By JoAnne Allen
WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Tea-party conservative Christine O'Donnell has endorsed Mitt Romney in the race for 2012 Republican U.S. presidential nomination, Romney's campaign said on Tuesday.
"Christine recognizes that excessive government threatens us now and threatens future generations, and I am pleased to have her on my team," Romney said in a statement announcing the endorsement.
Some religious conservative voters, who form an influential Republican voting bloc, have been skeptical of Romney because of his past support for abortion rights and a healthcare overhaul in Massachusetts when he was the state's governor that became a model for President Barack Obama's national plan.
O'Donnell, a Tea Party candidate who lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Delaware in 2010, said she trusts Romney to "do the right thing."
"America needs a president who can turn our economy around, put Americans back to work, and will lead with stability, integrity and the values that we hold dear," O'Donnell said in the statement. "I am confident Mitt Romney will be that president."
During the 2010 congressional campaign, O'Donnell became a late-night punchline after her "I'm You" campaign ad, where she denied accusations of witchcraft.
(Reporting By JoAnne Allen; editing by Mohammad Zargham)