Obama, Romney to Meet at White House Thursday

Mitt Romney and President Obama in the Oval Office

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama will host his former political rival Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House Thursday, their first meeting since the election.

Obama promised in his victory speech earlier this month to engage with Romney following their bitter campaign and consider the Republican's ideas.

"In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward," Obama said at the time.

Obama aides said they reached out to Romney's team shortly before Thanksgiving to start working on a date for the meeting. The two men will meet in the White House's private dining room, with no press coverage expected.

In the days after his loss, Romney told top donors that the president was re-elected because of the "gifts" Obama provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters, all of which are core Obama constituencies.

"The president's campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift," Romney said.

Many Republican officials, eager to move on quickly after the loss, disputed Romney's comments and urged the party to focus on being more inclusive.

While in Washington, Romney will also meet with his former running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, according to a Romney campaign aide. Ryan is back on Capitol Hill, where he's involved in negotiations to avert a series of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts that have come to be known as the "fiscal cliff."

Much of that debate centers on expiring tax cuts first passed by George W. Bush. Obama and Romney differed sharply during the campaign over what to do with the cuts, with the Republican pushing for them to be extended for all income earners and the president running on a pledge to let the cuts expire for families making more than $250,000 a year.

The White House sees Obama's victory as a signal that Americans support his tax proposals.

Obama and Romney's sit-down Thursday will likely be their most extensive private meeting ever. The two men had only a handful of brief exchanges before the 2012 election.

Even after their political fates became intertwined, their interactions were largely confined to the three presidential debates.

Romney has virtually disappeared from politics following his loss in the Nov. 6 election. He's spent the last three weeks largely in seclusion at his family's southern California home. He has made no public appearances, drawing media attention only after being photographed at Disneyland in addition to stops at the movies and the gym with his wife, Ann.

Former aides confirm that Romney is expected to move into an office at the Boston-area venture capital firm Solamere Capital. The firm was founded by his oldest son, Tagg Romney, and Spencer Zwick, who served as his presidential campaign's national finance chairman.


Steve Peoples reported from Boston.

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I hope Romney asked Obama why he is using sneaky tactics.

November 29 2012 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some Congressional Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, have said they are open to raising tax revenue but remain opposed to raising marginal tax rates. Here's a great explanation of marginal tax rates from economist Dean Baker (h/t Jason Linkins):

The tax system brackets give marginal rates. This means that if the raise bumps you into a higher bracket then you pay more taxes only on the income in the higher bracket. Suppose that the tax bracket for income under $200k is 25 percent, and for income over $200k is 33 percent. If you get a raise that pushes your income from $195,000 to $205,000 then you only pay the higher 33 percent tax rate on the $5,000 that is above the $200k threshold not your whole income. Therefore, there is no (as in none, nada, not any) way that getting more money, and being pushed into a higher tax bracket will leave you with less money after taxes.

November 28 2012 at 10:14 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to chris1011's comment

Paul Krugman says that the Republican Party may throw the modestly rich "overboard" to protect the fortunes of multi-millionaires.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Krugman focuses on one tax proposal floated by Congressional Republicans that would essentially create a "tax bubble," disproportionately hurting the upper middle class. Krugman writes that taking this tack would let the GOP protect the super-rich at the expense of the working rich (using the decades-old language of Oliver Stone's Wall Street) who make six-figure salaries.

"When push comes to shove, the GOP seems ready to throw the bottom 90 percent of the top 1 percent overboard, in order to protect its real patrons, the superelite," Krugman writes.

One Republican proposal would tax a household's entire income at the highest rate possible, rather than just the portion of income that exceeds a certain limit. Doing so would penalize some people for making more money since it does away with the marginal tax rate system that we have had for decades. With marginal tax rates, you only pay the higher rates on some of the income, with this Republican plan you would pay the higher rates on all your income.

November 28 2012 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yada, yada, yada.

November 29 2012 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Liberals are all for compromise as long as you agree with their agenda.

November 28 2012 at 6:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The problem with raising taxes on the rich is they are business owners. Businesses have a bottom line they must reach to make a profit. Added Taxes will be passed on to the consumers. That will mean massive cost of living increases to Everyone. This in turn will cause less employment along with Obamacare. Businesses with 50 or more employes, Obamacare cost the businesses $1.79 per hour the employee works. To off set that cost we will see lower wages and or fewer jobs. We do not need more taxes in this economy. The government must cut expenses. The small tax increases to the rich will have no impact on the deficit. We need to open oil drilling which will have a large impact on new employment and businesses that support Big Oil.

November 28 2012 at 3:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to COMMON SENSE's comment

Liberals refuse to use common sense.

November 28 2012 at 4:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I See Obama Does What He Said He's Going To Do .

November 28 2012 at 2:29 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kvincent's comment

What? Ruin the economy?

November 28 2012 at 2:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I know those shovel ready jobs are great along with "No new deficit spending"

November 28 2012 at 5:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Even better, Obama Offering Willard a job cleaning dishes at The White House.

November 28 2012 at 2:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MICHAEL's comment

Is that you dumb ole Evan?

November 28 2012 at 2:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The greatest show of working together would be...Obama offering Rommey a cabinet position and Rommey accepting it. NOW that would be a MAJOR step in the right direction. Unless WE AS A PEOPLE are willing to accept our dirrerneces and work TOGETHER; we will never get anything done. " Either we stand together/ we fall together".

November 28 2012 at 1:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to francistsd's comment

"Working together" to the liberals means "Do as I say."

November 28 2012 at 2:05 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply