Gov. Jan Brewer: 'Government Is a Necessary Evil'

Republican governors say they don't want a government shutdown.

ByABC News
February 27, 2011, 8:42 AM

Feb. 27, 2011— -- Facing an oncoming federal budget crisis, Republican governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Jan Brewer of Arizona both said a government shutdown would not be productive for the country.

"I think government is a necessary evil," Brewer said. "But it's necessary to provide services, and they should be able to come to some solution. We need to trim the budget and move on."

"We appreciate our public employees but our job as governor is to look after our taxpayers," Haley added.

Four governors joined in round-table discussion with ABC News' Jake Tapper on "This Week" -- Haley, Brewer, and Democrats Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and John Hickenlooper of Colorado -- to discuss the possible government shutdown, the labor protests in Wisconsin and the potential presidential landscape of 2012.

A longtime friend and supporter of President Obama, Patrick said the fiscal crisis was a "real opportunity" for to learn how Americans want government to function.

"All of us are dealing with these kinds of challenges, and trying to get our budget gaps closed," he said. "There's another way, it's about turning towards each other instead of against each other."

Haley, at 39 years old the youngest governor ever elected, praised the GOP's proposed plan for $50 million in spending cuts, but said she felt it was Obama's responsibility to listen to Republican legislators instead of forcing Republicans to listen to his plan.

"[The Republicans] are just doing what the people are asking of them," she said.

Both Haley and Brewer also condemned the 14 Democratic state senators in Wisconsin who staged a walk-out of the state house in Madison last week in the wake of the labor protests, calling their actions "shameful."

"I think it's despicable that they would leave their jobs," Brewer said. "No one should walk out. They're doing exactly what we told our employees not to do and that's to strike. They need to get back to Wisconsin and they need to vote...I can't imagine any of them will get re-elected."