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

    aint that the truth...good new is the obama experiment is coming to an end...

    January 29, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Jae

    Arent u glad racism is dead. Yo mike steele, first WHAT UP!!!! what do u feel about this? This guy priebus would have been marching with DR KING RITE? neice king?

    January 29, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    "I called him Captain Schettino, you know the captain that fled the ship in Italy," Priebus said.
    What a comment!
    RNC chairman is the caption of Republican Party. Party approval rating going down after he become Chairman actually his ship is sinking
    RNC chairman sitting in side watching his passengers fighting, GOP establishment going after Newt equal to RNC chairman watching tea party drowning

    January 29, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Peter

    The GOP maiking light of the tragity off the coast of Italy by referring to President Obama as the GOP's Capt Schettino just show how out of touch they really are with real people. Because real people lost their lives in that tragity.

    January 29, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Michael Steele was replaced by this big blossom, aka blooming idiot, from Wisconsin?

    January 29, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I think Reince will be history after the big republican defeat in November.

    January 29, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Katie

    OBAMA 2012!

    January 29, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. enuff

    Using a tragedy for a political gain. People lost their lives for crying out loud! How dare you insult their memory to take a poke at the President. Have you no conscious, no empathy for people at all?

    January 29, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Bill

    No wonderObama will win in 2012.

    January 29, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. marty

    Now, now, Mr. Priebus, don't get carried away with your name calling. We'll just add you to the, "where's Bill"; "you lie"; etc. nattering nabobs groupies list.

    January 29, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. stike1

    watta big jagoff and thats the nicest could say about this empty suit.

    January 29, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Newme1

    What an idiot! Let's not forget that the repubs are the ones who sunk the ship.

    January 29, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. ddblah

    Huh, you really forgot who ran our economy to the ground?? He left the office too, just a hint, in case your memory is as short as that of a rat!

    January 29, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. catmomtx

    WOW!!! What is this guy thinking? Republicans sure are playing their base for being stupid. One thing though, many of their base won't even have a clue as to who this Captain is. Way to go Priebus using a tragedy for political purposes, Republicans have a knack for doing that.

    January 29, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Anthony

    The ship was already wrecked before Obama took over. Most of the job losses in this recession (almost 8 million) happened in 2008 and in the first half of 2009. Republicans used to said that it was unfair to blame Bush for 9/11 because he was on the job for 8 months. Of course, Republicans also blame the 2009 budget, the first budget with a trillion-dollar deficit, on Obama. The budget was passed in 2008, before the 2008 election.

    January 29, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Amazing

    How disrespectful his comments are to the families of the people who died on the ship. This is an example of how low the extremists in the republican party will stoop. I hope the families of those who died realize that not Americans are as ignorant and insensitive as this so-called Christian man!

    January 29, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. A Southern Lady

    Mr. Priebus, the GOP leader, aquainting the shipwreck with President Obama clearly shows where the once-proud Republican party is today. Their candidates, the ones who advertise themselves as members of the "Christian Party of \Family Values", find no truth-stretching too far, no hurtful comment too distasteful no character assination of their fellow candidates too over the top. They have lost all sense of decent behavior and, in no way, reflect the Christian values I hold dear. If one of them would be honest enought to say that Bush left a train-wreck for President Obama and only the President's efforts have halted the country from financial disaster and, that the sole aim of the Republican party, clearly advertised, was to do everything to make the President fail knowing full-well that the country will also fail, then maybe this ounce of honesty might make me have a little respect for a party that I no longer have any respect.

    January 29, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Jules

    Not so – that guy was George W. Bush – R.

    January 29, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Kevin in Atlanta

    Once again, Republicans prove they have no clue. And that's why the American people currently approve of the job Obama is doing by a more than 2-1 margin over the job Congressional Republicans are doing.

    January 29, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Niko_in_Richmond

    Why does it surprise anyone that the head of the GOP would be using a tragedy to try to bolster his party? You have to remember that they are the party that ran the government in the ground in the first place; now, they are blaming the president for not being able to clean up their mess. He is about as disingenuous as the two front runners for the GOP nomination.

    January 29, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. CBR

    What are this man's credentials other than chairman of the Republican Party? The Republicans have not given much credence to their Chairperosn in the past. What is different about thisman? In other words who is he?

    January 29, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Like Anthony said, "The ship was already wrecked before Pres. Obama took over." In fact, it has been the refusal of the Republican Party that exemplifies the behavior of abandoning ship. And, then they blame the wreck on the rescue workers for not getting it cleaned up fast enough. It is always faster and easier to destroy, than to it is build.

    January 29, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. JbishopW

    Mr. priebus
    I first of all agree with the shamefulness of taking a personal tragedy and using it for political attack Next, what was your role in the walkergate offenses in Wisconsin? Would you like to addrss that or wait for further indictments?

    January 29, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Jay

    He is just another right wing nut who is using this tragedy for political gain, what an idiot.

    January 29, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Peace

    This man has difficult to understand like it is to pronounce his name. Since when an adult with the right thinking will use a tragedy comparing with anything. Quite silly!

    January 29, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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