Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy on Tuesday by claiming that budget cuts would shrink the economy, according to NBC News.

"If you just cut, if all you're thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you'll slow down the economy," he said in Michigan. "So you have to, at the same time, create pro-growth tax policies."

Republicans have repeatedly promised that spending cuts would lead to job creation and economic growth, mainly through reduced taxes and deregulation.

"The governor’s point was that simply slashing the budget, with no affirmative pro-growth policies, is insufficient to get the economy turned around," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said. "However, he believes that budget cuts – especially in the context of President Obama’s unprecedented spending explosion – are a step in the right direction. As he made clear in his economic plan, he believes that spending cuts that reduce the size of government and balance the budget are crucial to economic growth and job creation.

Romney's own proposed budget plan would cut federal tax revenue by an estimated $600 billion in 2015. Andrea Saul, a Romney campaign spokesperson, described the plan as "a blueprint for governing that includes dramatic spending cuts to reduce the deficit and pro-growth tax policies that permanently extend the Bush tax cuts, dramatically cut the corporate tax rate to create jobs, and deliver real tax relief to middle-income taxpayers."

He announced Tuesday that he would soon be releasing a more detailed budget plan, which will include a flatter tax rate and reforms of Social Security and Medicare.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore