(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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Obama has almost destroyed America.
Republican's would much rather kill themselves rather than admit that things are better today than they were 3 years ago when Bush left office. Problem is, when they're in office, they end up killing us.
These comments are a disgrace to Priebus personally and to the whole Republican party.
The absentee President par excellence was Bush II. Awe shucks, Obama is campaigning and possibly deflecting more of the Republican lies of 4/5 campaigning candidates for president. I see, very Democratic Priebus, it's OK for us to camapign from several months ago but not for Democrats to do the same!? If you cant stand the heat don't stand in front of the fire.
If you want to attack his SOTU then he has the right to talk to people to defend it, if it needs to be defended I think not.
Me I have had enough of Republican incivility, and less than half truths, especially towards President Obama, but also in this election within thier own ranks.
For a party that claims to respect family values and morality this comment was the ultimate proof that even that rhetoric is a lie.
This guy sounds like an idiot Captain himself grasping at straws to save his own boat – 'The GOP' – from sinking. Sorry dude – some sad rhetoric just doesn't cut it anymore, no matter how witty you think you are. Like – did you stay up all night thinking this sorry excuse for a fanfare response?? Maybe stay awake a few more nights to do a little better.
Remove the vowels from "Reince Priebus", and you're left with "RNC PR BS".
Which GOP candidate would you trust with the Nuclear button? Gingrich or Romney?
Both are hot headed and dangerous.
OBAMA 2012 Foreign Policy success ask Osama Bin Ladin
Reince Priebus is just another republican bottom feeder.
What I want to see is when the Republicans are going to go after corporate executives and put them in jail for criminal behavior. Read Corporate Crime Reporter and see the billions in fraud each of these corporations are intentionally committing, and the slaps on the wrist for that. Then they go wah wah about a poor woman who did NOT abort her children and giving them food to eat. I am sick of this focus on the poor and letting off the banksters... who got $16 trillion from the Federal Reserve.
Shocking? CNN would've NEVER run a story like this about Bush or Reagan.
When he's old enough to shave, he won't be as likely to put his foot in his mouth. If he wants to make a Presidential anaolgy to a chickenhawk who cost innocent lives, he should be talking of the one who entered Iraq, not the one who brought us out.
Take out the vowels in Reince Priebus and you get RNC PR BS. lol
Another "Gotya" moment because of the Liberal Press...Of course he will recant...one of his aides will recant for him on Faux News...typical Rovian Politics...Lie, Lie, Lie, then when proven wrong, make some back-door apology...but by then the rightwingers and pundits will be repeating it as fact. Because we all know preception is reality, and 30% of this country will believe anything they are told by these people because it fits thier preconcieved ideas.