Carney throws RNC's ship captain analogy overboard
January 30th, 2012
02:59 PM ET
2 years ago

Carney throws RNC's ship captain analogy overboard

(CNN) - A top Republican's comparison of President Barack Obama to the captain of the ill-fated Costa Concordia this weekend ran aground Monday with the White House as it was sharply denounced by Press Secretary Jay Carney.

"If you are so desperate for attention that you make an analogy that Michael Steele deems inappropriate, you know you have probably gone too far," Carney said in the White House press briefing.

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Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus made the comment Sunday morning on CBS's "Face the Nation" in response to a question about in-fighting during the Republican primary.

"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.

The remarks quickly sparked controversy and prompted former RNC chairman Michael Steele to speak out against the current chairman's statement.

"I think it's an unfortunate analogy," Steele said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday. "I mean, people died in that situation."

The ship collided with rocks 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 the captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest and faces possible criminal charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.

– CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Jay Carney • President Obama • Reince Priebus
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Big deal libtards.... You seem to have no problem with a Democrat commercial with a Paul Ryan look-alike throwing a little old lady off of a cliff to her death. Suck it hypocrites and enough with the faux outrage.

    January 30, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Rickster

    Last fall, the government dramatically boosted its forecast of losses on the rescues of General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC and their finance units from $14 billion to $23.6 billion. In the government's latest report to Congress this month, the Treasury upped its estimate to $23.77 billion, up from $23.6 billion.
    ------------------
    And this is regularly touted as one of Obama's success stories. The auto company bailout was a union payback, plain and simple. Economically it was another utter failure from Obama but the main stream media(otherwise known as the democrat party marketing team) won't tell you that.

    January 30, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Gee

    If Obummer and his cronies are re-elected, people in this country could very well die...and all of these liberal jerks that say for shame for using a tragedy to political gain; the Democratic party has used tragedies and manufactured emergencies to political gain for the last five years...who do you think you are fooling??
    -------------

    Isn't it about time for you and the entire Republican party to grow up? Believe me, America would benefit a great deal.

    January 30, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Hongli

    BREAKING NEWS: Reince Priebus Needs a BRAIN EXAMINATION. Can CNN "s Sanjay Gupta help this NUT-CASE.

    January 30, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. rob

    Still waiting for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to appologize for stating that Republicans policies would "kill" people by the thousands. I guess thats ok with CNN and Jay Carney.
    The fact is that Obama has decided that there can be no compromise with the Repubs because it would interfere with his re-election campaign. Unlike Bill Clinton who changed corse dramatically after the 94 mid terms, Obama is doubling down. Which means he can't run on any domestic accomplishment that is either popular or did what he promised so the billion he has in the caufers will be spent on the dirtiest attack campaign in our history. Aided by the likes of CNN and the other liberal media he will try to have us forget that his policies FAILED miserably. We will not be fooled.

    Nov. 6 can't come fast enough.

    January 30, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. wwf

    Gee,
    You are living proof that one cannot fix stupid.

    January 30, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Hark

    This is a great analogy for Barack Alinsky! Welcome to Europe my friends!

    January 30, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. ras tafari

    Dont worry , this idiot will soon be required to answer criminal charges in Wisconsin.

    January 30, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. bgun2

    The analogy is dead on. Obama has run the ship up on the rocks with his spending and refuses to respond as the ship is sink, risking the population. I could not imagine a better analogy.

    January 30, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. SecedingfromTexas

    @Dominican mama 4 Obama:
    **************
    Lady, you are firing on all cylinders today. Great comments! and I totally AGREE!

    January 30, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Wes B.

    The Republican Party: Keeping it classy since 1854.

    January 30, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  12. CAL USA

    My initial reaction was that Priebus is a disgrace as the head of the Republican Party. Then I realized that he's perfectly consistent with the leadership of what the party has become. They have to pander to the lunatic fringe that has taken over their nomination process. Any opportunity to bash the President, no matter how outrageous or untrue, must be taken advantage of. As Hillary Clinton put it, if Obama walked on water, the Republicans would say that proves he can't swim.

    January 30, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. bgun2

    Dominican mama 4 Obama, The analogy is fair if you consider all the lives that will be lost when Obama drives our nation to bankruptcy and all support systems are gone. If anything I think the Priebus analogy was not harsh enough.

    January 30, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Lando

    Iraq was a true sunked ship and it brought down with her thousands of lives by Republican lies....

