August 1st, 2009
03:20 PM ET
9 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. 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 |
  2. Dave in Albuquerque

    A Republican complaining because of someone striving for racial harmony. Talk about a party out of touch.

    July 31, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Misty

    Shut up Larimer! and the Republicans......

    July 31, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  4. Doug McGregor

    That's right, GOP! There sure are bigger fish to fry, aren't there? Like making sure Obama's birth certificate really is genuine. Way to go, fellas! As the former prez might say, "heckuva job!" Congratulations on taking yet another step into the abyss of irrelevance.

    July 31, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. William

    This is in refer to Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Jan Larimer for criticized President Obama. Talking about that we are at war. Maybe would not be at war if we set down and had a beer. and talking this out instead of shooting.

    July 31, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  6. Prof Jeff

    Come on. This is silly to be complaining about the "beer summit". Makes Larimer look like a grasping bully.

    July 31, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    What an awfully silly man Larimer is.

    July 31, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. mike in la

    Is she kidding? After the Bush and Chaney moran show that started a war in Iraq that didn't need to be fought, she is critiquing the guy who was elected to clean up their mess. I wonder if she knows how stupid she sounds.

    July 31, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. J. Davin

    This was a "pothole" in the road for our President. He made a big mistake with his original comments and – responding to public condemnation – he compounded his error by hosting this ridiculous "pow-wow". Please Mr. President, get back on track dealing with the very serious issues facing the United States at this crucial time.

    July 31, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. KC

    The GOP has nothing better to do than bash President Obama. Its about time the GOP stop bash and start doing the job they were elected to do; and this does not mean neglect the American people. Its time to put up or shut up GOP..... Start caring about all Americans and not just the ones who elected you......

    July 31, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  11. Robi

    Leave it to an idiot, racist republican to find something wrong with the president trying to bring people together to iron out wrinkles of difference. sad...

    July 31, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. ronald butler

    Mrs. Larimar I think that racial continuity and tolerance between members of our american community is as important as economic and military actions that this country is now engaged in. Anything that brings us together as a nation, no matter how the small or large the jesture may appear to be I should be welcomed.


    July 31, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. kishen c.rao

    Well, This one is another excuse for these GOP guys....silly guys...after collapsing the economy, they are talking....nonsense....ok...what is wrong in getting these two guys together by pres. obama??? Doesn't Ronald Regan do slip of the tongue???? They did not say any thing in 1980s, why saying is a slip of the tongue....ok, don't make a big deal...silly is quite normal....for human being...ok....Just work on fixing Health care now...we need health care it and talk...don't talk rubbish....

    July 31, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. welches, Oregon

    perhaps they should have walked the Appalacian Trail together – perhaps the GOP's would have thought that was ok.

    Give me a break.

    July 31, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. jphilly

    i think obama handled the situation perfectly, he turned a bad situation into something good. Not many people could have done that. The GOP are suggesting obama ignore the whole thing and duck and cover until the heat dies down because thats what a republican like Bush would do. Well sorry GOP, we have a real president who can make things happen. By the way, Bush didnt even show up for half of his days in office during the war because he was on vacation, I didnt hear any complaints from the GOP back then!!!!!!!!!!!! maybe if bush HAD come to work iraq wouldnt have taken so long to get under control. wait, on second though if Bush had come to work more often things probably would have been worse!!!! hahahaha!!!!!!

    July 31, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Time to spend $$$ on our people, not foreign wars!

    What is this country about, Mr.Larimer? Invading foreign countries? Yes, we're at war because YOU got is there!!!

    What do you want the President to do? To bomb North Korea? To invade Iran?

    July 31, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. emorep

    If the trivial criticism wasn't coming from GOP Larimer, I would find it almost unbelievable. Here you have Prez. Obama, who is clearly trying to ease the tension of a race tainted situation, not just for the benefit of the players involved, but for the entire country, and you have an idiot like Larimer and those who think like him, who believe that the meeting was unimportant. The meeting was only for a short period of time and it was time well spent. It's apparent that Larimer doesn't think that race relations is important. Perhaps he should consult Gates and Crowley to ascertain whether or not the meeting was worthwhile. It's Larimer's criticism that's a waste of time and does nothing to improve race relations.

    July 31, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. MdH

    And the GOP leadership should have more important things to do than to politicize a meeting at the White House that obviously many regular citizens cared about. I'm sure Mr. Larimer’s comments will lead to the media scrutinizing the activities of Congressmen and women and how they spend their work week in order to determine whether their priorities are aligned with the Nations best interests,...and they should of course take a close look at Mr. Larimer’s schedule as well. Nah…that would require journalists to do too much investigative reporting,...which I guess is why people like Mr. Larimer get away with silly, hypocritical comments like this one 🙂

    July 31, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. Patrick M

    What is the deal here. Sounds like sour grapes. larimer states this after she sees the Nimitz deploy. Who does she think deployed the Nimitz? The Navy and the Commander-in-Chief! Obama is capable of multi-tasking and I guess she isn't.

    July 31, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. One and done is gonna be fun

    What is Bush took to much vacation time the talking point that NPR/DailyLoss and Keith Olberbum and Chrissy Matthews told you all to come out to in response to this phony photo-op?

    Sheep bleating like one term fools while being scared bleepless at the polls showing the coward in chiefs numbers going down faster than Monica....

    Coward is out after four hapless years. PERIOD.

    July 31, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Cindy

    Republican's acting stupidly...

    July 31, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. Roger May Philadelphia, Pa

    Really Larimer? Really? Are you sure thats what you want to let out of your mouth? Really? I mean come on Larimer, REALLY?

    July 31, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  23. diane08

    Oh yeah sure Larimer, your absolutely right. Three men sitting down together like mature adults to work out their issues with each other and to hopefully dissolve some of the deep seated racial issues that have plagued this country for centuries is not what this country is all about! Leave it up to a rethuglican to say something that asinine.

    "We need to focus on more important issues, like the needless war that our party lied about in order to begin."

    July 31, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. BJK

    seems to me that we are all ready to move on, but Larimer sure seems to want to milk it out

    July 31, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. Marissa

    Carole Lombard ( what are you a dead comedian?) Obama and the Beer Summit shows whats right with this country. Nothing but a bunch of men drinking a cold one appears more American to me........ The whole thing was blown up out of porportion. What do you want Sarah Palin skinning a dead moose for the photo ops?

    PS ..... What great advertising for Blue Moon/ Red Stripe/ and Bud Light.... I drank my first Blue Moon..... not bad not bad.

    July 31, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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