In a one-two punch, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., threw their support behind Mitt Romney Sunday, calling him the best candidate to reboot America's stalled economy.
Both fiscal conservatives, the lawmakers carry considerable weight among the conservative base, a group Romney has had a tough time wooing despite his greatest efforts.
"You know, Mitt Romney is the only candidate in the race who's put forward a bold, pro-growth, pro jobs plan for the future," Cantor said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"In fact, I cast my vote already in Virginia for Mitt Romney and I'm here today to tell you that I'm endorsing Mitt Romney in his candidacy for the presidency of the United States," he said.
Cantor, the second highest ranking member in the House of Representatives, called Romney on Wednesday Feb. 29 to say he would support him. His endorsement won't likely impact the race in his home state -- only Romney and Ron Paul are on the ballot after Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum failed to qualify.
Speaking to reporters aboard a plane to Georgia, Romney senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom called the Cantor endorsement a "pleasant surprise" and said Romney would be the best name at the top of the ticket to maintain a Republican majority in the House. "Republicans want coattails, not concrete shoes. Rick Santorum is a concrete shoe for Republicans who are running for the Senate or for the House."
Coburn also touted Romney's private sector experience, saying his "25 years in the private sector is precisely what we need a president to do in Washington."
Known in the Senate as "Dr No" for his tendency to hold up or vote against legislation, Coburn went further in an editorial to the Oklahoman newspaper, criticizing Romney's opponents for sometimes taking the easy way out on votes.
"On too many occasions I have seen each behave like career politicians rather than leaders. The most important test for anyone in public life is what they do with power. Too often, the other candidates displayed political expediency rather than moral courage and rationalized poor decisions that put Republicans ahead of the republic."