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Romney arrives at White House for lunch with Obama

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shakes hands with President Barack Obama as mediator Jim Lahrer gets up at the end of the first
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shakes hands with President Barack Obama as mediator Jim Lahrer gets up at the end of the first

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrived at the White House on Thursday for private talks with President Barack Obama, their first meeting since this month's election.

Romney, who lost a bitterly fought contest to the Democratic incumbent, stepped out of a black sport-utility vehicle at around 12:30 p.m. (1730 GMT) and entered the West Wing of the White House.

The lunch meeting is a chance for Obama to show bipartisanship at a time when he is seeking Republican cooperation to avoid a looming "fiscal cliff."

For Romney, it is an opportunity to begin rebuilding his political stature after his party's disappointing outcome in the November 6 election.

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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