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. Eduardo

    How insensitive and delusional can the republicans get? they're inhuman.

    January 30, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  2. Greater Good

    Obama's biggest flaw, if you could call it that, is trying to do too much for people. This is an unfortunate comparison on a number of levels, but primarily because the ship's captain presumably did nothing to help his passengers.

    The bumbling GOP once again is digging down deeper and coming up muddier...

    January 30, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  3. John N Florida

    Priebus is tied in to that scandal breaking in WI even as we speak. There could be a deposition or warrant in his near future.

    January 30, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  4. Daniel

    Mr. Priebus:

    Do you remember New Orleans immediately after Katrina? How did that work out? Please consider your rhetoric before opening your mouth!

    January 30, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  5. DrewL

    Actually, George W. Bush was our Captain Schettino, if there was one. He took this country right down the proverbial toilet.

    January 30, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  6. Bright Light

    Priebus is not playing with a full deck. This is an invalid comparison and one that makes Priebus look like a fool. The US has one of the best Presidents in modern history. It is easy to see why Obama will be re-elected this November. Priebus will ive to rue the day he attacked the President with his own delusions. Priebus , obviously, has some sort of mental illness. People like Priebus make us appreciate the intelligence and class our President Obama possesses.

    January 30, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. matt houst

    Republicans really have no idea what they are doing to their own image do they?

    If Obama is like the ship captain...after ridding the world of a horde of Al qaeda leaders and Bin Laden, and improving the economic mess that the last Republican monkeys created in America...

    Then Bush must be like the village idiot who came from a family who could not tell who the enemy was until it was too late...and then stayed friends with the enemy's family after they found out. OH wait....that actually is Bush in real life.

    January 30, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  8. Video Guy

    When can we expect the GOP to start showing this Present a little respect.

    January 30, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  9. Pedron

    Gingrich will teach you a good lesson of being fair and just!

    January 30, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  10. Alan

    This is news-worthy?

    January 30, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  11. Jacob M

    I'm not surprised by the rhetoric used here. This man is in charge of leading the RNC to victory in the 2012 general elections. The DNC leadership has said similar things in the past.

    I'm not surprised. I'm appalled, but I'm not surprised.

    January 30, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  12. Peter

    It's always amusing to see people attacking Obama for not bailing water fast enough after their failed policies finally ran the US Ship aground in 08. Quite the contrary: Had it not been for Obama's intelligent stewardship at that time, we'd have easily slipped into a Depression. Look up the facts.

    January 30, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  13. Mark

    News flash to Priebus – the Republican Party long ago abandoned the American middle and lower classes in favor of big business and wealthy Americans.

    January 30, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  14. Lenny Pincus

    Actually, it is great to see the near universal disdain America has for Priebus and his ignorance. Thankfully, I'm not a Republican so I can rest easy knowing this moron doesn't represent me.

    January 30, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  15. mike

    That is about the stupidest analogy I've ever heard. Not surprising coming from a lump like Priebus.

    January 30, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  16. Greg

    What is a priebus anyway? He just makes a fool of himself with such a stupid statement. He needs to right his own "ship of fools" before opening his pie hole.

    January 30, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  17. steve

    It's a take on the Willie Horton adds. The Republican Party began to decline under the first President Bush and has now hit rock bottom. It is doomed in November – neither Romney or Gingrich will win, and the question is will it hold on to the House of Representatives.

    January 30, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  18. LJ

    Where in this guys comments did he offend anyone but Obama?

    January 30, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  19. st

    What do the GOP call the treason they have committed the last three years?

    January 30, 2012 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  20. andy stolinger

    another day another republican clown makes another funny ignorant statement. This is news? And the republican supporters writing comments cant even spell correctly.

    January 30, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  21. phelonius_munk

    i see, obama tours the country promoting the plans he announced in the sotu address and he is "jumping ship on the american public". funny that every single president does the same thing every single year. these lies just make republicans look all the more pathetic. can you not come up with a legitimate criticism?

    January 30, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  22. kww

    The GOP is so furious that they couldn't lie, cheat and steal their way into the presidency ( like they did in 2000 and 2004 ) they would rather destroy our country than to see Obama re-elected.

    January 30, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  23. psk

    Take Priebus down. He isn't worthy of the position,

    January 30, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  24. Tray

    Its very sad to see such disrespect for our leader, our Commander in Chief. It is uncalled for to compare him to the cowardly ship captain that deserted his crew and passengers. Is this the type of leadership the GOP wants? This will surely help sway swing voters AWAY from the GOP. Cant believe they can't figure that out. Karma will catch up and the GOP is likely to pay a price for such reckless words.

    January 30, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  25. EdSantaFe

    Priebus is a pig.

    January 30, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
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