President Obama and former rival Mitt Romney “pledged to stay in touch” after their hour-long lunch at the White House today, their first face-to-face encounter since the election.
“The focus of their discussion was on America’s leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future,” according to the White House.
Romney also congratulated the president “for the success of his campaign and wished him well over the coming four years.”
The former foes lunched on white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad in the private dining room adjacent to the Oval Office.
The White House would not detail further the topics of their conversation, but made clear the president did not invite the former GOP nominee to the White House to ask him to play any specific role in the administration.
“The president’s very interested in his ideas and very appreciative that Governor Romney is here to have lunch with him,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
Romney arrived at the White House with little fanfare shortly before his 12:30 pm lunch with the president. He rolled up the West Executive driveway in a lone black SUV, opened his own car door, and headed into the West Wing without an entourage.