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. Clear Minded Middle Ground

    That is such a clueless thing for Priebus to say. 8 years with the GOP trying to convince us that GW Bush was a good president, then they try to con us into thinking Palin (or anyone who would pick Palin) is appropriate for higher office. To think that McCain/Palin would have done a better job with the mess this president inherited is nonsense.

    The far right is wrong about climate change, they are wrong about trickle down economics, they are wrong to get in the way of healthcare reform while basically doing nothing to make it better, they are wrong that big business needs less regulation and more blindly trusting them (it's what got us in this financial mess actually). America needs to wake up so we can shift the whole conversation away from the Fox News echo chamber, and into a more productive, reality based arena.

    January 29, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Paul

    Long over surprise by how immoral this party of losers has become. Nothing – nothing whatsoever – matters but power. Disgusting animals, anymore. Sad – a principled debate is good for this country. The circus that has become the GOP, turning Barry Goldwater over in his grave, is a travesty.

    January 29, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. Dorothy

    What a thing to say

    January 29, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Joe G

    COSTA CONCORDIA laying in the water like that is what our country condition is today.CAPT. obamma,TY

    January 29, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Raj Raina

    The republican Rented Prius makes me want to support Pres. Obama even though I was leaning Republican this time.

    January 29, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. carly

    Every day the GOP sinks to lower depth because of their utter desperation. Can't wait to see all of them voted out in the coming election.

    January 29, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. KMC

    I will remember the party that promoted these types of insults – and respond accordingly – in the voting booth.
    What the heck happened to the GOP? Fat heads , the whole lot of them. A complete and utter example of failure.
    You want us to trust you to take care of our country ? You can't even take care of yourselves.

    January 29, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. Janis

    It is difficult to believe that a Republican in power actually made this comment! Bush got us in this mess and President Obama has work extremely hard to get us back on the right track. He also maintains his class and good sense of humor despite all of the criticism thrown his way from people who are not doing their homework. President Obama will prevail next November because enough people know that he needs the time to finish what he is trying to do. And BTW, which president in history did not campaign for the next election??? I don't see how he has a choice!

    January 29, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Don't worry Republics . . .

    your ODS will end in January 2017 . . .

    January 29, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. mcp123

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

    You can dream...but republicans seem to forget that its they that are the failboat captains...whats our republican choice? A mormon or a multiple philanderer who doesn't have an ounce of character in his body.

    Will enjoy you crying in your truffle soup come this fall..

    January 29, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Ray Rutt

    The republicans are all about every man, woman, and child for themselves. Sounds like Capt. Schettnio is a republican.

    January 29, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  12. Dave

    and whats with the "little" part of the comment? "and we're going to talk about our own little Captain Schettino, which is President Obama."

    I think that the job of POTUS is a bit more important than captain of a cruise ship. Hence "little" makes zero sense here, much like the rest of the statement. What an idiot. Obama is going to win so big in November, I know that the repubs haven't come to terms with that yet, but it is so true. Their party is in a free fall.

    January 29, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Sid Prejean

    Go to any supermarket in any state, red or blue, in the United States. The people coming out are worried about the economy, worried about keeping their jobs, and hoping that things get better. Many are disappointed in President Obama, and are looking for a better alternative. Notbut a very small handful believe he's a sociaist muslim, that he's Captain What's His Name, or that he hates America and what we believe in.
    The more that the GOP relies on vapid and snotty insults and avoids presenting the American people with a solid, positive alternative. the more the American people will turn their backs on wild rhetoric and empty leadership. They may not be in love with President Obama, but they'll reelect him resoundingly over the chorus of nonsense the GOP presents.

    January 29, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. Dick Cheney is the smegma of mankind

    Wrong, fatso, it was the shrub that left the U.S.S. United States on the rocks in 2007.

    President Obama was handed a bucket after Paulson started bailing and told to continue bailing.

    The President has done a fine job, righting the ship, given that the GOP is a band of heartless, heathen pirates, trying to keep the ship onshore.

    January 29, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. BillInLA

    Wow, this is fascinating. The Republican capacity for what a psychologist would call "transference" continues to astound.

    If the United States has ever had a Captain Schettino act-alike as President (after Republican Grover Cleveland), it is George Bush II. George Senior was an OK President. Clinton a great President. Barack Obama didn't run the economy aground, and admittedly, in three years he has not quite recovered it from the shoals Bush left it on. Nor has he yet figured a rational way out of the Bush quagmire in Afghanistan.

    But he has gotten us out of Bush's crazy little war in Iraq, which left Iran with greater influence in that country than us. A SEAL team did get bin Laden on Obama's watch, after Bush's failure to put enough troops on the ground in Tora Bora cost us ten years of war in Afghanistan.

    So who is really our Captain Schettino? It's fairly obvious. And it's equally obvious that this fellow in charge of the Republican Party is a not case.

    January 29, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. Independent voter

    I am not very happy with President Obama' performance, but I do not understand when we have lost our civility.Why do not concentrate on issues and only wanted the cheap political stunts? This negativity will push me and people like me to not to vote for a republican candidate!!

    January 29, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. rgrahamok

    Reince Priebus is irrelevant.

    January 29, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. Steve/Oklahoma

    What a mean little BOY. He must have got chased home every night after school because he's such a wuss.

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

    Well, this is exactly the kind of wacky crazy that is going to deny the GOP a victory in 2012. These guys are not serious. They can't be trusted with high office. Look at what they did to our economy, to our standing in the world, to our credibility and to our credit! Enough of these clowns.

    January 29, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. whoppi

    obama or romney , they are one in the same

    January 29, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. Boo

    Nice try dude. Behold the ugly American.

    January 29, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. Hypocrisy

    Which president and party deliberately and recklessly abandoned and prolonged the Afghan war to start their illegitimate Iraqi war, murdering thousands of our troops in the process in both conflicts? Which president and party left the American people to fend for themselves with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression? If you guess GWB and the GOP you're right! Talking about abandoning ship!

    January 29, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. Paul Cooper

    How many of those here pretending to be offended by this rather mild critique of the president are equally offended by the Chairwomen of the Democratic National Committee spending the last year claiming that it was conservatives who were responsible for Jared Loughner's shooting spree in Tucson? I'll bet you all cheer her on, even though you know what she says is an outright lie and far more vile than what Priebus has said.

    January 29, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  24. herb

    And the Republican's have Captain Corporate Raider,Captain Pervert,and they had Captain Nut (take your pick there) Bachmann or Palin or Paul.Go Republicans.......please just go.

    January 29, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. Harry Baxter

    In many foreign countries, including some in the Western Hemisphere, this fool would have been arrested for a comment like this. We could learn something from them. When does Free Speech become Treason? I think that we're past the transition line.

    January 29, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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