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. Jeff

    I'd like to remind Mr. Larimer of a quote from one of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

    July 31, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. evelin

    either way, Obama can't please the republicans, they have an issue with everything, what loser's!!!

    July 31, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Dennis, Amarillo Texas

    I am tired of hearing there was no racial profiling in this case! A white policeman arrested a prominent black professor, and the white policeman was immediately profiled as a racist.

    July 31, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Idiot_Pelosi

    OBAMA
    Whines about BUSH defit, but then increases it by four fold.

    So, he has increased the deficit, increased unemployment, is raising taxes, wants a health care system for illegals, a health care system where my taxes pay for sex (gender) changes, bails out auto companies, wants to increase electricity rates (CAP and TRADE), etc, etc.

    Where is the so called CHANGE? Standard Democratic playbook, tax and spend with NO control of spending.

    July 31, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. kaydeedee

    So President Obama is blasted by Republicans for his comments on rhe Gates/Crowley incident, then slammed again for making a peace-making gesture bringing the two men together. This all-criticism-all-the-time GOP strategy just proves they have nothing but negatives to offer.

    July 31, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. IndyVoter

    Hypocrites. They didn't say a mumbling word when Pres. Bush was golfing while our troops were dying and our economy was tanking. I guess only corporate execs and Republicans can relax after a hard day's work. Get over it!

    July 31, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    "About beer"? Has this woman been in an isolation tank for the last week?

    July 31, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. nat

    I guess she's upset about not being invited.

    July 31, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. David in Houston

    Jan who?

    July 31, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. Zenichi-maro

    Yes, Jan Larimer! You are so right. The US is certainly–at least of late–about making war and avoiding any kind of meaningful dialogue–even about beer.

    Why should the President, of all people, be bothered with something as un-war-like as a reconciling of differences on matters of race and perceptions related thereto? How trivial. How banal. How truly unproductive.

    So, let's to arms and to the destruction of our foes. Make war, not love.

    By gosh, I think I'm finally starting to understand Republicans.

    ZNM

    July 31, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Robert N. Constant

    What a throroughly unpleasant and dishonest creature is Jan Larimer. To attack The President for trying to unify this great nation is so low! Ms Larimer is obviously spinning to gain political traction for the GOP, but actually reveals herself as sanctimonious hypocrite. She could better spend her time trying to clean up the moral and ethical cess pool the GOP has become, with the Enrons, the Haliburtons, Republican Senators making homosexual propositions in mens rooms, and Republican governors using tax payer money to finance their adulterous trysts or pleasure travel. Shame on you Ms Larimer!

    July 31, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Blue Demon

    Larimer, shut up and have a beer.

    July 31, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Obamacan

    Just think of this stetment from Republican's who still trying to tell us The president we elect is not an american citizen and

    "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."

    shame on you RNC .

    July 31, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. Todd Gearou

    A war that REPUBLICAN George Bush got us into. Because Obama is so much smarter than them, if he was taking this opportunity to tackle the issue of racial strive in American, while people are listening, and while others talk about beer, I trust him.

    July 31, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. Mike Barrow

    What does Jan Larimer mean "And its wrong. Its not what our country is about"? Since when are we not about sitting down and having a beer, and talking through our differences. That seems pretty American to me. Maybe Jan could use a beer...or has she never had one?

    July 31, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Nicholas Jesse

    I'm fairly certain that a few hours over a beer isn't going to make or break the war in Afghanistan. Republican's ought to focus their energies on salvaging their reputation in the eyes of the American public as opposed to deriding Obama for every thing he does. I think it was an appropriate way to address what was, in fact, a particularly un-presidential comment when he called the officer's actions "stupid."

    July 31, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. wally mckenzie

    I would think more people were thinking about the injustice of the situation than on war. Depending on your side of the coin and your point of view, this was a difficult mess that ended well with not many changing their views, but many seeing how to be a man. I laud the president for taking the time to correct his mistake and to get the adversaries meeting. We have too much that divides with too little effort given to binding people together.

    July 31, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. Lupe Ramos

    Jan Larimer should also criticize his Republican party for wasting time trying to prove the President is an American born in the United States of America. The FBI did that job when it did a background check on the President. Jan should criticize his party for going into a useless war which has caused billions in tax payer money and which would have prevented this deep recession we are in now. The President does something we are not use to, he actually sit downs with people, talks with them, and comes to an accord. The GOP wants war with the poor, foreigners, and Democrats. Talking and negotiating is not their style.

    July 31, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. Robert Johnston Calgary

    They got together in peace to share perceptions. That is the major accomplishment, the correction in the process. It is only the alienated ego that would expect or search for an apology in particular. What counts is that truth was put on the table and alienation was not allowed to persist. Alienation may be the ethics of the derogatory press which likes to tear a culture apart, but the four people at the table were having no part in that. On with the show.

    July 31, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. Bob Myers

    Don;t critisize Obama too much. His head is in such a mess that he doesn't even know what he's doing, so, we have to take it easy on the poor fellow or he might blow his mind completely.

    July 31, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Tom in Millstadt

    Let me guess.

    Larimer believes Obama was born in Kenya.

    July 31, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. Kevin

    Not important? Not what our country is about? On Thursday, the President did more for constructively healing race relations in America than people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have managed in their entire careers.

    July 31, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Bill

    I believe that how we get along IS of vital importance and that the Republican critics are woefully out of touch.

    Our ability to embrace, or at least respect, other points of view and engage in dialog about our difference causes the world to admire us.

    Of course the social conservatives have embraced a policy of intolerance, e.g. Colin Powell is not really a Republican and should leave the party because he disagrees with Rush Limbaugh.

    While I have become somewhat disillusioned with President Obama, he gets a lot of points from me on this issue and how he handled it.

    July 31, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  24. Rich

    This was a huge waste of time there are so many issues facing this country and he drinks beer at the white house because he opened his mouth. He needs to shut up and deal with real issues and not his crappy health care plan that will have everybody paying 50% of their pay checks. We are stuck with him maybe he should do his job.

    July 31, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. Lee

    The only reason Larimer is upset is because there's finally a President willing to deal with race relations, somethings the Republicans have buried their collective heads in the sand about. I hope the Republicans keep it up so that we never have another one of them in office again.

    July 31, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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