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Jan Brewer’s meltdown

By PAUL DAVENPORT
September 3, 2010

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer: Hello, is anybody home? (AP)

It will go down as one of the most painful openings to a political debate in recent memory.

Gov. Jan Brewer stumbled and stammered through her opening statement during a televised debate Wednesday night, suffering through an embarrassing, cringe-eliciting pause that lasted more than 10 seconds.

With her hands clasped in front of her, she looked at the camera, then down, possibly at notes, and back up at the camera. She smiled, let out a loud exhale, then resumed her statement with a pronouncement of her record as governor.

“We have, uh, did what was right for Arizona,” Brewer said, using a grammatical misconstruction she uttered twice during the debate.

Then, she bolted from a post-debate question-and-answer session with reporters after refusing to respond to queries about a past statement about bodies supposedly found beheaded in the Arizona desert.

Video of the pause and the post-debate walkoff from the media scrum quickly became an Internet sensation as Brewer was skewered on political blogs Thursday.

“Jan Brewer: Bumbling politician of the year,” salon.com headlined its post. “The rising star governor of Arizona gives a painfully awful debate performance.”

Some called it her Stockdale moment, a reference to James Stockdale’s bumbling debate performance as H. Ross Perot’s running mate in the 1992 presidential race.

Brewer herself acknowledged Thursday during an interview on a talk show on Phoenix radio station KTAR-FM that she could have done better.

“It certainly was the longest 16 seconds of my life,” Brewer said of the pause. “I’m human, I’m human.”

She said the post-debate questioning by reporters was unfair, but added that leaving as she did might have been “the wrong thing to do. ”

“But that’s how I felt at the moment,” she added.

Brewer became governor in January 2009 when her Democratic predecessor resigned in midterm and the Republican drew national attention when she signed the state’s controversial immigration law on April 29.

The immigration law turned her into a popular politician among Republicans around the country as she runs for a full term against Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard. She is heavily favored to win.

Not surprisingly, Brewer said she doesn’t think she’ll debate Goddard again. He previously challenged her to six debates across the state and his campaign renewed that call Thursday.

Goddard said Thursday that Brewer’s debate performance “unquestionably” would help him. “The unfortunate result is she’s now afraid to do any more debates,” he said.

The debate itself was peppered by heated give-and-take jabs by Brewer and Goddard over immigration, the state’s budget troubles and a recent prison escape, often with the candidates talking over each other.

Goddard also took Brewer to task over her comments about beheadings in the desert. He said such comments are false and hurting the state’s image and economy. That could help neutralize the immigration issue, and Goddard is also attacking Brewer on economic and budget issues.

Patrick Kenney, an Arizona State University professor of political science, said Brewer’s stumbles could hurt her, especially with the clip of the pause being replayed all over TV and the Internet.

“That clip and that part of the story is being replayed,” Kenney said. “It’s not the kind of image that any politician wants.”

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Online:

http://tinyurl.com/249upzu

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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10 Responses to Jan Brewer’s meltdown

  1. paulb6

    September 3, 2010 at 7:10 am

    How would you feel if you were attempting to help keep her voters safe and were constantly bombarded by an administration that refuses to ” assist a state that has been invaded”, I personally feel that the president has broken a serious obligation of the constitution. I honestly do not know if the congress will change this when and if it becomes republican in November. If it doesn’t I believe you will see tremendous demonstrations for removal of illegals and the absolute end of the two party system.

    • M4tt

      September 4, 2010 at 11:06 pm

      Yeah bombarded, forget the fact that Arizona has some of the highest white population cities in the US. Hey lets also forget that the immigration issue has been beaten to death for over two centuries. Remember when the Irish were going to take over the US and overrun REAL Americans? How about Italians? or Chinese? No? That’s probably because those all were years before the focus shifted to Hispanics You want to fix the immigration problem good luck, were all immigrants, besides maybe they wouldn’t want to come here if they weren’t living in third world environments.

  2. Bill

    September 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Right. The voters of Arizona are really being threatened by illegal immigrants who come to the USA to work at menial jobs that 99.5% of Americans would not take at double the rate the I I’s get paid. These people work hard, save harder, and return to their homeland with a couple of thousand dollars that they use to improve the quality of their lives in their home towns.

    They don’t fly airplanes into buildings, they don’t plant bombs in buildings, and nearly all of them do not bring drugs into the USA. The small group of drug smugglers will be coming regardless of the walls or any other barriers you put up. The I I’s want work, a peaceful life. Little more than that. And if they do stay and educate their children here, if they use the social services that are available for free or little money, so what? The miniscule amount you may pay in extra taxes is a pittance compared to what you’ll be paying for landscaping, day workers, and fruits and vegetables. I’ve seen estimates that predict the cost of fruits and vegetables which are currently being picked by I I’s will triple if you have to pay “REAL” Americans to harvest our crops–and that is if you can find anyone to do this backbreaking labor.

