Mitt Romney and House Republicans have been forming an increasingly tight alliance since the former Massachusetts governor lost the Republican primary and the House GOP slipped further into the minority.
On Thursday, Romney appeared at a House Republican press conference as, in his words, "a disembodied voice over the phone." Reporters and GOP members of Congress huddled around a speakerphone as Romney shared his thoughts on the stimulus package nearing the end of its journey through Congress.
"I fully concur with the plan that you put forward," the voice said. "It creates jobs and it costs less money than the plan that was put together by Democratic leadership. As you mentioned, I was honored to be with you on January 15th to give that presentation to you."
Romney spoke to House Republicans at their annual retreat and, as Erin McPike reported, Minority Whip Eric Cantor said at the time that he had been in "constant contact" with Romney regarding the stimulus.
"He is one of the most prominent national leaders in our party, so there is a natural relationship that needs to be nurtured and developed here, because we stand for the same things," Cantor said.
Romney told the gathered reporters that he believed a stimulus bill was necessary, but was worried about the consequences of the current version.
"Right now our economy is on a precipice. It has declined precipitously and that is something that suggests the need for a stimulus bill," he said Thursday. "At the same time, if the stimulus bill overspends or uses money ineffectively or borrows too much, we could cause stagflation or a run on the dollar or worse."
Cantor said that he had yet to see the final version of the bill, but if it's similar to the last one, he'll once again urge a unanimous vote against it. "The message is the same if the bill is the same," he said.