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. Marshall

    President Obama can walk and chew at the same. So Jan Larimer we are sorry you are not so fortunate.

    July 31, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. Henry

    Obama is making a good point here. We need to work on our inter racial relationships at times. Good for him, and shame on GOP for saying he was "talking about beer" He was talking about a long standing national problem, race relations.

    July 31, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. Tony in Maine

    Larimer is just a Republican. Her prattle is just that.

    She'd voice disapproval of the Sermon on the Mount were it given by a Democrat.

    July 31, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. Right Leaning Independent

    Come on, ease up a little. It was just a beer and a suck up moment to try and get back in the good graces of all the pissed off folks in America for having a openly Racist President!!

    July 31, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Hey GOP, what about all those vacations Bush took? Obama is at work every day, Bush took more days off than any other president. Why the double standard?

    July 31, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. botbot

    What has become of the GOP. Is this what they want to focus on? Really?

    The republicans are so far removed from reality that they are really pathetic.

    They may as well dissolve the party now and let's get started forming a new political entity that actually represents the will of the people, not just a bunch of blow-hard toothless rich persons.

    Good riddance to the GOP.

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

    It is the most chaotic presidency I have ever seen! President Bush is beginning to look pretty darn good!

    July 31, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Pam Holt, Los Angeles, CA

    It was after what I'm sure was a long, hard work day (happy hour, right?), and it could be important if they were able to make some progress in racial discrimination.

    July 31, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. jm

    Hey, Ms. Larimer–

    All you can do is bash an effort at bridging gaps of understanding so that we can have greater levels of peace within our nation. That is exactly what our country's about. What are you about?

    July 31, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  10. Pam Holt, Los Angeles, CA

    progress AGAINST racial discrimination, of course

    July 31, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. john z

    where was larimer's comment when bush took all that vacation while in office?

    July 31, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. Jay

    Well I guess discussing Race Relations with two people that were involved in this incident doesn't matter either. I applaud President Obama for taking steps to discuss this situation. You people will try to knock down everything he tries to accomplish. White people will never understand what we as Black Americans have to endure everyday we step foot outside our doors at the hands of white people and the their attitudes. Therefore, you don't think this was necessary to talk about it.

    July 31, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Glor

    Oh give me a break! Everyone is allowed a bit of "down time" from everyday issues, even presidents.

    July 31, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. tee

    The repugs are pathetic...........this comong from the party of whinners and complainers...........the do nothing party..........GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!

    July 31, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. norman wilson

    Larimer is a nit wit – If he was worried about the war he should have spoken out Years ago when Bush was President. What the devil is a beer? the guy sounds a little loose in the head if you ask ordinary people – Everyone is suppose to stop having beer now that Obama is in the white house and we are at war

    July 31, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Punahou, Hawaii

    It's the Presidents House, he was elected into office and as long as he's doing the job for America, "He can have anyone he wishes over for an afternoon cold one." Who is anyone to even question what the MAN and PRESIDENT does in his own house, or in this case he outdoor table and chairs; four men discussing a situation is nothing short of what Presidents have done before within the White House, what makes this different is he opened his home to assist in easing the tensions – "Lets all give the President credit for his invatation and sincere intentions." Mr. President said himself, "Look this is not a summit, it's four grown men having a cold one after work." That sum's it all up and he could not have made himself clearer !!!!!

    July 31, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Christy

    We have been at war for so long that most of us have blocked it out of our minds. It is upsetting and we are hopeless to do anything about it. Bush started it under false pretenses and it doesn't look like Obama will finish it.

    July 31, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. espanolsrs

    Just as a reminder: George W spent MANY weeks on vacation while we were at war, after thousands of people were displaced by hurricanes, and were in a national economic crisis. How quick we forget!!

    July 31, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Jim

    Unfortunately, Jan, you don't have the pulse of the regular every day citizens of this country. When two people disagree or get in a fight, it is very common and traditional to have a beer or buy the person a beer. For decades it has served as an intermediary to put an issue to bed and that's exactly what this accomplished for many people including myself.

    July 31, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. Paul

    The GOP is known for bashing everything. Whats new?

    July 31, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. A Rogers

    And the congressional recess is from August 7 – September 4, during which time we will still be at war, and an additional 1800-1900 US citizens will die because they don't have health insurance.

    Everything Obama does will draw heat from the republicans.. This isn't news, it's a sad commentary on the abilities and thinking of our supposedly intelligent politicians.

    July 31, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. S. Black

    Firstly, our President should not comment on anything without All the facts. Secondly, he should not defend his friends (either black or white) in a public arena; and thirdly, let's get something worthy going with health care and the economy.

    In addition , he wants to tax the rock solid citizens that have worked hard, paid their bills, lived conservatively, amassed wealth and are now reaping the rewards of a very comfortable living – some or most of whom are probably seniors.

    Mr. President, what are you thinking- or are you??!

    July 31, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. Brenda

    OMG can they not just shut up?! They're complaining 'we're in a war' – well, yeah, a war you people agreed to start. SHUT UP

    July 31, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  24. Mark

    These Republicans are amazing. GW spent much of his time on vacation in Texas while we were "at war" and was clueless. This President reaches out to bridge a serious divide in this country, and the party of no isnt happy. Do they stand for anything? Do they have any positive suggestions?

    July 31, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. Sharon - NC

    Oh, for God's sakes, can Obama not do anything right in the eyes of any Republican. Are they looking for any little thing? He had a beer with two people involved in a high profile controversy which took, what, all of an hour or two out of his schedule and gave our citizens something light to think about for a change. Larimer doesn't think trying in small ways to repair race relations is what 'this country is about.' What!? And I thought Sarah Palin was a moron. Even she'd be up for grabbing a beer and resolving an issue. And she could do it on the same day that she watched the USS Nimitz deploy.

    July 31, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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