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Burying the hatchet? Obama and Romney have lunch

Published on Nov 30, 2012 5:55 AM
This official White House photo shows US President Barack Obama (right) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as they talk in the Oval Office following their lunch on Nov 29, 2012 in Washington, DC. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama and erstwhile Republican opponent Mitt Romney met for a private lunch on Thursday at the White House as they tried to move on from a bitterly personal election campaign.

In their first encounter since the election, the former foes sat down alone in The President's private dining room off the Oval Office, which, until his defeat on Nov 6, Mr Romney had envisioned taking over in January.

The meeting was closed to the press, and Mr Romney, now stripped of his Secret Service detail, arrived and left an hour and twenty minutes later, in a large black Lincoln car, from a side door of the West Wing, avoiding reporters.

"Governor Romney congratulated the president for the success of his campaign and wished him well over the coming four years," White House spokesman Jay Carney said after the rivals lunched on white turkey chili and southwestern grilled chicken salad.

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