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Obama and Romney meet for lunch

President Barack Obama and former Republican rival Mitt Romney met for a private lunch at the White House on Thursday, their first meeting since the Nov. 6 election, fulfilling a promise Obama made in his victory speech.

Romney left after just over an hour.

The White House said the lunch focused on America's leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position, and the two pledged to stay in touch.

"The president noted that Gov. Romney did a terrific job running the Olympics and that, that skills set lends itself to ideas that could make the federal government work better, which is a passion of the president's," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Obama and Romney's meeting was likely their most extensive private talk to date. They had only a handful of brief exchanges before the 2012 election, and their campaign interactions were largely confined to the three presidential debates.

Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom called it a "very friendly lunch. They spoke about some of the big challenges facing America, and it gave Governor Romney the opportunity to personally congratulate President Obama for the success of his campaign."

The Canadian Press

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