ABC News’ Matt Stuart Reports: As Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took questions from the media on the balcony of the Cutter Aviation building at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, it was clear that illegal immigration is the key issue for Arizona in 2008.
Romney began his comments by reiterating his belief that excessive spending in Washington is one of the "big issues," of his campaign but the questioning quickly turned to "the number one issue" in Arizona: illegal immigration.
"I believe legal immigration is a good thing," said Romney when asked about ending illegal immigration but ensuring enough workers in the state, "[it] enhances our economy, strengthens our culture, builds our technology base…but that illegal immigration, that we’ve gotta stop."
When asked to clarify whether "the 12 million people here illegally should … have to go back to their home country," Romney deferred saying that he wasn’t "gonna focus on whether they go home to apply…. My focus is the principle that they get in line with everybody else."
Romney was also asked about Arizona Sen. John McCain’s health care plan that was unveiled Thursday, but he claimed that he hadn’t "seen Sen. McCain’s health care plan yet."
However, he did use the question to emphasize his argument that health care is "not a Democrat issue. It’s a conservative, Republican issue." Romney added that, while he hadn’t seen other candidates plans, "my plan is the best."
Finally, when asked about Arizona polling, Romney stated that he expected to do "pretty darn well," in what he called this "important primary state," but also sought to lower expectations, arguing that "this is kind of the home state for Sen. McCain and I think the expectations are, of course, he’d win here."
Romney was in Arizona for private fundraisers today before heading to Reno, Nevada on Friday.