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. 99%inCharlotte

    Good to see that almost all the comments are common-sense criticism of the latest pathetic attempt by the out-of-touch Republicans to vilify the President.

    January 29, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. AgrippaMT

    Priebus is a limp wristed Log Cabin Republican who doesn't understand that the captain who drove our economic ship onto the rocks was another Republican named GWBush.

    January 29, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. chuckly

    Yes, because Obama is the first president in history to actually campaign for his second term. We know that all the others didn't do a thing, and just at at the whitehouse twiddling their thumbs.

    January 29, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. We deserve better than this

    No matter which side of the issues you're on, we deserve a better dialog in these crucial elections than we get though petty name calling and belittling. Imagine an election cycle where candidates and party bosses actually compare ideas instead of "clever" and irrelevant one upmanship sound bites.

    January 29, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    The lack of civility shown by the leadership of the GOP/Tea Party towards the office of the Presidency is a disgrace.

    January 29, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. LouAz

    The Republican Party used to mean something, stand for some general principles about politics, commerce, citizenship, foreign policy. I voted for some Republicans over the years. Now . . . they are a meaningless, disconnected, wandering, bunch of little tribal groups that have no manners, no understanding of history, no respect for each other much less anyone else, and seem to be getting more trash mouthed daily. This constant invective and personal attacks serve no purpose but to further divide the citizens into adult or a spoiled child's choice.

    There is just no substance to the Republican Party anymore.

    January 29, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Sandy Feet

    Hmmmm this guy'a gonna get dumped by his party pretty soon I think... as Bugs would say...What a maroon!"

    January 29, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Randel Tony

    By the way has everybody notice this Priebus is like the ugly thing that comes out from the nose, which is phlegm or snot. Wipe it out before it looks more unbearable.

    January 29, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |

    I can't wait for another four years of Obama – maybe by then he can dig us out of the mess he was left with. I actually consider myself an independent, and in the past have considered voting for the Rebuplican candidate – but not this time around. Hate, rage and bitter finger pointing is all this group seems to be able to do. Good job GOP – way to bring your message to the people. Despite what you may believe – most "thinking" people do not react to hate-speech the way you want them to . . .

    January 29, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Rex

    What a terrible comparison. Captain Schettino hasn't had the audacity to ask for four more years and didn't say the shipwreck was George Bush's fault.

    January 29, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. GEETO

    George W. Bush is the captain who ran our ship of state aground. The Obama administration is the group that saved the passengers and is trying to right the ship. This nerdy little right-wing weasel, Priebus, doesn't have any facts to use against Obama so he has to make things up. His game is just as weak as the slate of Republican Presidential candidates.

    January 29, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. John

    More character assassination from the brain dead "family values" party.

    No comparison is too vile for some of these Tea Party nuts.

    January 29, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. tom

    Liberals are funny creatures. For 8 years we had to sustain comparisons of Bush and his camp to everything from the Devil to Hitler, but you make one comment about a coward who abounded his ship and wow the outrage!!! Really??

    January 29, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. sayquitter

    Clearly Obama is in charge of this ship, to go along with their comparison. I heard this guy on Face the Nation and am more surprised SChieffer didn't call him on that preposterous accusation, although is not the first time Bob Schieffer let republicans get away with vulgarities. Had that been a democrat doing this kind of nonsensical accusations, Schieffer would have been all over asking him or her to apologize.
    Had Obama not been at the helm the republican teapartiers would have succeeded sinking this ship, they have tried in almost every kind of way. Another stupidity this repub chairman said in that program is that Obama had not answered the proverbial 3:00am call, when he knows better than that. Their man W tried to make a circus of military operations, real or imagined but it took pres Obama to effectively pursue this military strategy/offensive against those fanatical groups headed by bin laden and other right wing extremists threat to this country, hiding behind a religious mantle.

    January 29, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. Keef

    Come on people, let's be fair: Raunch Previous (sorry, couldn't resist) didn't pick his name. His dippy parents did.

    Look, folks. He's like all those other GOP doofuses. You only need to remember one thing: if you throw a stick, sometimes they'll go away.

    January 29, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. brian in denver

    Will the GOP ever run out of such fools? Guess it's fitting that he's their Grand-Poopa (how did a classy guy like Michael Steele put up this nonsense?) His demeaning comparison of the President w/ the ship's captain is in the same genre as Brewer's finger in the face, or Joe Wilson's shout during the State of the Union address. So at least these folks are being consistent...

    January 29, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. CBR

    First, the United States of America is not going down. Many things in the country will be different after this economical downturn. However, let's look at the whole picture. We fought a war and never budgeted one cent for it. Is it any wonder that we have financial problems? It has been a very difficult three years for many people. Things are beginning to look up.
    Just look at what we do have – freedom. This President, like those before him, has kept us a free nation home to people of many different nationalities and religions. Those who have fallen on hard times need to know that we will make this nation stronger and better.

    This leader of the Republican Party is crude and rude. He has insulted the President and every other person who believes that we treat all people with respect. We can disagree but that does not open the door to this behaviour which is rampant in the Republican Party right now.

    January 29, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Elphaba

    This is the guy who has Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum fighting to be the to be the nominee of his party? Obviously, stupid runs deep in the Republican Party

    January 29, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Geo

    Thanks for convincing me to vote for Obama...

    January 29, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. BobInIrvine

    As Bugs would say, "What a maroon!"

    January 29, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. CoJo

    During Obama's time, Much of the hiring time increases came in the departments of homeland security, justice, veterans and defense. Ok and the republicans want to do a budget cut... shall we do it HS? Justice, VA, or defense. Please pick one or all. This if right out of White House's Office of Management and Budget (Source of my input CNN article)

    January 29, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. independent

    The GOTParty, a disgusting party of excesses: excess hate, excess hyperbole, excess ego, excess air. This man is a disgrace.

    January 29, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. MontanaSon

    That's a ridiculous comparison. Everyone knows that if Obama was the captain, he'd have sunk the whole ship and blamed the first mate.

    January 29, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. John in Brooklyn

    Regardless of how much you do or do not agree with a president's policies, comparing the Commander-in-Chief to the equivalent to abadoning ship is beyond inapppropriate. Simply put, he owes President Obama – not to mention, the Presidency – an apology.

    January 29, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Hey Priebus.....have you no decency? If that kind of comparison is what the Republican Party is all about and especially, with someone like you as chairman, you are surely going down in very real defeat come November. Your statement is pathetic.

    January 29, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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