By Jim Acosta
CNN National Political Correspondent
(CNN) — When President Obama and Mitt Romney face each other at their first debate Wednesday, it will only be the fourth time the two men have ever seen each other in person.
An Obama aide shared with CNN the campaign’s catalogue of the three face-to-face encounters the two candidates have shared.
According to the campaign’s tally, the last time they met was in 2008 after back-to-back Democratic and Republican presidential debates in New Hampshire. Prior to that, it was a brief handshake and a few pleasantries between the two men at a Labor Day parade, also in New Hampshire, in September, 2007.
Their first meeting? The 2004 Gridiron Dinner in Washington where then Senator-elect Obama took a jab at Romney, joking Massachusetts was a “great launching pad” for a presidential campaign.
A Romney campaign official told CNN she too was only aware of a few meetings between the two men.
However, the president has reached out to Romney a couple of times by phone. Last spring, President Obama called Romney to congratulate him on winning the Republican nomination. And back in 2009, prior to his inauguration, the president-elect phoned Romney after his wife, Ann, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“He was kind enough to call our home when my wife was ill, and he said that he and Michelle had my wife in their prayers,” Romney said during an appearance on CNN’s Late Edition in January, 2009.
“And I said, ‘Mr. President-elect, Ann and I have you in our prayers. And we do,'” he continued.
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