News / USA

Obama, Romney Meet for Lunch

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives at the White House, Nov. 29, 2012, for his luncheon with President Barack Obama.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives at the White House, Nov. 29, 2012, for his luncheon with President Barack Obama.
Kent Klein
Less than a month after the end of one of the most contentious election campaigns in U.S. history, one-time opponents, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, have met for lunch.  They are continuing a post-election American tradition aimed at fostering unity.

President Obama issued the lunch invitation shortly after Governor Romney made his concession speech on election night.

A few days later, the president told reporters he was interested in hearing his Republican former challenger’s ideas.

“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 said.  "So I am not either pre-judging what he is interested in doing, nor am I suggesting I have got some specific assignment.  But what I want to do is to get ideas from him and see if there are some ways we can potentially work together.”

The lunch meeting took place Thursday, behind closed doors.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has said there was no specific agenda for the meeting, and Obama was not planning any particular requests.  The president had said that he wanted to hear Romney’s ideas on boosting the economy and making the government more efficient.  

But Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, said before the meeting he did not expect any concrete policy decisions as a result.

“You can be sure that Mitt Romney will take the occasion to encourage the president to go in one or two particular directions, but I do not think this is really going to be a detailed discussion of public policy,” he said.

Carney said Wednesday the lunch invitation symbolizes the continuity of American democracy.

“It is one of the often-overlooked, but remarkable things about this democracy, this oldest democracy - that we consistently have elections, and without the kind of anguish and disruptions that you see in so many other countries around the world and that you have seen without history," he said.  "And I think that it is entirely appropriate, and I know the president feels this way, to continue that tradition.”

Rothenberg agrees, saying the election was close enough that a show of unity would be helpful.

“I think this is one of the beauties of American politics and American government.  This is the winner trying to be gracious, reaching out to the loser, understanding that in this case the loser got over 47 percent of the vote and it is time for the country to come together and heal and move on,” he said.

Over the past half-century many U.S. presidents have invited their defeated election opponents to meet at the White House.  Very few of the meetings have resulted in a change in policy or a specific assignment for the election loser.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid