LAS VEGAS – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Monday that he opposes  prostitution but does not favor a federal law barring it.

Fielding questions from reporters before flying from Las Vegas to Elko, where brothels operate legally, Rubio said the matter should be left  to the states.

“I’m not talking about federalizing that issue,” said Rubio. “I want to shrink the government, not grow it. Suffice it to say I wish Nevada would make it illegal but that’s their decision to make. I don’t agree with it.”

Rubio is campaigning in Nevada on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s Republican presidential caucuses. He has roots in Las Vegas – as a child, he lived there with his family for a period.

But Rubio was cautious about his chances  Tuesday, saying of his local ties: “I’m not sure that’s going to be enough to simply be a determining factor in the caucus.”