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House GOP Whip McCarthy endorses Romney

Mitt Romney's long list of Capitol Hill endorsements grew Monday with the endorsement of House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy, R-Calif., the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, will serve as a California statewide chair for Romney's campaign.

The majority whip is the second member of the House Republican leadership to endorse Romney. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced his support for the frontrunner earlier this month on NBC.

"After a long and grueling primary, it is clear that Mitt Romney is the best candidate to face President Obama and fix the mess of his one and only term," McCarthy said in a statement. "Republicans need to unite and work together if we plan to take back the White House and put in place policies that will get our nation back on a path to prosperity by reducing taxes, shrinking government, and empowering the private sector. I am proud to support Mitt Romney and urge my fellow Republicans to do the same."

Romney met with lawmakers last week. One group included McCarthy and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a Tea Party favorite. When asked if he would endorse Romney, McCarthy hinted at Monday's announcement, saying only: "Stay tuned."

As the majority whip, McCarthy is in frequent contact with rank-and-file Republicans, including the more conservative members who may be skeptical of a possible Romney nomination. But Romney holds the most endorsements from Capitol Hill lawmakers to date.

Although his top two deputies have both embraced Romney, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said late last year that he would stay above the fray and not make an endorsement in the GOP presidential primary.