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. mary

    What was he thinking? Even Repubicans have to admit that was one bone headed thing to say.

    January 29, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. DoNotWorry

    I'm tired of the party that wants the financial industry to continue to run amuck and bring the economy even lower. I'm tired of my tax money being given to megacorporations that have no vested interest in the United States' success. Once a corporation has gone global, it is no longer a U.S. corporation in behavior or loyalty and should not get tax writeoffs, welfare, nothing. Time to cut them off before they finish what they started with the global meltdown.

    January 29, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. DoNotWorry

    Lie. Lie Bigger. Lie until someone believes it.

    January 29, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. JameyCarothers

    This fruitcake just described Rick Perry.

    January 29, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. Olaf Big

    What's wrong with rebublicans? This comparison is both absurd and insulting. Schettino jumped a sinking ship. Last time I checked, Obama was still in the Oval office, and our country, with all its problems was not going belly up. This is just bad manners.

    January 29, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. jim

    yet more conservatives who can't accept facts. they HAVE no worthwhile facts, and so, they resort to name calling. they don't realize they just wind up looking stupid.

    January 29, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  7. Merle Hill

    One sick loser...President Obama we're with you...A November win will be yours. Let the "r's" bury themselves!!!

    January 29, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. Jan

    Just when you thought the Republicans could sink no lower, this trained parrot squawks and insults the President who has been a true gentlemen and has done his best to help our country while the Republicans have told the country to go to hell for the sake of politics.

    January 29, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Tomz

    I'd say instead of the Schettino, he's more of a Captain Sully. Yes, things are going badly, but he fairly safely stopped the steep descent we were in at the end of 2008.

    January 29, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. steven harnack

    I'm sure that tommorow he will be saying that he was only joking and telling people that they need to get a sense of humor.Why is it that the Republikan idea of humor is always so downright mean and nasty? I'm 60 and in my lifetime I've never seen such disrespect and meanness directed at the President. Since he is none of the things that they accuse him of being, and they have to know it, it doesn't leave much to explain it, does it?

    January 29, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  11. Matthew Stafford

    This is disgusting. I have only voted GOP in the past, but after watching what has happened over the past 3 years I can't say I'll do the same in 2012. We need to purge people like Reince Priebus from the party! They are a disgrace to this country.

    January 29, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  12. Chedar

    Mr Priebus your former boss Mr Bush did not abandon our ship. He literary destroy the ship and try to sink it with Cheney. It's our hero Obama who is trying the save this sinking ship. Shame on you brainless JERK!

    January 29, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    Really? Rinse Pubis and all you other Republican yahoos, read the following:

    Economy = No Great Depression; 22 straight months of private sector job growth
    Security = Out of Iraq; bin Laden gone; al Qaeda greatly reduced as a threat; transitioning out of Afghanistan
    Investment = Money here at home for infrastructure, jobs, education, research; rewarding companies that bring back/keep jobs here in the States
    Foreign = Improved standing in the world; better cooperation from other nations when needed
    Outlook = Positive belief in America, faith in our people, calling on our better natures to stand together and do the hard work to continue moving forward
    Fairness = Calling on ALL Americans to do their part and pay their fair share to maintain and sustain our country (with the backing of wealthy folks like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, among others)

    The choice is clear: Obama/Biden 2012

    January 29, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  14. Robert

    Below the belt, disrespectful and racism lite....classy representative you got there Republicans.

    January 29, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  15. ron07

    Are there any sane, intelligent people left in the leadership position of the republican party?

    January 29, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Ray from Bisbee, AZ

    Absolutely disgusting . . . Republican party leaders should be ashamed to have sunk so low. Or perhaps they are simply panicked at the inevitability of an Obama re-election.

    January 29, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  17. sbul

    What happened to the intellectual wing of the GOP? It sure isn't leading the party, what used to be a Grand ole Party has fallen to new lows. Will they ever get their head out of their,...?

    January 29, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. DV

    after this, I have no doubt President Obama is going to be re-elected.

    January 29, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  19. Miguel

    Hahaha, so much self righteous indignation being displayed but the dems on this comment... of course an off the cuff remark that slighted another party has never in history ever been made by the DNC or any of it's members.... unless you could Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi, or Sheila Jackson Lee, or Maxine Waters.... the list goes on.

    Before the DNC or dems cloak themselves in integrity – try looking at the history, I recall a great deal of very harsh language and slander from some very flawed politicos in the dem party against many republican presidents and leaders.

    .... save the indignation, it does not suit those trying to pull it off as though they were saints themselves.

    January 29, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. Np

    Same old rhetoric from the GOP. Even moderate conservatives don't believe
    that bull . The Republican party is in deep trouble if they think that Obama
    is as bad as they say he his...American people aren't stupid.

    January 29, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  21. Dee

    yeah.. we'll see who's laughing in November!! OBAMA 2012!! LETS GOOO!! Good luck in 2024 GOP.. because the next 3 elections are going DEMOCRAT!

    January 29, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. NJBob

    Priebus is such a pitiful little man.

    January 29, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  23. Norm

    This guy looks like he competes in the Special Olympics.....

    January 29, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  24. the pirate

    To compare our President to that coward is simply disgusting! It proves there is no depth to which the Republicans will not stoop. Seventeen lives were lost and that man will face trial for any number of maritime infractions. He is a symbol of cowardice and betrayal.
    All Pres. Obama has done is keep us safe, (shot the pirates holding the Capt. of Maersk Alabama; killed Bin Laden and many, many of his top aides. Gotten us out of Itaq, did a great job with Libya.
    The economy would have responded better by now if he had received ANY support from the GOP. But they did the UNPATRIOTIC thing and obstructed his efforts and they screwed us all.
    He has brought our foreign policy ahead by light years after the disaster these clowns left. And this is the complete lack of respect which the show the man?? They should all rot !! Slowly........These Republicans are a VERY small minded crew. And for that they will loose and loose BIG!!

    January 29, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. NOGOP

    Once again, No solutions...only soundbites. People pay attention, these GOP parasites are getting ready to hold the country hostage again over keystone by attaching it to another bill. This oil is to be sold to China, poison our water and leave us with the cleanup costs with no job creation or benefit to our economy. Research this bill, people need to know the truth, and the GOP have been paid off to do this.

    January 29, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
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