(CNN) – President Barack Obama and his former rival Mitt Romney will meet Thursday for their first get-together since the November 6 election, according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
"On Thursday, Governor Romney will have a private lunch at the White House with President Obama in the Private Dining Room," Carney wrote. "It will be the first opportunity they have had to visit since the election. There will be no press coverage of the meeting."
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In his acceptance speech on election night, Obama congratulated Romney on his campaign, and said he was looking forward "to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward."
And at his first post-election press conference, held November 14, Obama said his goal was to set a meeting before the end of the year.
"There are certain aspects of Governor Romney's record and his ideas that I think could be very helpful," he said, specifically citing Romney's leadership of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
Romney has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since his Election Night remarks in Boston. He was spotted taking in the latest installment of the "Twilight" movie franchise with his family, and on Thanksgiving shared a photo with his wife Ann on his official Facebook page. Two Romney aides said Wednesday the former GOP nominee will be subletting space at the offices of his son Tagg's investment firm Solamere Capital in Boston. Mitt Romney won't be joining the firm himself, the aides said.
While Romney hasn't made any public appearances after the election, controversial comments he made on a post-election call with top donors were immediately criticized by both Democrats and Republicans.
"What the president, president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote," Romney said on the call.
Romney, who lost to Obama by 126 electoral votes, said the president courted voters by offering policies – some of them this election year – that appealed to key constituencies.
"With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift," Romney said.
Those remarks caused Republicans – including several who are considered likely candidates for the 2016 GOP nomination – to put distance between themselves and their party's former standard bearer.
While in Washington, Romney will also meet with his former running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a senior adviser to the former GOP nominee told CNN Wednesday.
In 2008, Obama met with Sen. John McCain after defeating him in the presidential election. The pair met at Obama's transition headquarters in Chicago, and issued a joint statement afterwards saying they hoped to work together on challenges such as the financial crisis, creating a new energy economy and protecting the country's security.
CNN's Jim Acosta, Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
Could this mean Romney 2016 ?
The third times the charm ?
Just one question, WHY ? He lost.
This should be interesting because I've always had the impression the President genuinely doesn't like Willard. At least that's the way it appears to me. I wish I could be a fly on the wall.
Obama has a humble spirit!
Maybe he'll ask Romney to be the next Secretary of State?
"On Thursday, Governor Romney will have a private lunch at the White House with President Obama in the Private Dining Room,"
Yeah, well. Many suggested that the only way Mitt Romney would see the inside of the White House was by a President Obama invitation only.
Nice gesture of unity by both men.
Mitt Romney should never be allowed to step foot in the White House as long as Obama is in office. The guy went out of his way to bash the President and lie his way into the Presidency.
Obama needs to toughen-up and start pounding on his enemies and those like Romney who are trying to destroy him. The next 4 years should be spent improving the economy and destroying the careers of his detractors.
" Hey Barrack about that people only voted for you to get freebie thing....well I was just joking!"
Because during his re-election victory speech, Mr. Obama mentioned he would be getting together with Mr. Romney. See, Obama is wise enough to realize not any one party has the exclusive rights to good ideas. Obama is open to Romney's ideas, some of which were promising.
any predictions on how this meeting will go?
Here is my prediction on how the meeting will go:
Both men will sit down at a table and begin to eat lunch
The conversation gets slightly heated and Mitt does his Mormon version of cussing Obama out
Then he starts a food fight in which Romney will subsequently lose
Mitt will then have a cathartic emotional breakdown and cry on Obama's should for about half an hour
Obama will tell him everything is okay allow Mitt to recompose himself and trot him out in front of the media to show the press there is no hard feelings between the two for a hard fought campaign
Funny thing...Romney is going to see the president to get HIS GIFT! He doesn't deserve the meeting but it indicates how much "above it" Pres. Obama is and always was. Romney should come with a few apologies ready.
He'll let him sit in his chair in the Oval Office just to mess with him
Next Secretary of Business or Commerce?
I don't think Obama should appoint mitt Romney Secretary of State can't trust this man
Now does ANYONE think if Willard had won would he be this courteous?? Don't trust this used car salesman Mr. President. Start treating them EXACTLY how they treat you. I often hear the right wing Foxbots screaming about Chicago style. I wish President Obama really WAS Chicago style sometime.
"This should be interesting because I've always had the impression the President genuinely doesn't like Willard. At least that's the way it appears to me. I wish I could be a fly on the wall."
Indeed. However, this is what adults do...they put aside their differences and sit down at the table (luckily, we don't have to be adults on this site hehe). Mittens is ostensibly one of the leaders of the GOP/Teatroll cabal, despite their sudden about-face rejection of Mittens and the platform they cheered him for running on, so this is a genuine attempt to make a conciliatory gesture on Obama's part. McConnell and Boehner, and probably Mittens too, will respond to it after it happens by continuing to vomit talking opints about Obama not being willing to compromise.
Why should the President meet Romney? Romnay doesn't deserve the meeting. He is insulted the people twice once bfore the elections pandering to his donors, and then after losing the elections again pandering to his donors. He is NOT one of 'US'A!
Talk about a presidential mandate
Next Secretary of Business or Commerce?
I hope not! I'm so sick of Romney! He told so many lies and did so much race baiting, he doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the government. Besides, the people rejected him.
Please, Obama will purloin ideas about the economy from Mitt...he needs all the help he can get.
Sorry Mr. President. You are taking the wrong path. After the election and Romney dared to say you bribed people by several stuff in order to win, I have my hesitation that Romney has nothing to offer to the nation. He has no vote anywhere and I believe he can not work under your supervision. It is the good mood to meet him, BUT it has no pay off.
Maybe the Prez needs Romney's help to explain to him why JOBS is not really a 4 letter word.
O yea free handouts are always fun but a JOB...hmmmm.
Not sure we are really ready for one of those.
Lets just keep taxing the richman
I wouldn't give this CAMPAIGNER-IN-CHIEF the time of day. But Mitt, being the class act that he is, will do it. I definitely wouldn't. Half the country is with YOU, MItt! And I'm an Ohioan who voted for Mitt like many other Ohioians.