    So shut up about all this crap concerning Illegal Immigrants (the I I’s). They perform a valuable service and get paid very little to do so. If they want their kids to learn here, let them. Why would you deny ANY child from ANYWHERE a decent education. Are you afraid of the competition?

    If you are, then get your complaining ass out to the strawberry, bean, grape, lettuce, cauliflower, artichoke, okra, or ??? fields, bend over, and at day’s end see how much YOU will continue to bitch about I I’s coming here to work.

    • TempeRO

      September 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm

      So, you are for slave labor? Way to go! Democrats have been pro slave forever so why change now?

  3. Scott

    September 5, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Well said, Bill.

  4. Rico

    September 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Riiiiiiiiiight, the Teabagger Republicans want no two-party system – they want absolute power forever, so they can properly do the bidding of their corporate masters.

  5. Phil

    September 6, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Please dont insult my great grandparents. Yes they were immigrants, but they were also LEGAL immigrants which makes all the difference. Why were they allowed entry into this great nation? Because the United States of America wanted them here. Nobody that supports Arizona is anti-immigrant. Immigration is one of the things that made America the most powerful country on earth. We differenciate between legal and illegal immigrants because the ones classified as illegal are the ones we do not want. By even setting foot in this country illegally a person spits on our laws and shows they have no respect for us… so why should they be allowed to stay? i hate to tell you, but plenty of low paying jobs are currently occupied by amercan citizens. to say that unemployed americans wouldnt pick fruit and that we somehow need illegals to do it is a ridiculous assertion.

    as for Rico’s lol-inducing post, it is actually the corporations that are fighting the hardest to keep the illegals here. they would hate to have to pay real american citizens proper wages to do the labor that illegals will do for next to nothing. as usual, the dems choose to support corporations at the expense of Americans. whether its by handing over billions of dollars of free tax money to them or by insuring that they have their little supply of cheap illegal labor, the McDemocrats will always back their corporate campaign-donors over their own constituents. im just amazed that they can still fool some less than brilliant people into believing otherwise!

    • drklassen

      September 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      No, your great grandparents were NOT legal immigrants. They were just immigrants. There was no way for them to be illegal so saying they were legal is just plain silly.

  6. Dean

    September 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Brewer does not have the gift of oratory that an Obama has.
    It should be quite obvious what someone who walks-the-walk can do and will do versus one who merely talks-the-talk (a BS’er).
    Brewer has the intellect, and the staff, and the courage to confront those Constitutional usurpers in WashDC who persistently ignore the document that protects ‘We the People’ from oligarchy. The situation is nothing less.
    Many tens of millions who understand the situation applaud her stand.

    By definition, there are few right-wingers in WashDC. A right-winger is a strict Constitutionalist. A left-winger is the opposite, obviously. Quite obviously, also, a leftist either has no knowledge of our Constitution (stupid) or chooses to allow it to be violated (a moron). Those are the only two possibilities.

    As for the border situation a) the feds have no Constitutional jurisdiction, b) the feds have passed unConstitutional ‘laws’ designed to intentionally impoverish states, c) there is a tacit reason they are called “illegal” immigrants.
    It is these elements that have caused Arizona (and 20+ other states) to confront the federal government with Writs of Sovereignty accusing them of intentionally violating the Constitution and to “cease and desist”.

    And thank God for them. We are confronted with a situation that Lou Dobbs once described as nothing less than a coup d’etat.

    If there are those who would find her public address flaws overwhelming her tenacity at attacking a junta (Democrats and Republicans alike) intent on trashing our Constitution…..then we have no future.

  7. Benito

    September 7, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    In the last four months Jan Brewer has been caught lying, three times and counting.

    The comments made on June 16, 2010, and June 27, 2010, clearly indicates that the Brewer says that immigrants are beheading people in the United States desert. She first ran away from the question and the press when confronted with the question. She finally when to FOX/ FAKE News to recant her lie.

    When Brewer was confronted with the fact the two of her top Advisors (Paul Senseman, Chuck Coughlin) are lobbyist for “Private Prisons” giant CCA she first ran away from the question and the press.

    In an attempt to gain sympathy, she first said her father had died in Germany fighting the Nazi in World War II (which ended 1945) but of course we find out the truth that her father was never in Germany and died in California in 1955. Do you see a trend here?

    Brewer signed into law SB 1070 Bill (Did she even read it?), lied about the crime rates in AZ (even Janet Napolitano knows that all crimes rates went down), and now we find out that she is in the pockets of PRIVATE PRISONS who stand to benefit with the increase Federal jailing, and thus they will pay her back, I wonder if it has to do anything about the fact that her son was transferred to a brand new prison, he was convicted for rape and sexual assault, I guess the fruit does not fall far the tree.

    “Private Prisons Lie”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMcgXxzcBeY

    “AZ Crime Rates”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eb4mMk6XgQ

    “Father Lie”
    http://vodpod.com/watch/3771595-charles-krauthammer-rips-jan-brewer-for-lying-about-her-father-dying-in-ww2