WASHINGTON (AP) — A private lunch at the White House tomorrow will be the first meeting between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney since their last debate.
Obama had promised in his victory speech earlier this month that he would engage with Romney following their bitter campaign, and that he would consider Romney's ideas.
Aides to Obama say they reached out to Romney's team shortly before Thanksgiving to start working on a date for the meeting.
The two men will meet in the White House's private dining room, with no press coverage expected.
In the days after his loss, Romney told top donors that the president was re-elected because of the "gifts" Obama had provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters. Many Republican officials, eager to move on quickly after the loss, disputed Romney's comments and urged the party to focus on being more inclusive.
While he's in Washington, according to a former campaign aide, Romney will also meet with former running mate Paul Ryan -- who's back on Capitol Hill, involved in negotiations to avert the automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January.
091-c-20-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"the fiscal cliff"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports President Obama is hosting Mitt Romney in the private dining room adjacent to the Oval Office. (28 Nov 2012)
090-c-21-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"can work together"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports President Obama and Mitt Romney are having lunch tomorrow at the White House. (28 Nov 2012)
APPHOTO NYBZ126: FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney exchange views during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. President Barack Obama will host his former political rival Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, their first meeting since the election. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) (15 Oct 2012)
APPHOTO WX105: FILE - This Nov. 2, 2012 file photo shows then-Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gesturing as he speaks at a campaign stop in West Allis, Wis. The White House says President Barack Obama will meet privately Thursday with his vanquished rival Mitt Romney, their first face-to-face encounter since the election. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) (2 Nov 2012)
APPHOTO WX104: FILE - This Nov. 14, 2012 file photo shows President Barack Obama gesturing while answering a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The White House says President Barack Obama will meet privately Thursday with his vanquished rival Mitt Romney, their first face-to-face encounter since the election. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (14 Nov 2012)