Senator John McCain, R-Arizona.
AYNOR, South Carolina (CNN) - Sen. John McCain, whose reputation among grassroots conservatives has suffered because of his support of this summer's failed immigration reform bill, said Saturday he still supports a guest-worker program as long as the borders are secured first.
"I still think that we need to have a temporary worker program that is associated with tamper-proof biometric documents, and we need to address the issue of 12 million people in this country illegally," McCain told CNN on his "No Surrender" bus after a campaign stop in Florence, South Carolina. "But first we have to secure the borders."
McCain explained how he plans to regain the trust of people who may have given up on him after the immigration debate.
"You do town hall meetings, and have people come and ask you questions, and make comments," McCain said. "Retail politics is what you do, and I have assured people that the lesson is: Americans don't trust the government, so they didn't believe we would secure the borders first."
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby