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. Blame Bush

    His words are in-line with the insane rhetoric from the GOP and right wing talk shows ever since Obama won.

    This GOP'er will send his money and vote to the DEMs again this year until the GOP regains its sanity.

    January 29, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. Ja-Coffalotte

    Too bad the clowns in the GOP circus have no chance.

    January 29, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. skarphace

    It was Bush who crashed the ship and Obama who took over the recovery efforts. Seeing as we did not sink into a depression, as predicted by some, but stabalized was a good and lucky thing. Could Obama have done better if he had hindsight? Probably. Would a Republican have done worse? Most likely.

    The only Republican that I think could do better next term is Ron Paul. If he is not nominated, my vote will go to Obama once again in November.

    January 29, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. yuhmad

    Republicans=Dr. No
    Republicans=The Party of No

    Obama 2012

    January 29, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. buckup

    Firstmate Priebut, now that you have abandoned the Walker ship, how goes it on the sinking of the GOP?

    If Walker is convicted of felonies in the impending John Doe indictments, are you going to share a cell?

    Will he be indicted before being recalled?

    January 29, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |

    AHHHH! Nothing like a little tragedy to make a political point. Hey

    Mr. Priebus, 11 yrs ago the twin towers were knocked down and over 3000 people perished.

    You may want to try that one next time, I'm pretty sure that won't come off as TOO SOON and AWKWARD

    January 29, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. cro-mag

    The ship analogy absolutely nails it on the head, we had Bush as captain of the U.S.S. Economy for 8 years and he ran the boat aground and severely damaged its hull on the rocks then proudly declared "mission accomplished" tossed the keys to Obama and walked away. Since then Bush's loyal shipmates (the republicans) have publicly blamed the shipwreck on Obama and talked about the debt incurred to the country while not allowing anything to be spent on repairing the hull of the ship, and described him as ineffective at getting the ship back out to sea, despite all of this the Dow is back up over 12,000 and unemployment rates are starting to ease down, now how will they spin that? No doubt they will ask us to drink the kool-aid while they drink the expensive grog.

    January 29, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. BunnyBunny

    Republicans have no ideas, no plans of any worth. The moon? lowering taxes on the super RICH even more? So, they think up smart alec remarks to gain attention. They have tried to belittle everything Obama has done. From saving General Motors to killing Bin Laden. The republican party is dead. You can tell by who they have running for POTUS.

    January 29, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. the truth

    Let's see, when exactly is President Obama going to present a balanced budget?

    January 29, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. geeble

    How mature. The GOP is a bunch of disgruntled playground brats.

    January 29, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. P O'Neill

    Reince Priebus? I had never heard of him until somebody told a very bad joke that Rance Priebus' father skippered Hitler's catamaran during World War II. I previously had thought he was a made up cartoon character. Where do these people come from? Is this person Priebus some type of slapstick comedian? His joke about the President and the Italian cruise ship tragedy is simply racist and the one about his father Mr. Priebus skippering Hitler's catamaran in WW II is also out of line. Let's keep the clowns in the circus.

    January 29, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. G Foster

    Yet another example of scorched earth Republican politics, willing to make any insulting and rude comment on what amounts to their own failings.

    January 29, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. whoppi

    i'm done with obama, he is a waste, to bad he cant be jusr removed by his peers immediately, he is hated and needs to GO!

    January 29, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. Linda

    When some one close to this man dies in a horrific way, let's use it to make fun of someone. This guy and his party are a bunch of sociopaths! Or psychopaths ...they have no sense of what is real, what is right or wrong, they simply hate

    January 29, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. RW

    This guy sounds like a side effect of electile dysfunction, as in "if you experience a Reince Priebus lasting more than 30 seconds, vote Obama 2012". Remem, like herpes, there's no cure for conservatives!

    January 29, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Veritas

    The republicans have lost all human dignity. As long as ordinary people realize who the GOP is for they will vote for Obama and not the ultra wealthy, religious creeps, and big oil.

    January 29, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. Yepit'sme

    ...and when asked about the latest floundering of the Republican Party, Priebus said, "Oh, that was Michael Steele's fault, I inherited these problems."

    January 29, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  18. Veritas

    The republicans have lost all human dignity. As long as ordinary people realize who the GOP is for, they will vote for Obama and not the ultra wealthy, religious zealots, and big oil.

    January 29, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. AZMN

    I think we hit rock bottom with Capt. Geo W Bush at the helm... or rather out to lunch!!!

    January 29, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. Leslie

    What a low life,name calling is typical for Republicans, no surprise!

    January 29, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. applepious1

    Wow, classy, cracking jokes about an event that killed a dozen people.

    January 29, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. j mann

    Too soon, GOP. Too soon.

    January 29, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. Jason

    and the whole country says collectively about Priebus "WHO?".... the GOP finds yet another talking head who looks as awkward in his skin as I've every seen a person. It's almost like the leaders of the GOP sign their soul to the devil and then can barely stand to go through with it. So sad... OBAMA 2012!!!

    January 29, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. Pete/Ark

    and to whom does he compare the Republican members of the House who have spent more time on the re-election trail than they have in session...the Nazi Concentration Camp guards who looked the other way because they were only following orders...??????

    January 29, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  25. LE117

    Republicans are masters at manipulating people with this kind of talk to get the emotional reaction they want. Their base will eat this up because they won't actually think about what he's saying and realize how stupid it really is. If anyone should be compared with Schettino it should be Bush. It was Bush who was at the helm when the housing bubble grew and burst and we fell into the worst recession since the Great Depression. You'd think no one would be dumb enough to be taken in by this, but million of Republicans voters prove otherwise.

    January 29, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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