WASHINGTON -- President Obama and former campaign rival Mitt Romney will meet for a private lunch Thursday at the White House, fulfilling an offer that Obama made after his reelection victory.
The White House announced Wednesday morning that Obama and the former Republican presidential nominee will dine at an undisclosed time in the private dining room in the executive mansion. The event will be closed to reporters and photographers.
The meeting follows a statement from Obama on election night.
"In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward," the president said.
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Obama, during a news conference held Nov. 14, offered some hints as to what their conversation might include.
"There are certain aspects of Governor Romney's record and his ideas that I think could be very helpful," Obama said. "To give you one example, I do think he did a terrific job running the Olympics. And you know, that skill set of trying to figure out how do we make something work better applies to the federal government."
"There may be ideas that he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle-class families that I want to hear," Obama added. "I'm not either prejudging what he's interested in doing, nor am I suggesting I've got some specific assignment."
Romney, who lost the race by about 3.5 million votes, has avoided public appearances since shortly after the election, when he aggravated many in his own party by accusing Obama of winning through "gifts" to African Americans, Latinos and young voters during his first term.
"The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls," the former Massachusetts governor said on a conference call to supporters.
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