Why is Michele Bachmann endorsing Mitt Romney now?

An endorsement by Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann in Virginia, a battleground state, can help Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, the Romney camp can help Bachmann with her campaign debt.

Jae C. Hong/AP
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) of Minnesota (left), and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, arrive at a campaign stop in Portsmouth, Va., Wednesday.

Former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is finally on board the Mitt Romney train. She endorsed the presumptive Republican nominee at a Thursday rally in Portsmouth, Va.

The former Massachusetts governor is a man "who will preserve the American dream of prosperity and liberty," said Congresswoman Bachmann (R) of Minnesota on stage.

Why now? She’s resisted the Romney camp’s entreaties for months, after all, saying that she was working behind the scenes to bring all factions of her party together. Fellow social conservative Rick Santorum hasn’t yet endorsed Mr. Romney. Neither has Newt Gingrich. It isn’t like Bachmann’s been standing out in the cold.

From Romney’s point of view there are hazards in appearing on stage with Bachmann, as well. She was pretty tough on him before she suspended her campaign last January. Already Democrats are gleefully promoting her most biting anti-Mitt rhetoric. The liberal blog Think Progress has listed what editors judge her 10 best Romney attacks.

No. 1? “[Romney] cannot beat Obama. It’s not going to happen,” she told ABC News last December.

Well, we think there’s a mutual perceived advantage here that makes electoral sense. Bachmann’s running to retain her congressional seat, after all. If she wins, and Romney wins, and she hadn’t endorsed him, she’d be in an awkward spot. Plus, she’s got about $650,000 in debt from her presidential bid, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Romney money folks can help retire that.

As for Romney, look at where the endorsement announcement is occurring. Bachmann is a Minnesota lawmaker, yet she’s appearing next to her party’s presumptive standard-bearer down in tidewater Virginia.

We say that’s because the Old Dominion is more of a swing state than Minnesota. Right now Romney is about 2 points behind President Obama in Virginia, according to the RealClearPolitics rolling average of state polls. He’s almost 10 points behind in Minnesota.

Bachmann has long been a favorite of Tea Party adherents. And Virginia’s got lots of those: about 21 percent of the state’s voters said they were Tea Party supporters, according to a Marist survey from earlier this year.

That’s why this endorsement event has been set up as it has, if you ask us. The Romney team may be narrowcasting this, hoping for a boost in a particular state, among a particular segment of that state’s voters. On Saturday, Bachmann will be the commencement speaker at Regent University in nearby Virginia Beach. Perhaps she’ll have a few good words to say about Romney at an educational institution that was founded by Pat Robertson and remains a font of conservative evangelical thought.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Why is Michele Bachmann endorsing Mitt Romney now?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today