US

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer leaves legacy of battling Washington, but fiscal issues remain unfixed

  • FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014, file photo, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer gives her State of the State address in the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. Brewer fought President Barack Obama on immigration and border security for most of her tenure, earning national prominence by enacting tough laws that were mainly struck down by the courts and famously wagging her finger in the president’s face during a meeting on an airport tarmac. But the Republican governor leaves a more nuanced legacy after nearly six years in office, one that saw her inherit a massive deficit at the height of the Great Recession, patch it up and push for economic recovery only to see Arizona sink back into a deficit as she prepares to step down Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014, file photo, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer gives her State of the State address in the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. Brewer fought President Barack Obama on immigration and border security for most of her tenure, earning national prominence by enacting tough laws that were mainly struck down by the courts and famously wagging her finger in the president’s face during a meeting on an airport tarmac. But the Republican governor leaves a more nuanced legacy after nearly six years in office, one that saw her inherit a massive deficit at the height of the Great Recession, patch it up and push for economic recovery only to see Arizona sink back into a deficit as she prepares to step down Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2012, file photo, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer points at President Barack Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, in Mesa, Ariz. Brewer fought Obama on immigration and border security for most of her tenure, earning national prominence by enacting tough laws that were mainly struck down by the courts and famously wagging her finger in the president’s face during a meeting on the airport tarmac. But the Republican governor leaves a more nuanced legacy after nearly six years in office, one that saw her inherit a massive deficit at the height of the Great Recession, patch it up and push for economic recovery only to see Arizona sink back into a deficit as she prepares to step down Jan. 5,  2015. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2012, file photo, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer points at President Barack Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, in Mesa, Ariz. Brewer fought Obama on immigration and border security for most of her tenure, earning national prominence by enacting tough laws that were mainly struck down by the courts and famously wagging her finger in the president’s face during a meeting on the airport tarmac. But the Republican governor leaves a more nuanced legacy after nearly six years in office, one that saw her inherit a massive deficit at the height of the Great Recession, patch it up and push for economic recovery only to see Arizona sink back into a deficit as she prepares to step down Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014, file photo, immigration rights protesters sit out in front of the House of Representatives after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer gave her State of the State address at the Arizona Capitol, in Phoenix. Brewer fought President Barack Obama on immigration and border security for most of her tenure, earning national prominence by enacting tough laws that were mainly struck down by the courts and famously wagging her finger in the president’s face during a meeting on an airport tarmac.But the Republican governor leaves a more nuanced legacy after nearly six years in office, one that saw her inherit a massive deficit at the height of the Great Recession, patch it up and push for economic recovery only to see Arizona sink back into a deficit as she prepares to step down Jan. 5, 2015.  (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014, file photo, immigration rights protesters sit out in front of the House of Representatives after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer gave her State of the State address at the Arizona Capitol, in Phoenix. Brewer fought President Barack Obama on immigration and border security for most of her tenure, earning national prominence by enacting tough laws that were mainly struck down by the courts and famously wagging her finger in the president’s face during a meeting on an airport tarmac.But the Republican governor leaves a more nuanced legacy after nearly six years in office, one that saw her inherit a massive deficit at the height of the Great Recession, patch it up and push for economic recovery only to see Arizona sink back into a deficit as she prepares to step down Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)  (The Associated Press)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer fought President Barack Obama on immigration and border security for most of her tenure, earning national prominence by enacting tough laws that were mainly struck down by the courts and famously wagging her finger in the president's face during a meeting.

But the Republican leaves a more nuanced legacy after nearly six years in office, one that saw her inherit a massive deficit, patch it up and push for economic recovery only to see Arizona sink back into a deficit as she steps down Jan. 5.

Brewer bucked her party's right wing by pushing for a temporary sales-tax increase and embracing a part of Obama's health care overhaul law, Medicaid expansion. Both angered conservatives.

Still, the 70-year-old governor is unapologetic, saying she's proud of her accomplishments.