(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.
I wonder what they will eat for lunch. Hopefully something kosher.
The President gave McCain a party after he defeated him. What that get him but misery from the grumpy old man. I hope the second time is a charm.
Get this "show" behind you and move on to the business of delivering for the people. Obama and Romney are not crafted to steer the same ship.
This is really breaking news?!
If i were Romney I would have nothing to do with the president...if things turn sour like we know it will with his disastrous leadership...he will be looking for someone to blame.
So it doesn't bother anyone that after demonizing Mitt Romney's economic plan as "more of the same" and dangerous to the future of this country that suddenly President Obama thinks Romney has something worthwhile to contribute? For one, isn't that a subtle admission that the President is in over his head and needs help? I thought he has a plan? What does he need Mitt Romney for? If Obama truly believed in the Keynesian claptrap he bandied about he'd tell Mitt Romney to stay as far away from Washington as humanly possible. Maybe next time we should elect the guy who's actually accomplished something in the real world.
Maybe no press coverage, but please keep security on hand. ... Sorry, but I can't stand the aggravation ... lol
Mr. President you are a great man have lunch with romney after this election , this shows you have class and he does not. Good luck and watch your back.
First President Obama think about those who voted for him. Not Mitt. after loosing the election Mitt told donors why he lost the election: Because Mr Obama gave free gifts to those who voted for him. I do not think such fellow should be invited to White house who has complete disregard for the common man.
This is a great President with outstanding character. Despite Election, we ahve to serve the country...people
The President shows again what a good and decent man he is, I hope he offers Romney a job it will be good for the country.
At least let Romney use the White House bathroom. Giving the man a taste of the Most Powerful Commode in the Free World isn't asking much.
Obama has been anxious to meet with Mitt to try and get
some of his ideas to jump start the economy since his ideas
have failed miserably these last 4 years. If Obama wants a
secretary of business, Mitt Romney is the ONLY choice.
Laine – Almost 50%? I'm pretty sure Obama won Electoral College votes AND Popular votes by a larger margin than 51-54%
It is called civility people, this isn't a lunch to discuss the future plans of America. The election is over, get over it....
I am again disappointed by Obama's tactics. He is clearly the problem in my book.
What's the point. Mitt has no influence on the repubs now. Unless of course all those things Obama said during the election were wrong and Obama hasn't a clue on how to improve the economy. If I were Mitt I'd tell him to take a class on business economics and have a nice day.
It is a great idea for the president to meet Romney. From what we know, Romney is not as conservative as he pretended to be during the campaign seeking their vote. It may be possible for Romney to work under the president.
This is a traditional action between candidates after an election. Obama needs nothing from Romney except an increase in his personal income taxes.
You might know this if it wasn't your first rodeo Hoss.
Romney has the economic know how to help this country. His business was getting failing businesses on their feet. Obama was mean to Mitt, so stop with the Romney mean to Obama, that is called a campaign. I hope Mitt stays far away from O, let his administration fail on its own. He has increased the national debt, given out stimulis money to his big backers and has done nothing the past four years except given us an expensive medical program which experts say will increase medical costs and limit care, made us a -AA credit rating country and decreased our denfenses. He was a party organizer, he never praticed real law. He was inexperienced. It wasn't his fault, it was the fault of the people who thought he was god. Study the facts before you vote. As a senator he did nothing remarkable, hardly ever voted. You get what you bought into, now live with it. PS, the past four years were his, he needs to own up to it.
Nothing wrong with some salt in that wound....
Bad move, No matter what positive moves Obama makes from now on, Romney will say it was his idea.
I think this is a great idea. As a way of putting partisan politics aside, Obama should give Romney a Cabinet job. It would be a great example of putting party agendas aside and showing that they really are looking out for the best interests of the country. Romney would be a good Secretary of Treasury or Commerce.
Check the last vote counts- it looks like Mitt's take of the vote was only 47% (I love that!).
Once again President Obama exhibits leadership and invites his once rival to join the "TEAM of RIVALS"! This team is forced to place the country first and the idealogies of both parties second. This gesture toward Romney has nothing to do with the 48% of the vote that voted for him. When you disect the numbers the 48% that voted for Romney respresents the following: the far right, Evangelicals, Mormons, Moderate Republicans, Tea Party Republicans and anti Obama...just to name a few. President Obama respect his business acumen and wants to tap into that to better our country. It's just that simple!!!