Obama to lunch with Romney in first post-election meeting

Gov. Mitt Romney has agreed to have lunch with President Barack Obama, whose deputies and allies spent the last year smearing him for causing a woman’s death by cancer, of being a greedy plutocrat, of cheating on his taxes, of being anti-American, not being on the side of black people and “not one of us.”

The “not one of us” charge appeared in an October TV-ad funded by Obama’s campaign, which illustrate the campaign strategy of painting Romney as hostile to middle-class Americans.

The appeared shortly before Obama urged his supporters to take their “revenge” on Romney — a successful businessman who helped create tens of thousands of jobs — by voting for Obama.

Romney likewise leveled tough, if less personal, criticism of the president during the campaign, calling him anti-business, “in over his head,” and an appeaser on foreign policy.

Obama’s allies also accused Romney’s wife of being an elitist, dowdy, profligate equestrian, and repeatedly charged him with callously endangering the family dog.

Obama didn’t rebuke his allies for the accusations, and ended the race an excuse that his allies’ campaign slanders were caused by their love of America.

“We may have fought fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply… [and] care so strongly about its future,” he told cheering supporters gathered Nov. 6 in Chicago.

“From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to Americans through public service. … That is a legacy that we honor and applaud tonight,” he said, adding, “I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.”

“On Thursday, Governor Romney will have a private lunch at the White House with President Obama in the Private Dining Room,” said White House statement released at 10:01 a.m. EST.

“It will be the first opportunity they have had to visit since the election,” the statement said.

In the GOP, Romney has rapidly fallen from favor since the election.

His former allies has said he was clumsy when reaching out to middle-class Americans, passive in the face of Obama’s attacks — which included blaming Romney for the subprime bubble that Obama had supported and participated in — and was unwilling to ramp up his occasional ideological attacks on Obama’s “crony capitalism.”

The media will be kept away from the lunch, and likely will not be allowed to meet Romney when he enters and leaves the White House.

“There will be no press coverage of the meeting,” said the White House statement.

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