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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's shaky debate performance highlighted in opponent's ads

New commercials from Atty. Gen. Terry Goddard feature clips of his opponent struggling for words during her opening statement at a televised debate earlier this month.

September 17, 2010

By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau — The Democrat looking to unseat Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is highlighting her infamous debate performance in a series of new television ads launching Friday.

In total, three new ads from Terry Goddard’s campaign will feature clips of his Republican opponent struggling for words during her opening statement at a televised debate earlier this month. One spot questions Brewer on the issue of public safety, another asks whether she has done anything to bring jobs to the state. The third ad focuses on Brewer’s unfounded allegation that illegal immigrants had beheaded people in the Arizona desert.

Two of the three end with the tagline: “Is this the best Arizona can do?”

Goddard campaign spokeswoman Janey Pearl said that while Brewer’s performance in the debate attracted national attention, the purpose of the ads is to highlight for voters her lack of a vision for the state.

“What concerned us more is her 600 days of failed leadership,” Pearl said.

Pearl said the ads will run in rotation through Monday, mainly in the Phoenix television market. She described the buy as "small."

Brewer is seeking her first full term this November, after assuming the governorship in January 2009 when Janet Napolitano resigned to become President Obama’s secretary of Homeland Security.

She initially struggled in the polls and faced a competitive primary election. But her prominent role in the debate over the state’s anti-illegal immigration law propelled her to a national figure.

Goddard is the state’s attorney general, and has trailed Brewer in most public polls.

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