Republican front-runner Mitt Romney says he would have supported a plan by congressional Republicans to cut spending and force a vote on a federal balanced budget amendment to address the nation's debt crisis.

The former Massachusetts governor was asked how he would have handled the debt as a large field of Republicans gathered in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa. Early questions focused on the economy, the key issue in the presidential campaign.

A large field of Republicans is vying to challenge President Barack Obama next year.