(CBS News) Former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., plans to endorse the party's presumptive nominee Mitt Romney at a campaign event in Portsmouth, Va., on Thursday, Romney campaign officials say.
As competitors on the stump, Bachmann often contrasted herself to Romney by saying that she was the only true conservative in the race, as well as the candidate favored by the tea party. The endorsement from the House member from Minnesota could help him attract the staunch conservatives who shunned him during the primaries, preferring Bachmann and other more ideological candidates.
But Bachmann also has a record of sharply criticizing Romney for supporting a health care plan as the governor of Massachusetts much like the one later embraced by President Obama., "We also know that Mitt Romney is the only governor in the history of the United States to put into place socialized medicine. Mitt Romney will never get rid of the health care mandate under Obamacare."
As a candidate for the 2012 Republican nomination, Bachmann became the first woman to win the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa. She devoted almost her entire campaign to winning the state's caucus in January, but she finished in sixth place and dropped out shortly afterward.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is also expected to attend the event with Romney.