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. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Actually, Obama's more like Sullenberger. He took a malfunctioning ship and landed it safely on a dangerous 'airfield' and is keeping it afloat despite the fact sharks like the GOP are circling and trying to capsize the plane.

    January 29, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Orwell proven

    Recall captains priebut and walker.

    January 29, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. hannah

    I would think this man is the captain of a sinking ship, the Republicans who are going to be voted out in droves in November. I have never seen so much anger and bickering in an election. It's like a three ring circus of pit bulls all trying to kill each other.

    January 29, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. Joe G

    that was my first thought when I look at that ship lying there ,,, CAPTAIN OBAMMA.,drowning country.

    January 29, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. Ralph Nalbandian

    The ship that is the U.S economy was run aground by none other than G.W. Bush (R). The new captain has done a tremendous job keeping it afloat. Given a few more years, we will be "sailing" again !!

    January 29, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. David in Vancouver WA

    Why do republicons always latch on to tragedy to twist it into something good for them? Because the only way they've gotten this far is by scaring the heck out of all the people who continue to vote for them. Republicons thrive in fear and deception – they are the root of what's evil in America today.

    January 29, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. not so swiftboat

    oh oh, one cheesehead has gone to curds and whey over the top. Dairy Spill you can cry about!!

    January 29, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Jon

    Obama is more like the leader of the rescue party who is getting blamed for all the dead and failing to recover the ship in a timely fashion.

    January 29, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. LWC

    They never cease to amaze me with their rudeness and lies.

    January 29, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Aztec Phil

    This guy is living in his own fantasy land. Here is another example of a Republican who does not care if his remarks have any basis in reality so long as they cast negative dispersions on the President. The GOP is getting desperate for material if all they can do is lash out against the president with the first thing that pops into their heads. It's like a man falling off a cliff and all he can do to get back at the guy who pushed him off is to hurl any insult that pops into his head as he falls.

    January 29, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |

    People died in that tragedy,..and this idiot is trying to score political points from it?...I beg to differ Pubis,.. Obama is Captain Sully of the Hudson miracle.

    January 29, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. jimatmadison

    Bush was the guy driving to boat when it went aground. Obama's the one getting her off the reef.

    January 29, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. CW

    Typical of the Republican Party. Mean spirited, unkind, disrespectful and inaccurate. How pathetic.

    January 29, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. fbythesea

    Priebus sounded and looked like a total clown laughing at his own joke. This is the head of the RNC? I don't think President Obama has anything to worry about. The caliber of the republican party, top to bottom, is indeed a big joke.

    January 29, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. PTBarnumboy

    Preibus + The Newster = 2 bomb throwers. Is it any wonder people have such a bad opinion of the Gop?

    January 29, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Jim

    Recall priebus or whatever it is we do to traitors.

    January 29, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  17. Gerry Daley

    God help us from morons like this clown and the rest of the GOP. They have no principles whatever – just insults, and a very bad case of amnesia about their giving us and supporting the worst president in American history...George Bush.

    January 29, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. Mike

    Wow. This is what's wrong with politics and why the R party (the party of Gingrich) won't be back in power in the near future. The R's have a real self-awareness problem. I truly believe they don't think they realize how much damage they do with statements like this. The Ds have their issues also, but they pale in comparison.

    January 29, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. 5041360

    rance is in a panic- he knows the numbers and they are awful- he is the capitan of the republican ship and will be held responsible for the oncoming disaster that will last for years- his name will become the new term for failure- bohner will be ranced!

    January 29, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. Del Miller

    Who IS this turkey? I've never heard of him! I once was a Republican but I got smart and now I'm a registered Independent. Thank goodness I saw the light, I would not THINK of being a associated with a person like this!

    January 29, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. DethroneKingHusein

    This is the worlds greatest nation, we can elect a man of color and criticize him when he has failed and not once mention his race.

    January 29, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. Uppity Again Speaks

    Trash talk from a potty mouth.

    January 29, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. Dorothy

    What a heartless thing to say.

    January 29, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  24. Weasley

    Just more blather from the party who puts the GOP First and America Second. Besides, we all know that the Real train wreck was ex President Bush. So blaming President Obama over and over again might sway the GOP rank-and-file, who sadly are very susceptible to Jedi mind tricks, but know one else.

    January 29, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  25. MP in VA

    Thank you, Priebus, for making this independent's vote for Obama that much easier. You don't think the President can get any work done when he's out on the road? And, please enlighten me as to what work for the "people" the four Republican candidates are doing while they're out on the road. Oh, that's right, none.

    January 29, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
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