TODAY | November 30, 2012
>>> now to washington where the battle to avoid the fiscal cliff is really hitting up. president obama hitting the road in a few hours to pressure lawmakers to cut a deal. nbc's kristen welker is at the white house this morning. kristen , good morning to you.
>> reporter: president obama travels to hatfield, pennsylvania today where he'll try to turn up the pressure on republicans to get on board with his plan to increase taxes on wealthier americans, and it comes after a show of bipartisanship. the president inviting mitt romney to the white house on thursday. with washington deadlocked, president obama reached out to his former rival, inviting mitt romney to lunch at the white house , aiming to put past differences to rest.
>> i think that he's very interested in some of governor romney 's ideas.
>> reporter: romney arrived shortly after noon thursday. white house officials released few details about the launch saying only that the men ate white turkey chili and southwestern grilled chicken salad and that the meeting lasted for a little more than a hour with governor romney congratulating the president on his re-election. in the sole picture released by the white house , you can see the dining room where the men ate and boxing gloves , but aides joked there were no punches thrown, describing the encounter as friendly.
>> i'm very happy to see this picture. it's good for the american people .
>> reporter: but a very different tone on capitol hill , as fiscal cliff negotiations remained rocky. the president sent his top negotiator, treasury secretary tim geithner, to meet with congressional leaders. afterwad, house speaker john boehner said the president has not proposed spending cuts needed to win over congressional republicans.
>> i'm disappointed in where we are and what's happened over the last couple of weeks.
>> reporter: senate majority leader harry reid fired back saying democrats had put forward a serious plan and seemed to ridicule boehner when asked about the gop leader's argument that the ball is in the democrats' court.
>> i don't understand his brain, so you should ask him, okay?
>> reporter: away from the hill, vice president biden took his own steps to push for a fiscal cliff compromise, stopping in d.c.'s first costco on its opening die. mr. biden warned the economy could suffer greatly if lawmakers can't get a deal done, and in a nod to growing consumer confidence he proudly flashed his store membership card .
>> i went to get my wife's card, and she said no, no, no, you get your own.
>> reporter: now, according to sources at the white house and on the hill, treasury secretary geithner offered up a plan that includes $1.6 trillion in new taxes and $400 billion? n spending cuts, essentially the president's budget proposal from last year, a plan that republicans have called a non-starter. you can expect president obama to take more trips like the one he is making today to try to move the needle on these negotiations. willie.
>> kiss ten welker at the white house , kristen , thank you.