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. mtdHouston

    Republicans lying? WMD, iran-contra, beheadings, tea pot dome, christian torture, Watergate, Senator McCarthy, President Nixon...
    Must be their divine providence.

    September 2, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. joel palmer

    Jan brewer is a disgrace

    September 2, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. moesmum

    What...nobody defending this creep?? Where are all the vile commenters that are usually on here tearing down and insulting any liberal?Coutd it be that there is no defense for this offensive liar?

    September 2, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. ART

    People of Arizona is this the person you want to represent you, a dried up old hateful hag

    September 2, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Mike in CA

    Another right-wing neo-conservative nutjob who doesn't deserve to in charge of anything, much less a state. The sad thing is that politicians like her can spew off as many blatant lies and false statements with no consequences whatsoever. I'm not sure what's worse; her utter lack of integrity / honesty / morality or the lack of intelligence of the majority who support and would actually vote for her.

    September 2, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. AmFem

    Problem is, the people that vote for these wing-nuts may get what they deserve. But, what about the rest of us? I don't deserve to have these extremists in any form of governing office, making decisions that affect my life. It doesn't sound like you deserve it either.

    Please... Democrats, Progressives, Independents: Don't get discouraged by the polls and the pundits saying that the Dems are going to loose seats this November. GET OUT AND VOTE – PROVE THEM WRONG!!!

    September 2, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. usmc1

    bunch of beaner lovers in here I guess

    September 2, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Unit34AHunt

    Odd how any comment that does not toe CNN's line on this never appears. I'll try again:

    Right now, Governor Brewer's poll number are so strong that she appears to be heading towards an overwhelming win over Terry Goddard. It therefore is obvious that CNN's claim is an overreach; Brewer is NOT being adversely affected, in the court of public opinion, over supposed gaffes.

    Possibly it is because her comment specifically about beheaded bodies was incorrect, but her general comment about the border being a dangerous place and the Federal Government failing in its duties is correct.

    September 2, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Ain't life strange?

    This woman gained national attention when she took on the White House over her immigration bill and it went right to her head. She enjoyed being the focus of attention and it has become her drug of choice. Her outlandish embeleshment of the facts has destorted her thinking. She's lost sight of the prize... the privilege to serve the citizans of her state... and has become emeshed in the limelight. She feels she has to keep coming up with greater lies to stay in the eye of the nation. Just run the race on the issues. If she stays within the limits of whats good for the state she'll stand a better chance of winning.

    September 2, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Peter E

    Illegal immigrants come to this country because our corporations don't want to pay as much for American labor. And guess what, you the consumer also don't want to pay extra. American consumers are convinced that they have a right to cheap products and services. So put your money where your mouth is! If you don't want illegal immigration then lobby your congress to shut down corporations that break the law. If you don't want illegal immigration then pay for the expensive American labor!

    September 2, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. CathyinAZ

    Last night should prove to the voters in AZ how CLUELESS she is but I am positive this woman will WIN and those of us who reside here will pay the consequences. She is an EMBARASSMENT!
    She is a prime example of how low the GOP has sunk!

    September 2, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. SR

    I agree completely...Brewer "has did" nothing but show how much of an idiot she actually is and I defintiely commend the local press for exposing her lies and demanding facts, especially when she REFUSES to talk to local press and only talks to the national media attempting to get the country to think Arizona is a dangerous place for her own SB1070 agenda, she's done nothing but cost this state countless jobs and worsened our economy.

    September 2, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. YY

    and was there no mention that illegal immigration has actually declined the past few years? 67% since 2000 per the report that just came out? This is all just a bunch of made up lies to scare people.

    September 2, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. GOP-no-chance-in-2012

    We need these goofballs to win in 2010 so that the country can see what they would get in 2012. They may kick butt in 2010 but watch the ship sink quickly. Palin-Beck 2012! or Palin-Gingrich 2012...but we could never get that lucky.

    September 2, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Buster Bloodvessel

    I would certainly avoid Arizona from now on as I don't care to be beheaded or hassled by cops.

    September 2, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. midwest

    Apparently Ms. Brewer has taken a page from the Limbaugh-Beck-Palin book of politics. Say anything – truth be damned. It would never occur to the lemmings within the party to actually fact-check anything!

    September 2, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. APPLE

    It's the same thing with birther. When asked for birth certificate, Mr. O walked away.

    September 2, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. gt

    get you heads out of the sand ,, they just found nearly eighty bodies near a texas boarder they fire bomb a restuant in canjun,,, hell ya there is all kinds of terrible events happening in mexico..

    September 2, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Really?

    Did the Dems chastize the Repub for fear-mongering. Now the Dems are going around saying Don't vote for the big bad Republicans, they are the reason the economy is bad".

    Dems did u not say the stimulus would bring jobs and provide economic stability. Instead it gave us unemployment and a disastrous economy. But we should keep us Dems in office so they can continue to drive this economy off a cliff and send us into 3rd world status with their out of control spending and incompetence!

    Obama said he "inherited" this economy and deficit. Well Obama, u were in office as a Senator for 2yrs prior. What did u do to better the economy or stop the deficit spending that u and your Dem. colleagues in Congress were doing because Dems had the majority! Nothing because you voted for it all the deficit spending. Then had the never to lie to the American people that deficit today was caused by the Iraq war. Even the AP came out and said that what Obama said Tues night was not true. The only thing Obama voted against was the surge and the funding of our troops. Now Obama wants to take credit for the successes in Iraq!


    September 2, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Jimbo-Virginia

    Sadly....the so-called mainstream media don't do the same to expose the grand master liar himself and the Obamanation elites that have never worked a day in their lives or owned / operated a lemonade stand.

    September 2, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. the lunk

    Beheadings...who cares when you have 74 massacred just south of the border....

    September 2, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Mark C

    Right-wing wack jobs have been running Arizona forever, which is why it's such a basket case.

    September 2, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Brice

    Does she have good record of winning the cases in court? What a fool, she lost to White House recently.

    September 2, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Hate, fear, blatant lies – practiced enough to sound believable. The GOP has gone to he!! in a handbasket and want to take the country with them. Power being bought by the corporations that use slave labor in foreign countries and want the same slave labor here in the US.

    Vote NO to republicans.

    September 2, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. m

    To think that there really are voters who look at Jan Brewer and think "that's who I am supporting" makes me feel like all hope for our country is lost

    September 2, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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