05/26/2012 03:41 pm ET Updated May 29, 2012

George W. Bush Returns To White House For Portrait Event

WASHINGTON -- Former President George W. Bush will return to the White House on May 31 for the unveiling of his official portrait.

Bush and former first lady Laura Bush will visit and have dinner with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. It will be the former first couple's first public visit to the White House more than two years.

Bush has largely avoided politics since he left office in January 2009. He recently made headlines when he endorsed Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in the 2012 race.

"I'm for Mitt Romney," he said to ABC News as an elevator closed on him following a speech in Washington, D.C.

In March, Romney admitted he hasn't met with Bush when asked about a potential endorsement.

"I haven't met with President George W. Bush. We speak from time to time," Romney said.

From the Associated Press:

Obama criticized Bush's economic and foreign policy record during his 2008 campaign and has said that Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney would help restore the policies that preceded the economic collapse at the end of Bush's presidency.

Despite the criticism, Bush and Obama have maintained a presidential protocol during past public appearances. In New York last year, Obama and Bush ran their hands over bronze panels bearing the names of victims listed on the Sept. 11 memorial. Following the earthquake in Haiti, Obama called Bush and Clinton "gentlemen of extraordinary stature" who would marshal financial resources to help the country recover.

The Bushes bought a home in Dallas and have been working on the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which is scheduled to open in 2013.

Bush's portrait unveiling was first reported by The Dallas Morning News.