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. annie s

    Brewer has lied repeatedly to further her racist views. Truth – illegal immigration is at it's lowest point in 20 years, crime in Arizona (including border crossing crime and drug related crimes) has been decreasing for several years....and there is zero truth to her sensationalist statement that all illegals are drug dealers. But hey, hate and fear get Republicans elected, so why not, right Ms. Brewer?

    September 2, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. RAWoD

    I was a republican until George W Bush unilaterally invaded a soverign country. Then I held my breath as repubs were found tapping feet in the mens room, mis-treating congressional pages, chest pounding for more offshore drilling, renting prostitutes, ...

    So now I wonder what exactly GOP stands for:

    GOP = Gay Old Ped-o-philes?
    GOP = Grab Our P*nis?
    GOP = Grand Oil Party?
    GOP = Grand Obstructionist Party?
    GOP = Grand Old Propaganda (party)?
    GOP = Got Other Plans?
    GOP = Grovel-Pit Of Politicians?

    September 2, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Eric of Reseda

    This is the national GOP strategy! They have found that as long as they appear to be Christian, God-fearing patriots – "Support the troops!", "We must protect American workers!", "The deficit is destroying our children's future!", "America will not give in to Socialism!", etc. – then FAR too many Americans who fail to educate themselves on the issues will become emotionally hooked and believe ANYthing they hear from these GOP liars! And here is the joke: the GOP – starting with Reagan, who alone TRIPLED the national debt – has backed policy that actually SLOWS the economy, hurts it, such as the Bush tax cuts that were by every account now, a MASSIVE blunder. Meanwhile, the GOP mired us in two grossly mismanaged wars, while the big beneficiaries are Big Oil and the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about, many members of which have VERY close ties to the Bush family. Rank & file Republicans fall for these con men/women every time. So here we have another GOP'er lying to the people, apparently it turns out, to drum up business for private prisons that specifically house illegals, private prisons Brewer has far too close ties to.

    September 2, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. drr

    You're not suggesting a republican lied and used fear for political gain are you? That's so unlike them.
    On second thought, that's just like them. My bad!

    September 2, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. terry,va

    Secure the border Obummie. It is your job to protect our country. Why won't you do it? Maybe you want the U.S. to collapse. Are you a muslim plant to destroy our great country?

    September 2, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Arizona's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer lost her head and made headlines by making claims of beheadings by claiming that illegal aliens, heading for the headlands of America, decapitated some of their own.

    Questioned repeatedly, and speaking off the top of her head, the Governor said "Ok, thank you all." and headed out of the room without commenting about her original (and apparently baseless) inflammatory comment.

    September 2, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Dave

    Ok she is obviously an idiot.

    But so is he. How are her crazy statements about crime in the desert affecting the economy???

    September 2, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. hagster

    This lady is simply trying to protect her state from ignorance, and she's being accused of being ignorant. It's all in black and white why federal and local bleeding hearts are against her. "What's hurting us economically". Is this what you idiots are worried about? If Jose' the illegal smuggler had you at gunpoint and you offered him 30 million bucks, he'd take your money and still blow your freaking head off. Come to this country legally and your welcome! That is the only task she is trying to accomplish, and bleeding heart morons are more worried about the almighty dollar. Head south of the border, I hear they're makin' a killing down there. Take the rest of the crooked govt. with ya!

    September 2, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Joe NY, NY

    She probably meant "Immigrants should be heading into the desert."

    September 2, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. fastrack

    To Willa-PA and anyone else who views this as someone else's problem: those who vote for these unqualified, narrow-minded hate-mongers aren't going to "...get what they deserve..." WE'RE ALL GOING TO SUFFER! Right, Left, or centrist, we all need to be talking to our friends and neighbors about what the candidates actually stand for, what they're being truthful about, and what they're lying about. If you can, send money to campaigns, but for this nation's sake, you have to get out the vote!

    September 2, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. witch56

    she will still be elected because sarah palin will ride in on her grizzy bear and support her. They are 2 of a kind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Jackson from Rome, GA

    Beheadings in the dessert? That must be one dangerous banana split...

