Brewer Riding on Wave of Popular Support But Goddard Strikes Back During Debate

Phoenix, AZ – Brewer has repeatedly defended her decision to sign SB 1070 to
give state and local police more ability to arrest illegal
immigrants. Goddard has been critical of the measure, a theme he
repeated Wednesday night during a televised debate among the
gubernatorial candidates.

(As Gov. Brewer herself has said on many occasions, SB 1070 does
nothing to secure the border. It does nothing to fight border
crime. As your attorney general, that's what I've been doing for
the last seven years. I've been focused on the cartels, on
putting them out of business, on eliminating their operations
smuggling human beings into the United States.)

But Brewer said Goddard is ignoring what may be the biggest
benefit of all.

(Obviously, it has gotten the attention of the federal
government. You know the statement, as you have said and the
secretary of homeland security and the president of the United
States, making the statements that our borders are as secure as
they've ever been, well, they're not. Why would they be sending
more National Guard and Border Patrol, which isn't enough.)

Goddard said the legislation, while parts have been placed on
hold by a federal judge, also has caused economic harm to the
state. Brewer repeated her charge that the fault for that can be
laid at the feet of unions that support Goddard and other
Democrats who urge a boycott of the state. But Goddard said if
Brewer is looking for someone to blame for people not coming to
Arizona she should look in a mirror. He cited statements she has
made about violent crime linked to illegal immigration and,
specifically, how headless bodies have turned up in the desert.

(Those are false statement. They cause people to think Arizona is
a dangerous place. And they don't come here and they don't invest
here because our governor said such negative things about our

But Brewer refused to say she was mistaken, not only during the
debate but afterwards when asked by reporters, ignoring questions
and just walking away. The economy was also discussed during the
hour-long debate, a subject Goddard staffers believe has a better
chance of getting him elected in November.

(Arizona is hurting badly. 128,000 jobs have left this state
while Jan Brewer has been governor. We're No. 1 in the nation for
job loss. That's an emergency. That doesn't allow you to wait and

But Brewer, who became governor in January 2009 after Janet
Napolitano quit to take a job in the Obama administration, said
the state's fiscal problems are not of her making.

(We are in crisis. And it's because of six long years of the
prior administration and you digging us into a hole, spending
more, building a bigger government. )

Goddard conceded at least part of the point about Napolitano's
financial practices.

(I think she made some mistakes as governor. She's gone. And now
Jan Brewer has the job. And I don't think it does any good for
her to continue to shift the blame back. She needs to take
responsibility for what she has done.)

Brewer said she is has been dealing with the problem, citing her
decision to ask voters for a temporary one-cent hike in the state
sales tax as an alternative to even deeper cuts in spending on
critical programs like education.

(And I led that campaign. And i believe that they understood the
problem and the issues. And i believe that they listened to Jan
Brewer, believed me, trusted me, because of my long record in
public service. It was the right thing to do.)

But Libertarian gubernatorial hopeful Barry Hess said Brewer and
others who eventually supported the tax -- including Goddard --
got it wrong.

(The reality is, the taxes didn't help. These guys are all trying
to preserve the state administration. And as the ship of state of
Arizona starts sinking, the difference between us is going to be
obvious. I want to save the people. They want to save the boat.)

For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.