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. Marty, FL

    Another GOP "leader" criticizes....shocking.

    Focus, Ms. Larimer? Really? Many Americans could think of several more important issues for your Party of No focus. How about looking into your own house? Perhaps start with Ensign, Vitter, or Sanford?

    If this is the so-called rebuilding of my former GOP, I still want nothing to do with it. Larimer unbelievably stoops to more criticisms when three gentlemen find a brief moment to respectfully address an issue together.

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

    Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Jan Larimer 's comment is void of merit. To presume that by not having a beer is a very strange way ofviewing the world. What was President Obama trying to achieve? Well he has taken of his busy day to show that no matter your color, rece or creed, 'civilized' people can sit down and resolve issues. Interesting the comment 'while we are at war' by Jan Larimer! If people that comprise nations spoke more, not necessarily over a beer, many war's may not have become wars. Think back to 'weapons of mass destruction'

    July 31, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. John in PA

    That's fine if they want to do some sort of Cash for Junkers or whatever. It's just a few billion. Please follow it up though, with some sort of plan to deal with the flood of repo's and loan defaults coming up about six months or a year down the road. Try to stay on top of this one, please.

    July 31, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  4. Katie B in NC

    Ms. Larimer, President Obama has demonstrated that he is capable of doing more than one thing at a time. You must be running out of things to fuel your hissy fits.

    July 31, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. Jake AZ

    NEWS FLASH ... Obama bashed by GOP leadership for daring to breath.

    July 31, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. Priscilla

    Jan Larimer is an idiot! Again, another Republican ready to shoot down anything President Obama does. President Obama is well aware that there are more important things to focus on, unfortunately, the media doesn't think that! President has to respond to the media-cry so he can put out this nonsense-of-a-fire! Republicans, get a life! President Obama is the ideal President and he cares about Americans, unlike the Republicans, who are only focused on how they can control America through special interest groups and lobbyists! Go President Obama, America understands why you did this! You are truly "The People's President." You care about all of us!

    July 31, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. reallly????

    Where was this guy the last 8 years when G.W. Bush was in a reading competition with Karl Rove to see who could read more books? Or how about when G.W was on his many vacations, by the way he took more vacations then any other president in history?
    Why cant people just chill for a second, I mean did Churchill’s (a conservative) drinking habits hinder his ability to lead?
    This truly exposes some republicans intentions, they are not doing ANYTHING for the betterment of the county, rather they are playing politics and trying to gain some much needed political ground………

    July 31, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. Daniel W

    Jan Larimer is out of touch as so many politicians are. The Presidents gathering was not about beer (as she is quoted) but about teaching people about communication. That if we take a moment and sit and talk, things are going to get better. I am not a fan of this administration, but this show of gratuity was wonderful. Any hype about the “beer” portions of the gathering should be blamed on the media. I would like to criticize Mz Larimer for not paying attention.

    July 31, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Jackson

    It was important to the president to bring these two men together, and i think it was a good move on his part to do so. So bringing to people together who had a disagrement is not what this country is about huh? I think Larimer must not know his history or is just a complete tool.

    July 31, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. Holden Caulfield

    They're right. Absolutely right. They're all phonies. Real people wouldn't sit down and talk about their problems over a beer. Who are they kidding. They're all phonies.

    Real people shoot guns. They shout it out. Guantanamo – now that's the way. We'll shoot it out, and those we capture; we'll keep. No one has to know. Real people don't sit down to talk. Why would they – Real people don't listen. They look the other way, especially when they're pretending to look for Weapons of Mass Destruction. That's what real people do. Real people don't ever drink beer. Real people only drink the idea that they're real, and pretend that's it OK.

    July 31, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. I Can See Argentina from my Front Porch

    The Party of NO is including "NO BEER" to their platform.
    I don't what these Republicans are whining about. I thought these good ol' gals and boys could appreciate people sitting around getting smashed on beer.

    July 31, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Trish

    Look at how the economy has finally begun to bounce back, now that the Republicans aren't being allowed to continue running the country into the ground, spending our money promoting W's religious beliefs, wasting precious military lives. We are still at war, having not even finished the war that we should have fought after 9-11, but rather a trumped-up war talked up and promoted by all of the Republicans that benefited Cheney, Bush, and his ilk. As far as I'm concerned, Larimer and most of the GOP needs to go somewhere, sit down, and shut up whining about how Obama isn't working hard enough to undo all of their damage.

    July 31, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. whittib

    The President can not have a beer???? He needs to be avail. 24 hours a day if need be, but he needs some down time like the rest of us Humans. However, I think he should not have even opened his mouth about the whole issue.

    July 31, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. JT

    This is so hypocritical for this lame person. The republicans are nothing but beer guzzling morons.

    July 31, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Republican not buying it..

    This "lady" is a ditz. She loves the microphone. Maybe in this case, silence was golden.

    July 31, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. Dave

    Is this idiot for real? If I'm not mistaken another GOP twit, Thaddeus McCotter, tried to have a resolution passed to make President Obama apologize to the offer involved in this. How is that not wasting time? Just another example of the idiocy and hypocrisy of the GOP...

    July 31, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. Rodney from Indy

    Oh, brother. I am so sick of the Republicans not having a clue as to how to help America out of the mess they caused – and instead stooping to constantly attacking President Obama for the most petty thing they can find. The man took a delicate issue and used it to help create better relations between our peoples, and he is being attacked for that? The president needs to focus on more important issues? He's tackling health care reform, the economy, Iraq and Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Medicaid/Medicare, Social Security, Energy, the environment, and yes, racism. What is it exactly he is missing? They criticized him for taking on too much, and now he's doing too little. What happened to "lead, follow, or get out of the way?" Perhaps Larimer and the rest of the Repulicans should shut up until they have something intelligent to say.

    July 31, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. phoenix86

    It was typical Obama. Great photo op, adoring press, zero accomplishment.

    July 31, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. Change in America

    GOP leave this country racist Republicans it said President Obama is getting critisize for everything he do...I bet if the President j walk in the street he will get critisize......American will think the Republicans are racist politician.

    Vote Gop out the office

    July 31, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Notfooled

    Hey Ms. Larimer, what is this country about?? And did any of those things happen over the past 8 years??

    July 31, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. No More Cheney

    Republicans offer nothing but criticism.

    July 31, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. Joe in IN

    Sounds like Larimer needs to get over himself. I didn't hear him crying when Bush would spend most of his time clearing brush at his ranch.

    July 31, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. lovable liberal

    Shorter Jan Larimer: "Waaaah. We wanted racial polarization to go on for weeks. It's good for enraging our base."

    July 31, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. Jayne

    Wow! Talk about being out of touch. It may not have been a politically savvy move on Obama's part last week when he weighed in on this issue, however the debate that has ensued since has been critically important to race relations in this country.

    For this congressman to claim that "it is wrong. It is not what our country is about." shows either desperation on the part of a party that just cannot get in step with the many complex social issues in this conunty or complete ignorance of the facts behind the issue.

    Wake up lady. There are racial issues in the country that are hundreds of years old. I think it is simply outstanding that a dialogue is finally happening and that is not being swept under the carpet.


    July 31, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. Don M.

    Oh lord.

    Do these repulicans think before they open their mouths?

    July 31, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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