    September 2, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    What I find enjoyable is the Border Patrol has pretty much put paid to all her claims, exposing them for the falsehoods they are. Unfortunately government officials who report they are doing their jobs better and more efficiently than they had in the past doesn't make good "sound bite journalism".
    Like I mentioned in a previous post, it always amazes me that the two States on the Mexican border with Republican governors got their sections of the wall built (over the objections of 90% of the private property owners – i.e. ranchers – in both states), while the two states with Democratic Governors did not get any wall built. This happened during Shrub's administration. Could it have been a coincidence? Of course, now that Jan Brewer is Governor, she wants her section of the wall.

    September 2, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Steve

    I'm going to go ahead and agree with how delicious dessert sounds right now.

    September 2, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. tstorm

    Brewer has shown she is about adept to be governor of Arizona as Sarah Palin is to be president. What an absolutely horrible debate! Brewer looked uncomfortable, dodged questions, and flat-out walked away from reporters. She is a Sarah Palin-wannabe...

    September 2, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Djinn

    It appears the Wicked Witch of the Southwest has drunk from the same Kool-aid as the Witch of the North Star. How can women so dumb ascend to voted positions in American Government. And how, now that they have both shown just how inept they are, could voters possibly hold their collective noses and vote for them again????? This is giving conservative principles a VERY bad name.

    September 2, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. Really?

    Rather than run on a record and what one will do to benefit the state, Brewer's oppenent chose to deflect and distract to a topic that does not help or matter to the state.

    How is focusing on that comment help, unemployment, foreclosure and crime in the state of AZ? This unfortunately is the Dems mantra now. Dems cannot run on their record or the DEMs in DC's record so the only hope is to disparage and distract fr their atrocious record that is killing this country!

    September 2, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. davkat

    Did the Democratic challenger ask her about her relationship to the private prison industry and the reason she signed SB 1070 into law? I would have loved to have seen her squirm and play the deny game

    September 2, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Bill Trout

    Voters in all states should question the facts of comments or statements made by all politicians. The biggest problem is folks can say anything, not questioned, and then the comments take on a life of their own. Votes should not be cast for candidates that cannot, or will not, quantify their comments. Example, "I have a plan for making new jobs". Great, plese add details of your plan, spell it out. If no plan, stop saying that you have a plan. No plan, no vote. Regardless of party affiliation.

    September 2, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Really?

    Willa-PA said "People voting for the likes of Brewer, Miller, Angle, Paul with the help of Palin get what they deserve if these people get voting in. Cutting of benefits, Social Security, Medicare, disability bnfts, unemployment bnfts, education etc. etc. and listin to Glen Beck and the FOX nonews etc. etc. "

    Reallly? Do u happen to realize that these entitlement programs are bankrupting the country? Do u have any idea what happens to a country when they spend more than they take in?

    Look to Greece u moron! Get up off ur arse and work for what you want!!! Stop expecting handouts! It is not my job to fund your "Social Security, Medicare, disability bnfts, unemployment bnfts, education". It is your job to take care of u!!!

    September 2, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. Jerry

    Two words: Whack job

    September 2, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Mark, Phoenix

    She was beyond clueless in the debate. It would be hilarious, if it wasn't so tragic.

    September 2, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    Just remember, folks, the GOP wants us scared and stupid.

    And that's exactly what you'd have to be to vote for them in November.

    September 2, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Scott

    Jan Brewer is doing the right thing, all the States should be doing it.

    English is not a magical language, but it is the national language by nature. Actually, it has been the national language since the pilgrims arrived in 1620. It has been used for 400 years but, somehow, all of a sudden, illegal Latinos and some legal Latinos can't do what at least 50 other ethnic races have done: Learn and use English.
    Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN
    "In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

    September 2, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Dave

    Let's face it. The Republicans and their Tea Party are going to win BIG TIME this November. Almost certainly taking control of the House and the Senate. So get ready for some BIG changes. Jan Brewer will look liberal by comparison.

    September 2, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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