From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer gave what can only be described as a cringe-worthy opening statement in her debate against Democratic opponent Terry Goddard last night.
Politico’s Ben Smith, who picked the video up off YouTube, wrote that Brewer’s performance “reflects either an amazing lack of preparation, or sheer panic.”
As for the rest of the debate: Brewer, a Republican whose popularity in her state and nationwide shot upward after she signed Arizona’s controversial immigration measure S.B. 1070, seemed to recover after her disastrous opening, sparring with Goddard on that issue as well as the economy, as the Arizona Republic reports.
She boasted of balancing the budget of a state once on the verge of bankruptcy by cutting 2.2 billion in spending – though, as the Republic notes, the state is facing a $700 million budget shortfall.
Goddard, the Arizona attorney general hoping to unseat Brewer as governor, responded that Arizona has lost more jobs than have been created during Brewer’s tenure.
He also called out Brewer for saying that “law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded,” a claim for which she has provided no evidence.
“You need to stop saying things that are untrue, that defame our state, like there are beheadings in the desert,” he said.
Pressed by reporters after the debate, Brewer refused to recant the beheadings claim.
There were actually two other candidates participating in the debate, Barry Hess and Larry Gist, but the conversation was dominated by Goddard and Brewer.