(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele tells CNN he is standing by his recent interview with the Spanish-language network Univision, in which the top Republican said Arizona's controversial immigration law is not a "reflection" of the entire party.
"We support the Republican governor of Arizona in her efforts, but we also recognize that this is a transcendent issue and that for different parts of the country they look at it and approach it differently and Republican candidates and the Republican leadership in those states and those communities have to be able to respond to the needs at that time," Steele told CNN's Soledad O'Brien as part of her series "In America: See How They Run."
Steele, the top Republican charged with adding House and Senate seats to the GOP column this November, also said the divisiveness of the immigration issue shares similarities with that of abortion.
"We have pro-choice Republicans, we have pro-life Republicans, so I can't say that one of them is a reflection of the entire party," he said. "The same is true on this question on Arizona. Some people see that law one way, some people see that law another way. It depends on where you live and what your background is."
Steele has previously taken heat for saying abortion is an "individual choice" and that the matter should be left up to the states to decide.
Portions of the interview will air Tuesday on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
The controversial measure, signed into law last April by Gov. Jan Brewer, requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them.
In late July, a federal court judge temporarily blocked the portion that prevents police from questioning people about their immigration status in response to a motion filed by the Justice Department.
A host of national Republican's have defended the law's implementation and sharply criticized President Obama's Justice Department for intervening with a state's enforcement decision.
Asked about his own position on the measure, Steele said his job as chairman of the party is to "support my Republican governors wherever they are and whatever they are doing."
"They may institute [the law] in Arizona, they may institute a different version of it somewhere else and …I cannot come in and tell them, 'Oh well gee that's not popular or that's not what the rest of the party thinks or feels,'" he said.