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. McCain-in-4

    Wow. I never thought I would hear anything like "BetrayUs" coming from such upstanding citizens. Guess I'm wrong. Thats $200 to the Re-elect Obama Campaign, along with my apologies.

    January 29, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. Mark

    What happened to our American values of at least respecting the office of the President no matter who is sitting there? I am making a donation to Obama's reelection because I'm just sick an tired of this name-calling by the Republicans.

    January 29, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. John

    This just shows how far over the edge the Republican party has gone. Looking more and more like a Democratic landslide in November!

    January 29, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. Steve

    The disrespect heaped upon this President is appalling. With regard to his policies everyone of course has the right to disagree. But he is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES for crying out loud. It is embarrassing! People need to stop and think before they spew hate. The office should always be held in esteem regardless of your views of the man who holds it.

    January 29, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. Alex in Wisconsin

    Hey GOP, news flash from 2008, The ship was already sinking...

    January 29, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  6. JR

    Not that Obama was able to or has done wonders, but those who talk like they have all the answers, are they willing to say if they can't fix it they will give up everything? No! Once they get their new job, they will have already forgot all the crap they have thrown, and the promises they have made. I believe that Obama is honest and trying to find the answers. And the wisdom of 4 years of battle and conflicts has harden and toughen him up. Also, since the Rep. know he will not then be able to run for another term, they will no longer need to bash him at every turn and maybe they will be able to make some decisions that include the majority middle of politics. Time will tell.

    January 29, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. Jacquie

    President Obama is the real hero here, because just as theRethuglican rats left the sinking ship of a 2008 America, they passed the wreck off to President Obama and then poked big holes in his rescue boats to prevent him from doing more to save this country. I think this Priebus guy is doing the Republicans no favors making this comparison. However, smart people know better...and we aren't taking that stinkin cruise again. OBAMA 2012....stay the ships course.

    January 29, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. Shirleyone

    No wonder our country is in trouble. It's because idiots like him can't think an intelligent thought or express themselves with any either. When will politicians get the point that we aren't stupid, don't need to be entertained with ignorant remarks like that. He's as smart as most of the GOP candidates. And then there's Perry! He endorses and it's like the 'kiss of death". LOLOLOL What will they think of next!

    January 29, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. Fritz

    Reince Priebus is NOBODY.

    January 29, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  10. gran

    The GOP just can't get any more pathetic. They have been on a mission since the day after the 2008 presidential election. What have they done for the country lately? They want tax cuts for the wealthy and, if they had their way, General Motors and Ford would no longer be in business with thousands and thousands more unemployed. The only autos available would be foreign. Of course they have no problem with foreign made products. Nice job GOP!

    January 29, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  11. ThePreacherTheTeacherFromNJ

    Funny, I can think of a few Republicans to whom that label would apply, like Sarah Palin, Mark Sanford...

    January 29, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  12. Nick

    This is from the Party chairman the approval rating of which is going down after he become Chairman; Hey guy, your ship is sinking while you are pointing fingers. LOL.

    January 29, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  13. Will

    The GOP is Captain Ahab from the book moby dick. They are obsessed, with destroying the whale,(Obama) and that is eating them alive consuming everything about the GOP.

    January 29, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  14. Lindon Richards

    Yes, so according to the RNC Chairman, it is fun to and virtuous to call commence his party's campaign by calling the president names! This is the kind of foolishness that we are supposed to use to help us make a decision to cast our vote for whomever his GOP end putting on the ballot. I would appreciate any serious effort to define this as anything other than contempt for the electorate that it is.

    January 29, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  15. Saboth

    Yeah, Obama really seems to be jumping ship. More like, he's on deck, trying to save the passengers (the United States) by issuing orders, but the crew (Republicant's) are mutinying, determined to kill everyone on board as long as they get the captain too.

    January 29, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  16. DemDogg

    Personally, I prefer the comparison inferred by "Benedict Obama."

    January 29, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  17. Junius Gallio

    I only regret that this kind of attack has become typical from the Republicans. Makes me regret that I used to be registered with them.

    January 29, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  18. mahmoud el-darwish

    "running around the country and campaigning."
    Shoot! that's all that Bush Jr. did for 8 years !

    January 29, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  19. mighty7

    Stay Classy GOP. And thanks for the help.

    OBAMA 2012!!!

    January 29, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  20. Evan

    Has any other president ever been hounded to release his birth certificate? Has any other president been interrupted wail addressing congress by a congressman shouting something? Has any president ever had a Governor of a state get in his face wagging her finger at him when they were so pose to accompany the president to an event that the president was speaking at? Republicans wont you to think that Obama is some how substantially different from all other presidents when in reality he is just like them, just look at his handling of being commander in chief, most everyone would say he has done well, but in many ways (Guantanamo ext) his is more or less the same. For his domestic policies he got some big things done but they were more or less in line with what has been talked about for a long time, they were also passed on partisan lines, which never happens-jk. At a certain point with all of this you have to realize that it is almost all about racism.

    January 29, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  21. dave

    They keep complaining because the President is campaigning during a campaing year... they would love for him not to campaign because they think it would help their chances... right now i dont think he really needs to campaign because they (republican candidates) are doing a wonderful job at convincing the people why we still need President Obama!

    January 29, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  22. Peter Bradley

    Ah, me (yawn). Just another Republican "leader" offering proof and assurance that we MUST re-elect the President to ensure the safety of our democratic republic. Where do they get these guys? Are they breeding them?

    January 29, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  23. Tisha

    Really?? This guy should be ashamed. Bush caused the ship wreck and Obama has been trying to fix the mess. The GOP is pathetic.

    January 29, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  24. dave

    Funny... this story didnt make it on to fox news...

    January 29, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  25. tony

    If you are a republican voter with an IQ of around 30 and no schooling whatsoever, then I think Priebuses remarks will make good sense and be really appreciated.

    January 29, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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