"Arizona may be the only state in America where mothers don't tell their children that some day they can grow up and be president, and we're going to reverse that unhappy history of the state of Arizona," he said.
McCain is among four Arizonians who have made presidential bids and lost. He says he is confident about winning his home state, but it will take work to win over the battleground states.
Also Sunday, the country of Iran condemned remarks by McCain in the last week that exporting cigarettes might be a way of killing Iranians.
Senator McCain says he was joking.