Romney speaks during the Independence Hall Tea Party Association's Tax Day Tea Summit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania April 16, 2012. REUTERS

Mitt Romney channeled Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, telling a radio host that he was contending with a vast left-wing conspiracy dedicated to undermining him.

Responding to a question from host Larry O'Connor about potential scrutiny from nonprofit groups and the media -- whom O'Connor suggested were colluding with each other -- Romney deployed a phrase Clinton had used while serving as first lady, simply swapping right wing for left wing.

There will be an effort by the, quote, 'vast left-wing conspiracy' to work together to put out their message and to attack me, Romney said in response. They're going to do everything they can to divert from the message people care about, which is a growing economy that creates more jobs and rising incomes. That's what people care about.

Clinton used the phrase in the midst of President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, suggesting that the proceedings were a politically motivated assault coordinated by her husband's enemies. The phrase became synonmous with Republican animosity towards President Clinton.

It is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president, Clinton said.

Romney embraced a common Republican argument that the media is overly liberal, sympathetic to President Obama, and unnecessarily harsh on Republican proposals and lawmakers. O'Connor specifically referenced Think Progress, a political blog that is a project of the liberal nonprofit the Center for American Progress, and Media Matters, an organization devoted to monitoring conservative media.

Romney told O'Connor that many in the media are inclined to do the president's bidding and predicted an uphill battle. He added that attacks leveled against him were attempts to distract voters from President Obama's stewardship of the economy.

Democrats know that given the president's record over the last three years they cannot run on that record, Romney said. They will make this race about anything but the president's record and the economy.