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. Wallis3

    OMG...did he really said that ?

    January 29, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. Ken Andrews

    Priebus = America's Quisling.

    January 29, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Independent Mind

    Oh pullll-eze! So the best prescription for the nation is to elect another Republican president, right? Ok; I'll play that game for a moment. I predict that Newt is elected president, an Iranian faction attacks the US and in response, Newt orders the invasion of Canada. Who knows with Republicans? It could happen!

    January 29, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Observer

    Not so bright coming from the committee leader of the clowns running for office for Republicans.

    January 29, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. D.

    This guy is spewing garbage and his comments are offensive which I am sure is his goal.
    Priebus, please come to Compton, California and say that.
    You have a open invitation to come down and express your political views to the team at anytime even after November 2012, I promise you will have our complete attention....... we will take time off work to accommodate your arrival.
    The President has to be politically correct but hey, I don't and I am getting feed up.
    Brewer with her finger in the President's face and now this coward. Brewer gets a pass because she is a female you do not, you are a male coward.
    Come on down so we can discuss unemployment stats,foreign affairs wins, debt. ceiling road blocks, dream act, DADT, Positive impact of the stimulus, Bush tax cuts and their negative impact, and what's up with the "Do Nothing Republican House".
    With regards,

    January 29, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Chris

    Is there an email contact address where fools of this sort can hear back from the American people?

    January 29, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Tazzy

    Really? He must have forgotten all the others who campaign while they still have a job. For example, who was playing Governor of Texas while Rick Perry was on the campaign trail costing TX taxpayers millions?

    January 29, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Miike

    Rience – Thanks for reminding me why I stopped voting republican when George Bush was selected as the nominee – too much stick your head in the sand insensitive ignorance.

    January 29, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. Len Smith

    THANK GOD FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA'S LEADERSHIP. This man must not be able to read or understand where we have come from in the last three years.

    January 29, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Squigman

    Every time this empty suit opens his mouth, he confirms that republicans are not electable. This kind of rhetoric is in poor taste at best, and downright ugly at the worse. How many lives have been lost in the accident, and what makes this moron think its okay to make light of it, in a taudry attempt to get air time for the republican candidates. Pathetic.

    January 29, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  11. Bye Bye Tea Party

    Keep talking GOP... show us how much hate rules your heart. Let us see more of the true face of the Ultra Conservative.

    January 29, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Erin

    As an independent.. i can assure the GOP that this kind of nonsense is going to push more of us in the middle further away. I haven't been a huge fan of Obama, nor agreed with all of his policies, but I think when compared to what the GOP is putting forward, he looks by far to be the most respected man running for President. You would have thought that 8 years under Bush would have opened up the eyes of many in the GOP – but it seems as though many are just closing their eyes more tightly.

    January 29, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Pure GOP Class !

    January 29, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Russell Hammond, Hollywood

    The comparison is a stretch, even if someone is trying to be sarcastic. Just shows you how desperate and off the mark Republicans have become. Mitt Romney is your frontrunner? Good luck with that. I can understand the desperation.

    January 29, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. amf140

    All you Media Matters people can only concentrate on one thing – the reference to the Italian Captain. What is really being said is "where is our Commander in Chief and Chief Executive Officer of the USA" when this country is in dire need of POSITIVE leadership". He is out campaigning and absent from his primary duty. A serious offense in the military the he now feels such affinity for. Also, he has a billion $$$ warchest. Why does he still need to fund-raise. I guess liberals can never have too much money. Oops, excuse me, that just slipped out. How come the Occupiers don't find that offensive but heaven forbid Romney "legally" (not like Geithner) paid 15% tax plus another 6.5 mil to charity.

    January 29, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Chris

    Hmm, the jerk is proudly featured on his own Facebook page. Maybe the American people should message him and let him know what they think of his repulsive comments.

    January 29, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Terry

    Priebus strikes me as a pretty boy, which is very unusual for the Republican Party. Come out, Come out, where ever you are Mr. Priebus.

    January 29, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Laurie

    So, this guy is the LEADER of the Republicans...he can't even find his way on to the ship. This stuff just keeps getting better and better.'ve got it right: Wasn't the the guy that was captaining the ship when it ran a ground? Remind me who was President when the economy tanked? Remind me again who was President when we started losing 700,000 jobs per month. Now tell me who has been President for the last 24 months of private sector job growth. Sounds like our Capt. Schettino was GW and President Obama is more like Captain Sully who landed our economy after its engines had failed and kept us out of a depression

    January 29, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. livingston

    it is not quite shocking as you think .

    January 29, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. DTD in New Mexico

    Sounds like ALL the Republicans are drinking the same nut-juice these days.

    January 29, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. Sandra

    This is a DISGUSTING comment. Why is it that this party will say anything, do anything, BE anything simply to rally their base. He should be ashamed of himself...and the Repuplican Party should expect WAY more of their leaders. Again, Disgusting. People were killed in this. Family members. Remember???

    January 29, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Thomas Guerra

    Outrageous, and like so much else coming out of the Republican party lately, completely perverse. If there were a shipwreck analogy, it would have to one in which the captain valiantly stayed on board while more then 1/2 the crew was busy punching holes into the ship (while putting out the story that the captain was causing the vessel to sink.) Thankfully, the real American vessel, despite Republican obstruction, is still moving forward, albeit haltingly. One can only hope that all those poor souls being successfully hood-winked by the Republican party and being successfully manipulated to vote against their own self-interest, will wake up and see what the real narrative has been for the past 3 years and that the only true objective of the Republican party is to deliver our country and our economy back into the hands of those that really did almost wreck the ship.

    January 29, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I hope the repubs can see that comment for what it was, and act accordingly regardless of who they vote for in the end. When Clinton blew it with Monica(or was it the other way around) I was mad at him for hurting the party. Whenh W started his junk, the repub voters supported him blindly.,..the beginning of a facist state. I can only hope there are some decent repubs left that can reclaim their party to what it once was. I voted for Reagan because by dad told me to. I was 18...what can I say. If Reagan were alive today I dont think he'd recognize his own party. Yes he was the start of this junk but dont think he ever wanted it to go this far.

    January 29, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. scott

    It sounds like fair crticizm of Obama to me. Whats everybody whining about? You can't play the cace card or the repect the presidency card every time Barack is criticized. At least half the negative responses I've read so far have been insulting and offensive.

    By the CNN, Try to avoid words like shocking unless you apply them to both sides of the political

    January 29, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Pha

    At least Schettino didn't say "It could be worse".

    January 29, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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