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. Sam I Am

    Obama has done more positive things in his 6 months in office than Bush did in his last term in office. And, unlike Bush would have, who wouldn't even give enough time to go to speak at the NAACP until he was pressured to do so, he recognized a potential ignition point for racial strife and defused it with a small gesture. Bush was on vacation at Crawford or Camp David about 20% of the time he was in office. And all this Republican can do is complain? Oh yeah. I forgot. That's what Republicans do best.

    July 31, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. Mike

    And how does she account for all of the vacations to the ranch that G. W. took while we were at war.....?

    July 31, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. texasgirl

    This is why no one wants to hear from the GOP. They are sorry losers, and never say anything that comes close to postive. This was a media created monster and President Obama was just trying to calm things. I don't think a few hours drinking a beer was a waste of his time or ours.

    All you GOP's would benefit from a beer every once in a while...it might make you more tolerable.

    July 31, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. suzyku

    They're just jealous because absolutely nobody wants to have a beer with these jerks!!! They have no idea what the words "compromise", "listen", "diplomacy" mean, they only understand the word NO and yes to anything nasty or that bush/cheney say! Useless hypocrites all!!

    July 31, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. The Sarah Palin Comedy Hour

    Can we please let this story go. Wow, the rethugs are scraping the bottom of the barrel to find anything to defame our president.

    July 31, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. scott from michigan

    I never heard from this politician in the past 8 yrs while the GOP lied us onto War...this is ridiculous. The GOP uses any excuse imaginable to bash obama, even as the economy is healing under Obama and our countries respect in the world is on the rise... The Party of No pls jus Go Away

    July 31, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Obama only creates TAXES

    Obama phot OP, Just a thing to make both blacks look good as a game. The President and Gates, BOTH BLACKS, both raised the RACE CARD and thew only white was the police officer, ALWAYS THE BALCKS PLAYING THE RACE CARD, so lets call it a learning lesson and lets have a beer until anothe balck plays the race card.

    I'm white and soon I will play the race card in reverse, be prepared.

    July 31, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  8. bert, Tampa

    Get off of his back already, President Obama is smart and tough enough to say what he said and to handle it the way that he did. By talking about it I think the President let some of the pressure off of the issue. We need President Obama to keep being creative with his approach to how he is handling every issue he has to deal with. The stock market is moving again,a little ,and now is the time to keep focusing on sustainable jobs and health care reform. God bless President Obama and the U.S.A.

    July 31, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. MCD, SF, CA

    It all could have been avoided if the mainstream media had not blow the whole thing up! This was all media driven!

    July 31, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  10. felix

    If the president was a Republican, the story would read, "Jan Larimer praises the president for putting and hour into his schedule to meet the professor and police officer." What a joke. I'd like to get a full schedule of Larimer's month and see how many "non-important" things that he has on it.

    July 31, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  11. Lucille

    I think the media is to blame for playing up that meeting. It was no big deal, but it was carried as a super big happening. I am sure Obama did accomplish other things that day, so let that beer meeting die. Who cares what brand of beer they drank.

    July 31, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. Here we go again!!

    Oh please!!!!! Why don't you JAN LARIMER think about what the President's purpose was for doing what he did. If you thought about it for more than ONE SECOND, Then you would have known it was the right thing to do. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK NEXT TIME.............

    July 31, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. Matt in CA

    The Republicans are starting to sound like the adults in Charlie Brown.... "blah blah blah and blah"

    July 31, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Brian

    This guy is clearly a moron. If the media wouldn't have made such a calamity of "Gates"-gate, then the "Beer Summit" would surely have never happened. And what was it, a one-hour meeting? I'm sure Mr. Larimer has taken quite a few one-hour breaks from his job since he was elected. Six months into his presidency, it's unfortunate that the Republicans, instead of doing their jobs and working with him, spend their time and resources putting his life under a microscope and bashing him at every possible turn. It makes one really wonder, is our political system broken beyond repair?

    July 31, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. marty-Licoln, NE

    Hey GOPs Party of No. We are getting use to your negative comment about anything that the presents does. Most of the time GOPs Party of No" you never have any anserwers of solution to help address or solve the many problems that is facing so many Americans today. Yet you have the galls to take about a beer summit.. We are still waiting to hear some solutions provided by the GOP Party of No intead of constant complaints, critiqueues, anc comments. I am an independent and can not understand just why most of you career politicians are even there in Washinton pretending that you really care about the average person when really you only care about the big companines and lobbyist that are buying you off to do the wrong thing rather than doing what is right for the people who have elected you.

    July 31, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. Audrey Fryer

    This coming from a party that had their President (G.W. Bush) on holidays for two thirds of his term. It is just so obvious that you right wingers are extremely jealous – do you guys just having pre-written talking points to anything President Obama does or says. REALLY.

    July 31, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Lisa

    Is there anything that Republicans don't criticize? The GOP has become a party of complete whiners.

    July 31, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Jan Larimer is a complete idiot.....typical Republican.

    July 31, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. Lee in TN

    Just like the RNC. They hate it when the President focuses on people and people issues. It drives republicans nuts when his focus isn't pulled to their big business and wall street interests.

    July 31, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Brian

    This girl is clearly a moron. If the media wouldn't have made such a calamity of "Gates"-gate, then the "Beer Summit" would surely have never happened. And what was it, a one-hour meeting? I'm sure Mr. Larimer has taken quite a few one-hour breaks from his job since he was elected. Six months into his presidency, it's unfortunate that the Republicans, instead of doing their jobs and working with him, spend their time and resources putting his life under a microscope and bashing him at every possible turn. It makes one really wonder, is our political system broken beyond repair?

    July 31, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. The New Era of Racism

    The next time a race issue arises, there will be a choice TWO solutions:
    1. Brush it off as "STUPID"
    or
    2. Have a BEER Summit at the White House.

    This is the New Era of standards laid down by the first Black President.

    July 31, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Steve in Denver

    Wow. She must be cut from the same mold as Steele.

    Who got us into war? The 43rd president, who vacationed more than any other president. Where were you, Ms. Larimer, from 2001-2008?

    Race relations is an important issue in this country.

    Obama's been darn busy cleaning up after your party. Either offer solutions or get out of the way.

    July 31, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. SKF

    Umm, first of all it was the brewery businesses talking about beer! Secondly, how dare anyone speak as though THIS is not an important issue or subject! It is in part and fact, the reason we are faced with global racism and terrorism that is fueled by the color of one's skin and differential treatment based on that color! Can they come anymore rude and clueless than this RNC Co-Chairman?

    July 31, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Russ H

    As I was saying before on MIXX that the President has lost his focus on what he promised the American people. So what if a professor did not use common sense and show ID. I would have arrested the individual regardless of what he or she were. The cop did what he was suppose to do. Now Obama do what you promised and get off this garage about race.

    July 31, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Spencer of Washington

    She failed in every aspect of her statement.
    First of all, your attacks on anything the president does besides do his job is a waste of time, and slacking of duties. I suppose that the president sleep time is completely unjustified as well. You GOPers are getting more and more desperate as the last of the momentum in the GOP party dries up.
    Second of all, "It is not what our country is about," is a terribly false statement. In fact, our country is about coming together and enjoying a moment, or in this case a beer, with different kinds of people.
    It shows how much more in touch with the America people Obama is than this "GOP leader," Jan.

    July 31, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
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