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In bipartisan gesture, Joe Biden hosting Eric Cantor for dinner

November 02, 2011|By Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey
  • Business is not on the menu Wednesday night when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, left, and Vice President Joe Biden and their wives dine together Wednesday night at the Bidens' residence.
Business is not on the menu Wednesday night when House Majority Leader Eric… (Reuters )

When all else fails, try breaking bread together.

As the White House and congressional Republicans continue on a seemingly endless loop of political partisanship, Vice President Joe Biden has invited Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House Majority Leader, to dinner this evening.

The two seemed to hit it off earlier this year, an odd couple of sorts as they holed up in negotiations on a bipartisan deficit-reduction proposal. But Cantor abruptly bolted from those talks and it became clear compromise was not to be found.

Both sides insisted Wednesday that business is not on the evening's menu. The gathering is purely a social outing for the leaders and their wives.

"Leader Cantor has a great respect for and built a friendship with Vice President Biden from their work together this year," a Cantor aide said. "This social dinner is a continuation of that friendship with their wives. They've been trying to get together for some time."

The White House concurred.

Biden and Cantor have developed a close relationship while working together over the last year, according to a White House official, and this dinner with their wives is a personal occasion.

lmascaro@tribune.com

khennessey@tribune.com

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