Priebus: Obama's our Capt. Schettino
January 29th, 2012
12:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Priebus: Obama's our Capt. Schettino

(CNN) - The chairman of the Republican National Committee unveiled his latest attack on President Barack Obama on Sunday, comparing him to the captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship.

When asked if the infighting in the GOP presidential primary race would harm the eventual nominee's chances against Obama in November, Reince Priebus said the party would unite by then in an effort to win the White House.

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"In a few months, this is all going to be ancient history and we're going to talk about our own little Captain Schettino, which is President Obama who's abandoning the ship here in the United States and is more interested in campaigning than doing his job as president," Priebus said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Priebus added the president is "fleeing the American people," just like Schettino allegedly fled his cruise liner.

The ship rolled onto its side in shallow waters off an island on Italy's Tuscan coast on January 13. Seventeen people are confirmed dead and 15 people remain missing while Francesco Schettino is under house arrest and faces possible criminal charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.

Following the jab, CBS host Bob Schieffer seemed caught off guard by Priebus' comment, asking with a laugh: "What did you just say? What did you call President Obama?"

Priebus was defiant in his response.

"I called him Captain Schettino, you know the captain that fled the ship in Italy," Priebus said. "That's our own president who's fleeing the American people and not doing his job and running around the country and campaigning."

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Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Reince Priebus
soundoff (813 Responses)
  1. albertgo

    Bob Schieffer is way past retirement age, had no clue who Captain Schettino is.

    Still, it was a fitting analogy.

    January 29, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Linda

    Obama has being trying to right the ship every since he took over the mess Bush created with 2 wars, right now the ship that is sinking is the Republican party......these GOP canidates and their bashing and lying about each other and the disrepect they show the President of this country is taking all of them right down to the sewer.......and it's going to take them a long time to recover from this.....

    January 29, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Spockish

    Taking his arguments directly to the people of this country is the only way President Obama can overcome a Congress strangled by the GOP's commitment to defeat him at any cost – including the nation's economic health. Republicans cannot compete against Obama's accomplishments - preventing the Bush financial meltdown from becoming a depression, saving General Motors, severely weakening Al Qaeda, and ending our involvement in Iraq. Instead, they've tried to create a "faux Obama" who has done nothing, and is a "failed President"; like this article, such claims are always completely devoid of facts - because there are no facts supporting this narrative. There is nothing but a package of Big Lies. Josef Goebbels would be proud.

    January 29, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. Dan Halen

    The bodies aren't even cold yet and the Repugs are already using the Italian tragedy for political purposes. How typical.

    January 29, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  5. Kevin

    Incredible comparison. My thoughts are with the families who are mourning and the dive teams who are still recovering bodies. The political use of this tragedy was uncalled for at this time.

    January 29, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Jim

    Wow. What a weak attack. Who is that supposed to impress?

    January 29, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. albertgo

    Why would the truth 'shock' CNN?

    January 29, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Bill

    Leave it to the GOP to use a terrible incident and compare it to Obama....Families lost loved ones in that cruise accident and the GOP wants to use that in a political ad....What a joke!

    January 29, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. Marinedad05

    Is this the best the GOP can come up with?

    All the GOP ever does is using 'code words' (like Gingrich) for spreading racism, name-calling (like Rush and Hannity), and using anything and everything to belittle the President, and at any expense.

    The GOP never competes on policy issues, but rather frames it's political dialog on race, social issues, and God & country - you know all the rah, rah stuff. All filled with a whole lotta of hubris, and not much else.

    The GOP is a downright disgrace!

    January 29, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Bob

    Mr. Obama the worst president in history

    January 29, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. LAinSA

    Please keep this fool at the RNC for as long as you can. He's helping the Democrats more than he knows.

    January 29, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. Marc in Florida

    There's brilliance from the Rs . I can only surmise the Rs are desparate and have run out of ways to insult our President.

    January 29, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. p

    Just when you thought the GOPTP had stooped to the lowest form of gutter politics...
    It will be such a pleasure to see theses guys get their butts kicked in November!

    January 29, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. CuckooGOP

    It's a silly comment from Priebus. President Obama has kept the U.S. safe.
    Bush let 9-11 happen.
    Bush is the Cpt. Schettino.
    The Republican VP candidate from 2008 is also like Cpt. Schettino because she quit her governorship 1/2way through – you betcha, Sarah Palin is a Cpt. Schettino.

    January 29, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  15. GimeeABreak

    America – you killed thousands in Iraq and Afghaniatan; sent drones into Libya; invaded another state and killed a sick, old man [yes a diabolical killer but still deserving of due process; you kill off your own undesirables by lethal injection or "O;d Sparky"; you forcibly sterilized your OWN citizens and you are complicit in 50 Million abortions of the most vulnerable – and NOW you're suddenly squeamish about a COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!

    You people seropusly ought to take stock!

    January 29, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  16. Butter My Butt And Call Me a Biscuit

    Never before in our history has so much disrespect been shown to a US President as as been given to President Obama. I am a white 9th generation Georgia citizen and if you believe racism is dead come on down to Georgia where it is alive and flourishing.

    January 29, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  17. Julia

    I just read this story. If the RNC chair and the GOP far right continue to show disrespect to the Presidency and the American people they will be hard pressed to keep the House or gain a seat in the Senate. They are fools living in a fool's paradise. However, in November reality will kick them in their butts. Five year olds behave betteer than this.

    January 29, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  18. Mortalc01l

    Republicans just can't tell reality and truth from their self-created delusions and lies!

    I just watched a Californian Republican claim that Obama was "gutting" our Military.... When it was pointed out to this buffoon that Obama has INCREASED the Military budget the last 3 years in a row, he IGNORED the FACTUAL EVIDENCE and clung to his belief like a drowning Man clingng to a life raft....

    Sheer lunacy reigns when you reject facts in favor of your dogma....

    January 29, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. GOP hate america

    I am voting for Obama.

    January 29, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. wileysee

    It looks as if Obama is going to try to ride back into the white house not on his economic policies, which have failed, not on his being able to bring the parties and people together; he's the most divisive president we've ever had, not on great race relations; he's caused an amazing amount of racial hatred, finally, not even on rained in spending; he's added trillions to the debt in fact more than all the presidents who came before him put together. He is going to try to get back into office on the kills he has sanctioned in the middle east and class warfare. What a guy!

    January 29, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. hitobito

    Reince Priebus has a funny name and a total lack of imagination. He thinks that the Captain of a crappy ocean liner is a valid comparison for the President of the United States of America? What a bleeding joke! This piece of smelly Greek garbage is the best the Republican Party can do? He needs to return to his roots where they need help but not from him...a a lawyer who could not make a living practicing law. In actual fact the Italian Captain has more in common with the Greek loser, both are cowards, have a mediocre educational pedigree and nothing but a chicken hawk.

    January 29, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't see this as being any where close to be accurate. Obama has done things to attempt to get the economy back unlike the GOP which didn't do anything when the problem was growing. Rationalist was correct because George W. Bush didn't understand that he could have kept tax rates the same and slowed spending which would have done so much better.

    January 29, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. Marilyn G

    Shame on this shell of a man.

    January 29, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. Auzzie

    That was in extremely bad taste and cruel to the families of the wrecked Italian cruise ship. WHAT A TOTAL JERK!!!!

    January 29, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  25. Tom

    Is this the best Priebus can do? Someone made one hell of a decision. Their hired a boy to do a mans job.

    January 29, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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