Finally, Arizona’s Jan Brewer Gives Us Something To Laugh At

The lawmaker's battling immigrants. And English grammar.

By Julianne Hing Sep 03, 2010

UPDATE 4:58pm ET: Brewer has announced she will not be taking part in any future debates against her Democratic challenger Terry Goddard, and only participated in Wednesday’s so her campaign could qualify for public funding. The Arizona Daily Star reports that Brewer now wants to move past her own talking points on immigration. "All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings," the governor told reporters. "That is something that has stuck with you all for so long, and I just felt we needed to move on."


Here’s your shot of Friday schadenfreude. On Wednesday Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer turned in a priceless performance on a local TV station during a gubernatorial debate against her Democratic challenger, attorney general Terry Goddard, and stumbled her way through a very uncomfortable opening statement. Barry Hess and Larry Gist, two other candidates, were there, too.

The rest of the debate didn’t go so well, either. It was bad enough that the AP ran a story covering Brewer’s obvious troubles with basic English grammar.

Brewer repeated her baseless claim that immigrants were responsible for border crime by reminding voters of all the phantom headless bodies police have actually never found along the border. The AP reports that when Goddard pressed her on her statements about border violence, she evaded the topic, and then stared reporters in the face before walking out on them when she was pressed again on her claims.

She’s since said walking away from reporters was "the wrong thing to do," but again refused to backtrack on her plainly untrue statements. As of Monday, Brewer was polling strongly against Goddard.

Anti-racist writer Tim Wise points out that white political candidates get a pass when they make fools of themselves:

[T]his is evidence of the clearly low standard that white folks set for ourselves when it comes to elected office. No person of color could be this damned incapable of stringing words together and get elected to anything. But for us? No problem…

But the bigger question is how many anti-immigrant lies will Arizonans stand for. Easy enough to call out Brewer for being a wealthy white politician, but will voters call her out for pushing hate and demagoguery?