    January 30, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. JohnW

    Just had to share a great comment I read earlier on the other story:
    Reince Priebus – remove the vowels and you get RNC PR BS. Awesome.

    January 30, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    bgun2, I look more at President Obama as the guy who replaced Lee Hazlewood as Captain of the Exxon Valdez (can you figure out who my analogy of Hazlewood is?). This is they guy who has the job to get the ship back on course after his predecessor ran it aground and spilled all of its resources.

    January 30, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Max.

    Desperation at it's worst

    What could prompt any reasonable thinking person, particularly someone who presides of a major national political party, to come up with such a LOW BLOW? This is far below the waist. How could anyone, even a kindergarten kid even think of making such a bizarre so -called 'analogy'? This is GROSS, and shows the DESPERATION of the RNC.

    Priebus should be called upon to resign his post and apologize to the RNC, the presidential candidates, and the president. He has no regard whatsoever for LIFE if he's making joke of a tragic accident which killed so many people and leaves thousands suffering as a result.

    Priebus is a simpleton who's reflective of the low standard set by the RNC for the rest of us to emulate.

    Shame on you Priebus and shame on the RNC if they tolerate someone so cruel at their elm. This is desperation at it's very worst!

    January 30, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    These remarks will look really good in retrospect after he's forced to resign after the Scott Walker FBI probe concludes. Its all part of the Wisconsin GOP Mafia, funded with the Koch Brothers money.

    January 30, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Max.

    Desperation at it's worst

    What could prompt any reasonable thinking person, particularly someone who presides over a major national political party, to come up with such a LOW BLOW? This is far below the waist. How could anyone, even a kindergarten kid even think of making such a bizarre so -called 'analogy'? This is GROSS, and shows the DESPERATION of the RNC.

    Priebus should be called upon to resign his post and apologize to the RNC, the presidential candidates, and the president. He has no regard whatsoever for LIFE if he's making joke of a tragic accident which killed so many people and leaves thousands suffering as a result.

    Priebus is a simpleton who's reflective of the low standard set by the RNC for the rest of us to emulate.

    Shame on you Priebus and shame on the RNC if they tolerate someone so cruel at their elm. This is desperation at it's very worst!!!!!

    January 30, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Gurgi

    I think the comment went a little too far and was a little too disrespectful. Republicans should be above following the democrats example, we all know there are two sets of standards. One for the democrats and a different standard for everyone else.
    It still amazes me how anyone can support the socialist policies of this administration, with the perfect example of where they lead going on right now in europe.

    January 30, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Steve, New York City

    Ah yes, one of the 50,000 instances in which the GOP's level of disrespect would have never been so extreme, if the president were a white guy.

    Let's see – the Arizona governor rudely waving her finger in his face, Rep Wilson's "You Lie," that loud-mouthed imbecile from Colorado saying "Tar Baby," ALL OF THE BIRTHERS. . . .and amazing, the list just keeps going. Maybe GOP moderates are smart enough to understand – but the core right is too stupid to understand that most Americans blame the GOP-led congress for our current ills.

    January 30, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Priebus is always making desperation statements that only shows everyone that he's a first class ass. How he ended up at the RNC is truly a mystery, well, maybe not, that's the kind of idiot that the Tea Baggers wanted isn't he. I don't think I've ever heard him tell the truth. If you look up liar in the dictionary you'll find a picture of Priebus. What an IDIOT!

    January 30, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. d

    I wonder if he will be indiated in wisconsin along with the rest of walkers team? secert email accounts and all . man i would like to see those. crooked gop...all of them! and mean they are just mean

    January 30, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. bgun2

    Joe from CT, not Lieberman, the only problem with your theory is that Obama unlike Hazelwood continues to do more damage than good.

    January 30, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. george of the jungle

    typical repo remark. Open mouth insert foot. Asside from making nasty remarks. Some so distastefull they cant be repeated the republican party has nothing to build on. No ideas No clue as to what is needed to bring people togeather. They complaine that the president is dividing the country and they make remarks like this. Or they make racial slurs. Boy that sure unites us. Ol Newt is complaining about mitt not funding koshar food for the elderly. Mitt is spending millions on hateful adds against newt. Do we really need either of these clowns running this country. They are talking about perminent stations on the moon while people here at home are looking to find jobs. They put their money in the cayman islands just for the heck of it. Mulitpul wives. Crazy religions. Lots of money and book deals. What a sorry lot. And our repo friends have the gall to make remarks about the president.

    January 30, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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