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. John

    Doesn't Larimer have some health care people to pander to? Why isn't he working instead of taking time out to criticize the president's attempt to better race relations? Oh, that's right. He's from the GOP(Got only Pale) party...he panders to the homophobes, racists, and narrow-minded. Carry on...

    July 31, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. S.Willey

    Hi,
    This one has me on the fence – which never happens.....should the president be involving himself in this situation...from the start he probably should not have; but once he did.....I have to tell you and its hurts to say it – but the picture of them having a beer is worth a thousand words. Maybe we all need to think about this really hard, before we say something negative and political. Restoration is the true heart of the USA, this was refreshing in the face of many conflicts.
    People are going to make mistakes – it does not always have to be racial.....I do not think this was racial, but irregardless they made a choice to work it out.

    July 31, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Mac

    Jan Larimer wouldn't know what our country was about if it was spelled out for her in 3rd grade english. Perhaps the GOP can stop worrying about what the President is doing and start worrying about what 70% of the country thought and still thinks they aren't qualified to do their jobs.

    July 31, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. michelle schwartz

    I have never been so disgusted in the actions of our nation's president as I am at this time. To get involved in such a petty thing over beer when there are so many issues of importance in our country is dispicable. We as Americans should not be protraying to the rest of the world that we discuss matters in our white house over beer and that a matter such as this is important enough to even go to the white house. We have soldiers dying, the highest unemployment rate in years, homeless and abused and this is what President Obama finds pressing?

    July 31, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. KTO

    Excuse me: MRS. Larimer

    July 31, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Allen, Cypress

    Is this all the Republicans have got? What war? The stupid war they started? Now they are trying to blame it on this president as if he started it. What a croc? This is what your strategy is when you don't have anything to offer the American people. You crtiticize, you try to imput your racism on other people, you say No, you obfuscate, and distort. To some degree it has worked because they know, there are more closet racist in America than the media let on, and also the fact that Americans are an instant gratification nation with very short memory or attention span. They used that same strategy for eight years while they control all aspect of government. Another thing Republicans are also aware of, Democrats are yellow – spined idiots who has no convictions of their own beliefs.

    July 31, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. heuristic

    My God, what a worm! Jan Larimer is what this country is not about. He needs to go stick his head in a toilet.

    July 31, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. Matt

    I'm sure Larimer was equally concerned when Bush was in Crawford and Kennebunkport for days at a time.

    July 31, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Milbs

    The whining just never stops....can't Republicans hear themselves?

    July 31, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. KC

    Larimer needs to lighten up. Maybe Larimer could stop whining about President Obama and get down to work and get this health care bill passed. Just saying...

    July 31, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. cg

    These guys are so jealous they just cannot handle it. The republicans have quite become the party of nope–no solutions, no new ideas, just grousing.

    July 31, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Laughing at Neo-cons

    Somebody needs a beer.... or a passyfire

    July 31, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. Sasha

    No, really!!! Come on – why is it again that President Obama was forced to make this part if his agenda? The media, GOP, right-wing nuts calling him a racist? And now they slam him for actually addressing this in a sensible, neighbor-to-neighbor manner? Wow, this is pathetic.

    July 31, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Mike

    Let's talk about beer, never mind the raping of the U.S. treasury and unwavering flow of disease ridden illegal aliens across our borders!!

    July 31, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. Jerome

    I guess she missed the point....this was not a meeting about a beer happy hour. This was about racism which is a major issue in the USA.

    This was also an opportunity to bring more public awareness to the issue and also shows Obama is not above talking about the mistake he made.

    The Republicans just keep missing the point about what's going on in the country and the world. Hopefully they won't see the WH in the next 100 years.

    July 31, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. johnnie

    This GOP clown wish he could have a beer at the White house , CNN here you go again promoting these RIGHT WING (Losers) they cant get over the fact they lost.The election is OVER, they are the Nation of WHINNERS , they are PATHETIC and so is CNN, the gop is a party of MORONS< like CNN is in toilet, Give us break cnn, this Jan Larimer,who is he? NOTHING,that Party is so STUPIDLY DUMB< am sick of them

    July 31, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Richie

    Oh for Christ's sake. If he hadn't met with them, they would be criticizing that. You repugs lost. Now shut up.

    July 31, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. marcus (seattle)

    lol... how amazingly hypocritical, as if i expected anything else from republicans.. but, wasn't george bush fundamentally on vacation for years while he had US troops fighting an unnecesary war in iraq, based on completely distorted information. so, 7 years later, obama has to fight the war that should have been fought 7 years ago, and some idiot republican has the nerve to talk about how obama spends ONE evening ??? why don't you fools just shut up already...

    July 31, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. BallyWonk

    Are you kidding me? The GOP are now criticizing Obama for trying to make a bad situation that garnered a lot of national attention a little better by bringing two men together for a beer and a little common ground...no Ms. Larimer that is EXACTLY what our country is about! Finding ways to come together an fix problems...perhaps the GOP should try that approach? Why don't we start bridging divisions rather than creating them?

    July 31, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. ike

    I appreciate your view on the beer party at white house hosted by the president at this troubling time in America's history. But let me remind you that racial profile is a serious war in America that could undermine our unity and efforts on how we deel with external wars. The president beer party is a teachable moment – finding solution to the racial profile war, is worth the president's time.

    July 31, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. Garner

    Lady you need to get a grip. Maybe if you had a beer summit with a friend you would not be so up tight and judgemental. I, for one, am glad the president takes a little time for himself, because his job would surely be overwhelming if he didn't. Great job Mr. President, keep up the good work.

    July 31, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. Kiwi in DC

    Really? I cut out early for happy hour sometimes and it's not nearly as productive as O's.

    July 31, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. mary

    Serious? Having a beer at 6:00 pm is considered not being on the watch??? Serious???? A person trying to reconcile differences in a reasonable, calm manner is ridiculed? Serious????????

    July 31, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Claudia in Houson

    Bush had 8 years of "happy hour" in the White House and it cost this country more than a beer and the GOP said nothing while they voted 100 percent at our expense. The GOP needs to sit down and shut up.

    July 31, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Russelly

    Another nail in the GOP coffin. These guys don't have a clue, don't know when to shut up. What about all the wasted time spent on sleeping or eating or visiting the can? The leader of the free world cannot afford to take his mind off the more important problems of the world for a second. Now here's a real teachable moment. I'm learning a lot about the GOP. Keep talking, I'm loving it.

    July 31, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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