Obama congratulates Romney on clinching nomination
US President Barack Obama Wednesday called Mitt Romney after his foe locked down the Republican nomination to take him on in November’s election and called for a healthy debate on America’s future.
“The President called Governor Romney to congratulate him on securing the Republican nomination,” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said.
“President Obama said that he looked forward to an important and healthy debate about America’s future, and wished Governor Romney and his family well throughout the upcoming campaign.”
A Romney campaign official said that the call was “brief and cordial.”
“Governor Romney thanked the President for his congratulations and wished him and his family well,” the official said.
The call had the potential to be a frosty one given the already nasty, negative tone of the campaign for the White House ahead of the November 6 election.
Romney has been regarded as the all but certain Republican nominee for months but made it official on Tuesday as his victory in the Texas primary took him past the 1,144 convention delegates needed to win the nomination.
Polls show a slight lead for Obama in what is expected to be a tightly contested race fought out over a handful of battleground states.
Romney on Tuesday expressed confidence that he would win so he could “begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise and restoring our country to greatness.”
The two men are expected to face off in three presidential debates in October, which given the close nature of the race, could be pivotal.
[Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, pictured on May 29. AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan]