerous.

    Factually crimes have gone down in the state of Arizona. The one county where it hasn't is that famous – Sheriff Joe Arpaio. His crime statisitcs have gone up 58%, while cities, in same county, under city police department oversight have decreased for 18-30%. Conservative think tank – Goldwater Institue did two very critical assessments of Sheriff Joe Arpaio management and his office. Findings were shocking. One newpaper – East Valley Tribune – reporters won Pulitzer Prize for their lengthy investigation of Sheirff Joe Arapio and his office. Reports were damaging and shocking. This sheriff is in an elected posiution and is savvy to use news media to politicize his work. Found in researching he lies more times than he doesn't. His statistics dont' support. Reports reveal he has ignored/doesn';t investigate/or closes real crime cases without any investigation/closes investigation. So if you are raped, murdered, robbed, etc. Don't expect any help from his office to catch the criminal, as that is what East Valley Tribune and Goldwater Insitute discovered. . Sheriff Joe Arpaio is being investigated by Arizona for abuse of power. Feds have just today sued Sheriff Joe Arapio for not cooperating with their investigation. Note this is not a Democratic witchhunt. Investigation was started June, 2008 by President Bush. March, 2009 is when claims started rolling with claims of noncoooperation. And has now reached the present level, due to all the increase of claims coming in. Feds have to act now. Evidence does exist an investigation is necessary. Yes, innocent until proven guilty. But Sheriff Joe Arapio should not have to worry if he is as good as he claims. County risks losing many millions of dollars in Federal monies by not complying. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is legally required to cooperate. His partner in crime – abuse of the power of office – former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas is being investigated by Arizona State Brad. His case was referred to Supreme Court as considered serious. Two judges outside of Maricopa County declared Arpaio and Thomas abusing the power of their office as court cases decision. What is totally shocking – Republican big money people are helping pay for defending these two. Politics.

    Governor Jan Brewer also claimed the "beheadings" as proof of a real danger to the residents. My research has never found any evidence/reports of any beheadings either. So must be considered a made up bogues claim. AZ Central, Arizona's largest newspaper fact checked and declared her statement false. She has never provided any proof for her accusations

    And Governor Jan Brewer makes promnise to address the Drug Cartel networks that operate bringing the illegal immigrants from not only Mexico, but other hispanic copuntries as well. Drug Cartels are the ones committing the crimes. Not once has she addresssed how to arrest and provide investigation of the drug cartels.

    What Governor Jan Brewer doesn't say is Hispanics population citizens/illegals in her state have actually fallen.

    Also Hispanics committed crime statistics reveal their per centage of all crimes is no larger than their per centage of whole population. What does this mean? Hispanis are not committing the majority of crimes.

    Governor Jan Brewers popularity prior to this illegal immigration law were quite low. It does seem like she found a way to get elected this fall. She just won her primary 80% of the voters. Now she faces Democrat Goddard this fall for Governor.

    I feel sorry for Arizona residents. I researched intensely due to new illegal immigration law. Found Jan Brewer does like to lie alot about this illegal immigration issue..

    Illegal immigration does need to be reformed. I am all for reform of the national law. But neither Republicans or Democrats will touch reform prior to this fall's election. Politics at work. Want votes.

    September 2, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. starzzguitar

    Politicians deal in hyperbole all the time. Just like when Biden said this would be the "Summer of Recovery". They probably ARE beheading illegals in the desert. And if not by beheadings, by some other method. She was trying to make a point. Thank God for Jan.

    September 2, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Take America Back: from Texas

    Good greif! You Liberal Left Media.....and YES CNN...... you can't find anything else so you jump on something as trivial as this you know what most Americans think of CNN and the rest of the liberal media??? DOWN TO NOTHING TO REPORT ABOUT!
    Brewer will kick Dem butt in Nov......but just more Red color for the USA!

    September 2, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Matt

    I'm sure Brewer or one of her teabagging partners (Caribou Barbie, if nobody else) will issue a statement shortly condemning CNN and the "lamestream media" for pointing out the giant holes in the "beheading" story. After all, why let pesky things like "facts" get in the way of good, old-fashioned race hatred?

    September 2, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Myron

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

    It's Arizona. She fits that state and will win easily.

    September 2, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. CheffyChef

    beheadings in the dessert? Not only sounds delicious, but vaguely like an episode of Criminal Minds I watched recently!

    September 2, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Avon

    Her face reminds me of an old catchers mit I used to have.

    September 2, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. jw456

    Check out that opening "statement" or lack of statement, e.g. on Political Wire or Ben Smith on Politico. I've never seen any politician flummoxed like that in a debate, and an opening statement at that. . She had nothing to say but "I've done a lot.................uh vote for me." Truly pathetic. I hope Goddard gained a lot of votes last night.

    September 2, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. OldGuy1

    It is profoundly disappointing how ignorant much of the preceeding commentary is. It is quite true that Bush will go down in history as one of our worst presidents but remember the last four years he had a Dem. congress so you can't blame him for all of it. The Dems can take full credit for the Trillion dollar stimulus that has all but died and the for bailouts as well. Yes you Dems have a lot to be proud of. Obama and the people he has surrounded himself with are at best "BUSH" league.

    There is only one way out and that is to get rid of political contributions or should I say legal bribery.

    September 2, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Rob

    Not only is this broad a right-wing racist....she is a very ugly right-wing racist.

    You need another coat of make-up, honey.

    September 2, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Bill

    There may not be "beheadings", just plain ol' murders. Whew, that's a lot better.

    September 2, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Jaywing

    Do us all a favor Arizona - get rid of this bigoted, deranged, extremist, loser.

    September 2, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Robert

    Well, looks like it is leftys turn to make comments. Yesterday there was an article pro Republican. Guess it just goes to show ya that both sides have bad apples. Out with incumbents. In with fresh people this November. However re: go! Stand up for America. Arrest and deport!

    September 2, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. vegage

    Very common with crazy republicans that they do not want to face tough questions when they have no way to excuse themselves. This woman is playing with the minds of the people the same way Hitler did with the germans.

    September 2, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Gwen

    God help us all if these republicans take control – it will be all for the wealthy white christian people and the rest of us will be left to fend for ourselves. The rich will have the best schools, while the GOP will let public schools fail and our children will be the victims, and social security, medicare, unemployment , decent paying jobs – ha – the wealthy don't need those things so the GOP will do everything to take them away, they already sent our good paying jobs overseas to help their corporate buddies!! Vote Democratic in November!!

    September 2, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. Keep It Real

    She does not have to answer questions. Isn't the Repbulican candidate going to automatically win Arizona?

    September 2, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. Fin

    what a joke

    September 2, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. ronalde.

    typical republicanlies and have nothing to back up their claim,no facts no proof just lying and some people just believe heranswer questions about her connecting to prisons,don't ask me no questions just believe what i tell you,how gullible are these people.

    September 2, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. Texas Liberal

    She seems to be filled with hatred. What an awful way to live.

    September 2, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Bertina

    Either Arizonans are incompetent to understand the true meaning of the tea party racism or the polls are dead wrong.

    September 2, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Edder

    Perhaps there's no factual basis for beheadings having every occurred in Arizona, in which case Brewer is either very misinformed or a liar. But does anyone deny that beheadings might some day become an indisputable reality in Arizona? They're happening right across the border quite frequently; there's no reason to think that the drug cartels (who are responsible for them) might not carry this fear tactic into the US, where some are already partly entrenched.

    September 2, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. mh

    Goddard is a typical liberal. He slams the person trying to do something about the problem that Arizona has – illegal immigration! Gov. Brewer is the best!!!

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