The B.C. government did a terrible job selling the harmonized sales tax to taxpayers, but that doesn't mean Premier Gordon Campbell should resign or take early retirement over the tax, several cabinet members said Thursday.

"The bottom line is we could not have done a worse job," said Health Minister Kevin Falcon about the government's introduction and implementation of the controversial tax.

"We really screwed up," he said. "First we have to acknowledge to the public and apologize to the public for the terrible job we did explaining and rolling out the HST."

Falcon, often touted as a potential Liberal leadership candidate, said he is not interested whatsoever in Campbell's job.

In July 2009, the B.C. government abruptly announced it would adopt the HST, just two months after the provincial election where the campaigning Liberals said they weren't interested in bringing in the tax.

The resulting anger prompted an anti-HST campaign led by former premier Bill Vander Zalm.

The successful petition produced enough signatures to force a legislative committee to consider either sending legislation withdrawing the tax to the legislature for a vote by MLAs, or to allow the legislation to go to a provincial referendum.

The committee will meet again Sept. 13 for a possible decision.

This week saw a former Campbell cabinet minister, Independent MLA Blair Lekstrom, and Liberal insider Scott Nelson, a former mayor of Williams Lake, call on Campbell to retire or quit over the government's handling of the HST.

Mounting public anger over the HST could cost the Liberals a fourth term in office in 2013, they said, adding if Campbell stepped aside soon the Liberals would have time to renew themselves under a new leader who is not tarred by the tax.

Campbell's leadership could also become a focal point at the Liberal party's convention in Penticton this November.

But Campbell rejected calls for his head, saying the only person who has called for his resignation more times than Nelson -- a failed Liberal candidate nominee -- is his wife Nancy.

Campbell said the solidarity he feels from his caucus and cabinet tells him to continue pushing forward.

The premier received endorsements from members of his cabinet who arrived in Victoria for their first meeting after a summer break.

Children's Minister Mary Polak was forced to reword her response to questions about Campbell's leadership after reporters said she didn't mention the premier by name.

"We, as a team, have an agenda that we need to put forward for British Columbians," she said. "We're a team, and that's what we've always been, and he's the leader of our team."

Polak said she could never completely rule out a possible run for party leader if Campbell ever does quit or retire, but for now, she's not interested.

Transportation Minister Shirley Bond said the Liberals made a difficult decision when it came to adopting the HST, which combined the former seven-per-cent provincial sales tax with the federal goods and services tax to form a 12-per-cent tax.

But, she said, Campbell shouldn't take the blame for the furor over the HST.

"People are certainly entitled to their view, but I've had the pleasure of working with a premier who's made an enormous difference and I intend to continue to work hard along side of him."