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. Republicans Suck

    Suck it GOP your boy Bush did crap worse than this. Obama is a man of the people, not like Bush a man of the sheeple.

    July 31, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. David

    Miss Larimer is pathetic. The next thing you know she'll be condemning Obama for eating, actually eating! while the nation's work waits to be done. Or sleeping. Or going to the bathroom! "How dare you, President Obama! How dare you so much as think about saying goodnight to your daughters. Don't you know you should be spending 24 hours a day cleaning up the mess that I and the rest of the Republicans made?!"

    July 31, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Damon

    Larimer obviously needs a vacation. This is summer after all. How many months did former President Bush take off during times of crisis? Did the war in Iraq prevent him from taking a break from the grueling work in the WH? As for the media coverage,well the current "news" anchors are not Walter Cronkite.

    July 31, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. Gene

    The GOP just can't stand the fact that Obama is a normal guy who deals with people on a human level.. they just don't get it, and never will.

    July 31, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. sally

    You have got to be kidding me! This is a new low, even for the Republicans. They have just become laughable!

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

    There is no pleasing these people! (republicans)First they complain that the President should not have commented on the issue,as if he asked the reporter to ask him that question.Then they complain about the way he answered,then after they and the media blew it way out of proportion he tries to have a simple sit-down with the two men and again they complain. I've come to the conclusion that they are just complainers and will have a problem with what ever he does ,simply because they want to see him fail!!!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Tuna, Independent In Ohio

    Get a LIFE Larimer!!!

    July 31, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. Viet.Vet

    Maybe if her and the party of no would focus on the good of the American people rather than politics and financial big donors, we could all get along, but then again that means they would have to do the right thing, No-No-No-.

    July 31, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  9. GOP = 21st century dodo


    Since Jan 20 we've seen one of these knee-jerk criticisms on pretty much a daily basis.

    Keep crying wolf, I'll keep ignoring you.

    July 31, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  10. Barbara

    And we were also at War-the Bush/Cheney War-and what did those liars do-they kept on spinning their fear and sending our men and women into an undeclared war.
    Barack Obama was doing what he does best-taking a moment and learning from it-have all of us learn. Racial issues continue to divide us. President Obama is uniquely qualified to shed light on this issue that has remained forever present but in the dark and not addressed.
    Get over it all you negative spinners. We the People have elected a smart-educated-hip-bridge-building President who-by the way- happens to be African American. What a joy after 8 yeas of disgust!

    July 31, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Oh, lighten up, you self-righteous dweeb!

    (And, no, I'm not a Democrat, I didn't vote for Obama, and I think his domestic policies are just a little shy of lethal to the country. But the guy is still entitled to a beer.)

    (An I despise Republicans too...)

    July 31, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. pat c

    give me a break! these republicans are the most sour, pesimistic group of grumpy old white men i have ever seen. the president was cool and showed class in what he did. america [with the exception of the bible thumping repubs] are enjoying life, an human spirit in the white house and i must say it is soooo refreshing! all you ding bats need to get a life and start enjoying your time on earth an not worry so much about the sins of others. maybe it wouldn't hurt a few of these old cronies to take a nip every now and then to loosen up abit.i love and respect our president ...barack obama!!

    July 31, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. AntiRush

    No. He should do what our last President did during war (and during every other crisis we ever had). He should go on vacation. What a phony she is. If it wasn't for her parties President, she wouldn't have to be watching the USS Nimitz deploy.

    July 31, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. indy voter


    He's moving too fast...
    He's got too much on his plate...
    He should slow down on health care and not go off on foreign jaunts so often...

    And now it's, "he needs to focus and spend more time on important issues."

    Larimer, you are a shill for the GOP...admit it, nothing this president does is going to make you happy... 😦 😦

    The party of NO!!!

    July 31, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. Mark

    She's complaining about the President taking time out for a beer while we are at war.

    What about the summer vacation Congress is taking? It's the month of August plus some of September?

    What about President Bush taking vacation during war? I think he spent 40 percent of his term on vacation while our men and women were being slaughtered.

    President Obama has been in office for over 6 months and he's not taken one vacation.

    July 31, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Mike in Oahu

    Seems like Obama has been on top of many issues since taking over the White house. Now he's begrudged for having a sit-down beer.

    July 31, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Roco

    While I do agree that the media attention to the beer they drank was fairly ridiculous, someone in Larimer's position complaining about Obama drinking a beer is even more ludicrous. Especially given the weeks that old Dubya spent clearing brush from behind his house instead of focusing on any number of issues. A week clearing some tumbleweed versus an hour with a Bud.... hmm.... which one is worse?

    Keep hitting on the issues that no one cares about, guys. That'll really help you out in 2010 and 2012.

    July 31, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. William of Iowa

    This from a representative of Wyoming where the distance between points travelled is measured by the number of six-packs it takes to get there. Keep searching – you might eventually find something that actually sparks real interest in your party's platform.

    July 31, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. NM Moderate

    I fthis moron was paying attention, she would realize that the meeting at the white house did not involve the President "talking about beer". What an idiot!

    July 31, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. Anu

    Hello, he was not talking about beer. He was discussing what happened between the two men, and his unfortunate remarks OVER a beer. If this is the logic you apply to all your politics and policies, then it's no wonder your party has no clue about what to do. The WAR was started by YOUR president, who spent one third of his time on vacation instead of focusing on the war. So please do us a favor and SHUT UP.

    July 31, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Chris

    That's a pretty cheap move by Ms. Larimer. Say what you will about all this silliness, Pres. Obama only held the meeting in an attempt to silence the controversy and get the media's attention back on important matters.

    July 31, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. locutus

    Again the republican leadership shows just how clueless they are. This is what we would like to see happen. People getting together to talk and maybe reach an understanding of each other.

    July 31, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. Denise in MD

    So, racial understanding and reconciliation aren't important? Once again, the GOP shows how severely out of touch it is.

    July 31, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. Norma T

    I disagree. I believe race relations are a very important part of this administration. I also believe that instead of it getting drawn out (possibly in court wasting tons of taxpayers money if Gates or Crawley decided to sue for whatever reason) it's been nipped in the bud. And President Obama has shown the country and the world how to get two people together to solve their differences in an adult manner, instead of talking ill of each of each other to the media and making the situation worse.

    July 31, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Mark

    Saying that this country is not about beer—well, that's like Larimer admitting he's never been to a baseball game, concert, live theater event, or almost any public outing of any kind in America. Go out and live a little, junior, before you start mouthing off about the U.S.A.!

    July 31, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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