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Obama, Romney to Meet for Lunch Thursday

This photo combo shows President Barack Obama in Chapel Hill, N.C. on April 24, 2012, and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on April 18, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C.
This photo combo shows President Barack Obama in Chapel Hill, N.C. on April 24, 2012, and Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on April 18, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama plans to host former Republican candidate Mitt Romney for lunch on Thursday, their first extensive meeting since Obama defeated him to gain re-election earlier this month.

The White House says they will meet for a private lunch closed to the media.

One topic of discussion may be the looming "fiscal cliff," the financial crisis that will occur at the end of the year if Obama and the U.S. Congress fail to reach a compromise on key government spending and tax issues.

In his first post-election news conference on November 14, Obama said he would like to talk to the former Massachusetts governor to learn more about his ideas and to see if the two can work together.

Obama praised Romney for his work in running the Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002.

Romney was less conciliatory after losing the presidential election on November 6.  In a phone call to his campaign donors, the Republican challenger said he lost because  Obama provided "financial gifts" from the government to key voting blocs, including African-Americans, Hispanics and young people.

Surveys of voters leaving polling stations on November 6 showed that blacks, Hispanics, Asians and young people voted overwhelmingly for President Obama.

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