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. Javi

    where are all the Brewer lovers? The ones on the receiving end of the tea bagging or what's the "movement" called again? Funny how an article that points out how this lady is a lying moron who does what all typical GOPs do in which fear is their goal. Scare you into voting for them because dem Mexicans are beheading people! Hah! Come one people please wake up.. Pleeeeaassseee!!! Help the rest of the rational people and lets just try to make this a better country period! Not a better country for you! Sigh...

    September 2, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    I saw the video on this, and am disgusted. She used fear based on lies to scare people into backing her papers please law and doesn't even have enough common decency to take it back. Is this all the GOP has these dies, lies and fear. I guess why not, it's worked well for the in the past.

    September 2, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. nru

    just show me the severed heads and I'll join her circus

    September 2, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Rose

    I find it quite entertaining to see how many GOP and Tea Party candidates spend so much time running from the cameras instead of answering questions on what they stand for.

    But it's even scarier to see people are lining up to vote for this kind of leadership.

    September 2, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. JR

    Haven't the republicans always been this way, telling outlandish lies and never admit error, look at Bush and Cheney's WMD's, Palin's Death Panels and now Brewer's Beheading nonsense. It's all part and parcel of the standard "Fear and Smear" from the GOP.

    September 2, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. ST

    Beheading claim totally a lie. Bridge to nowhere absolutely was a big lie. I do not trust these women the queen of Alaska is associating with.

    September 2, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. lmj

    This is just SO typical. Tell the BIG LIE enough and somebody will believe it. When challenged, ignore it.
    Typical, Typical, Typical.

    September 2, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. K from AZ

    If you don't live in AZ, sit down & shut up. In addition, why don't you libs, if you care so much about the illegal aliens, officially sponsor tem and put them up in your homes until the get legal status: put your $ where your mouth is. (Oh, I forgot, you only work with other people's money).

    September 2, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. jay

    Just more scare tactics to get the ignorant vote.

    September 2, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Karen

    This woman is trying her best to get the laws enforced and we desperately need them. The southern states are over run with illegals. You will see when they move north and east!

    September 2, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Brount

    COWARD !

    If you say something have the proof and the deceny to back it up lady !

    September 2, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Ben in Texas

    Sounds like the governor lost her head. Was she in the desert? Is she in the wilderness?

    September 2, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. ficheye

    Politicians are prone to making generalizations when they speak without being prepared. She made a mistake. So everyone goes after her.

    But, even though I am a liberal, I think that illegal immigration is harmful to this county and it needs to be stopped. A lot of people feel sorry for these folks, as do I, yet refuse to analyze how they actually feel about the issue. It's a lot easier to vilify those who speak out. Are you for opening the border with Mexico? Then face it... you are against illegal immigration, even if it collides with a politically correct world view. Now, instead of inverse hating and finger pointing, offer some solutions. It's hard, I know. But unless you do you are no better than the angry conservatives who are loudly protesting. Let's hear solutions people, not just indignation.

    September 2, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Sally

    We can only pray that this far far right group, spurred to say whatever they want to by Palin, will lose in November, and put an end to the fear-mongering is governing gang.

    September 2, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. ehwilson429

    Beheadings are a way of life among the drug cartels.
    There are many in the USA among drug dealers. Media
    is silent on these.

    Drug cartels particularly like to prey on their enemies
    childre. they behead children in a flash.

    September 2, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Really?

    Willa-PA said "People voting for the likes of Brewer, Miller, Angle, Paul with the help of Palin get what they deserve ..."

    What exactly did the people deserve when the voted for Obama? Did they deserve to sit on their butts all day long, do nothing and get paid for it?

    Well then wish granted!!! Enjoy unemployement and the continued dope in the Oval Office who does not have a clue what he is doing. I guess we should just contine on with them right?

    To quote an Obama kool aid drinker, on a campaign stop in Florida, " It was the most magnificient time of my life, because if I help him (ie Obama get elected), I won't have to work to pay my mortgage, I won't have to work to put food on the table, I won't have to work to put gas in my car... if I help him, he will help me" - Peggy Joseph.

    It is up to us hardworking Americans to take care of the likes of Peggy Joseph & Willa-PA.
    Yep that is the change we can believe in.

    September 2, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. ghp

    The most powerful motivator is FEAR. Go Republicans, You Do It Best!!!

    September 2, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. anagram_kid

    More fear baiting from the right. So what do people do when they realize their fears are completely baseless and the events that Beck and his ilk promise never come to pass? Oh that’s right they move onto the next fear and forget they were just hoodwinked... again.

    September 2, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. RunnySantorum

    GOP loves to lie

    September 2, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Meka


    September 2, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Sam Sixpack

    What? Another politician telling lies? What's the world coming to? However, if we got rid of all the liars, who would report the “news?”

    Everybody knows those nice people sneaking tons of drugs across the boarder wouldn't hurt a fly. It’s just outrageous to think those nice drug pushers would ever hurt anyone!

    The main thing is that we can all sleep soundly knowing ½ trillion of your grandmother's Medicare dollars have now been safely diverted into the pockets of the already fabulously rich.

    September 2, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Greg

    Democrats WAKE UP! You have not gone all this ways 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 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. Dan

    So typical. Truth has never been an obstacle for conservatives. If they don't like the truth, they just make something up.

    September 2, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. TexFandango

    Goebbles incited hatred for Jews in pre-WWII Germany by attributing cruel and deviant behavior to them – all in an effort to rally support for their bigotry. Absent sufficiently evidence of odious acts or behavior, racists like Gov. Brewer will typically invent outrageous and unsubstantiated claims in order to demonize the people they hate.

    September 2, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. boby

    typical fear politics by the GOP here we go again

    September 2, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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