August 1st, 2009
03:20 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP leader bashes Obama's happy hour

RNC Co-Chairman Jan Larimer sharply criticized President Obama on Friday for his 'beer summit' meeting Thursday evening.
RNC Co-Chairman Jan Larimer sharply criticized President Obama on Friday for his 'beer summit' meeting Thursday evening.

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) – Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Jan Larimer criticized President Obama Friday for his White House meeting with a professor and a police officer, saying the president needs to focus on more important issues.

"We are at war and Barack Obama is talking about beer in the White House," Larimer said at the RNC's Summer Meeting. "And it is wrong. It is not what our country is about."

Larimer was referring to Obama's "happy hour" at the White House a day earlier with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge police officer James Crowley. Crowley arrested Gates at his home after responding to a call that someone was breaking into a house. The arrest sparked a national discussion on the issue of racial profiling, which was amplified when Obama weighed in on the matter.

Leading up to the meeting, there was much discussion in the media about what type of beer would be served.

Larimer, who represents Wyoming, offered the sharp critique of the president as she recounted to her fellow RNC members her feelings about watching the USS Nimitz deploy earlier that day.


Filed under: President Obama • RNC
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Larry

    Hey Larimer–no one cares what you think!

    July 31, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Len in Washington

    Obama could crap gold and the republicans would still complain.

    You people still don't get why you lost, do you?

    July 31, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Ian

    what about all the days Bush took off on vacation while we were at war? republicans are freaking morons!

    July 31, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. David Royall

    Now... isn't that 'special'?

    July 31, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. Griffin

    No, he's right, our country is about war and destruction. Our country should not be about three guys sitting down to put aside their traditionally hatred-fueled differences.

    July 31, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. Gary Einhorn

    Obama took a potentially divisive situation and made a relaxed event out of it, showing everyone that communication is possible. This was one of his best moments.

    July 31, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. some gurl

    Larimer musta forgot about Bush lying us into this war, then spending
    the MOST VACATION TIME EVER of any U.S. President in History.
    Wish I could take 6 months a year off. must be nice, GW !!

    Pettiness is so stereotypical of repubs.
    Never an answer Always a critisism.
    so typical

    July 31, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. RSaundersPA

    With all due respect, I think that the GOP is grasping at anything it can to criticize the president. The so-called Beer Summit was an excellant example of leadership on the part of Mr Obama. He aired some important issues and showed the world that most problems can be talked out with a little effort. We can all learn from him.

    July 31, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Mike

    If this woman had half a brain, she would know that this is what our country IS all about....talking, listening, understanding each other. She and others of her ILK only know how to say NO NO NO. They are not for progress, they are not for reform, they are for offering more of the same old Republician policies that have gotten us into the mess we are in in the first place.

    July 31, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. alpha_nu_916

    "We are at war and Barack Obama is talking about beer in the White House," Larimer said at the RNC's Summer Meeting. "And it is wrong. It is not what our country is about."
    when has discussing important social problems stopped being what our country is all about? yet another GOP chickenhawk clamoring for a constant state of never ending war. god forbid americans focus on the internal problems once in a blue moon.

    July 31, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. goeffrey

    Lady, loosen up and have a beer. It's people like you who foist unreasonable standards on others while your off somewhere enjoying the benefits of your position. I suppose your against health care for the masses and at the same time want to INCREASE the health benefits members of congress now enjoy!

    July 31, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. Patricia T.

    Gimme a break! It's really missing the point to characterize yesterday's conversation as a "happy hour" instead of being honest about the opportunity it offered, not only the participants, but the nation as a whole. Here's a president willing to have a "conversation" about a topic that many find uncomfortable, in an attempt to bring people together.

    Did Ms. Larimer remind President Bush about what was important, during his eight years of endless vacations, his bike-riding, his brush-clearing? Funny how some people are now so critical about what the president says and does. At least, President Obama treats us like adults and tries to talk to us. Like health care - he's actually explaining what he's trying to do, as opposed to the Republicans fabricating horror stories about how he will put senior citizens to death! Honest communication - that's what the country should be about, Ms. Larimer!

    July 31, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. PaulMoATX

    Just like Bush spending 3 of his 8 years on vacation during wars. Where was the outrage then? What a bunch of hypocrites. Republicans are pathetic losers.

    July 31, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Jean

    Larimer is one stupid individual.
    Obama was basically laughing at what the press made this to be.
    Someone please just kick her off the stage.

    July 31, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. carole lombard

    The beer summit is just another example of how out of touch this guy is with America. People are going broke and he is sitting for a photo up drinking beer! What a joke this man is. He is not my president. He does not represent me or my values and the beer summit is just another distraction from what he is really trying to achieve. His ultimate goal is total government domination over this country. I wish all the dopes who voted for him because of the color of his skin and the college kids who voted for this man because they thought he was cool without even knowing what he stood for had done some research before voting him into office. The liberals are going to turn this country to a socialist republic. Beware of Obama, he is a dangerous man

    July 31, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. AndyinCincy

    This is why more and more Republicans are becoming moderates. Lighten up Jan! America loves its beer!

    July 31, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. Laurie in Spokane

    Good God, aren't relations between whites, blacks and every other ethnic group important also? Can the Republicans EVER grow up and just acknowledge that Obama is just trying to make things better?

    July 31, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Jim

    Maybe he should just go mountain biking then, or take more vacations than any other president in history.

    Oh yeah, that was Bush.

    July 31, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  19. linell, Winter Park, FL

    OMG...give me a break. The GOP has nothing to do but cry in their beer these days....

    July 31, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    We have not heard the magic words of "I'm sorry" from any of these guys and the Good Samaritan citizen who reported a possible burglary gets no credit for her good citizenship. Wassup widdat?

    July 31, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. Darth Vadik, CA

    Yes GOP, make sure you secure (end) the happines, for everybody. Only you and your buddies are allowed to go down to Argentina, among other things, for fun..

    July 31, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. Maxine

    Please when did we get so stuck in the mud....I want to see someone I can relate to on the big and small issues. And frankly race is a large issue in this country....so madam co-chair help fix that while you are out there trying to fix other countries....

    July 31, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. Haily

    The GOP is criticizing Obama for not getting to the issues at hand? Especially after an 8-year presidency of doing nothing for these issues?

    GOP: "Hey Obama, quit having fun and clean up our mess"

    July 31, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. bam

    Is there anything the neocons don't whine about????

    July 31, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. Ed of Portland

    The so-called "summit" wasn't about beer – it was about RACE RELATIONS – which shows yet again that most Republicans have a tin ear when that subject comes up.

    On that line: how many GOP lawmakers have had the guts to condemn the so-called "birthers" movement (denying Obama's US citizenship) for the paranoid fantasy that it is?

    July 31, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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