Faces

Obama And Romney Have Lunch, Agree To 'Stay In Touch'

President Obama and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands in the Oval Office after their lunch Thursday at the White House. i i

hide captionPresident Obama and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands in the Oval Office after their lunch Thursday at the White House.

Pete Souza/White House Photo/UPI/Landov
President Obama and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands in the Oval Office after their lunch Thursday at the White House.

President Obama and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands in the Oval Office after their lunch Thursday at the White House.

Pete Souza/White House Photo/UPI/Landov

It was an off-the-record lunch and a photo op for the official White House photographer only. But it was a start.

President Obama hosted his recently ousted rival, Mitt Romney, for their first post-election meeting Thursday at the White House, a lunch of turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad.

Other details of their hourlong meeting are a bit of a mystery. As The Washington Post reports: "White House press secretary Jay Carney declined an appeal ... to open the Obama-Romney lunch to the media for photos and video."

The White House released a short statement about the meeting:

"This afternoon, President Obama and Governor Romney visited for an hour over lunch in the Private Dining Room adjacent to the Oval Office. Governor Romney congratulated the President for the success of his campaign and wished him well over the coming four years. The focus of their discussion was on America's leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future. They pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future."

Before lunch, Romney traveled to Capitol Hill for a meeting with his former running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

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