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. fhwilson429

    Maybe if the media would take 15 seconds off their adoration tour for the incompetent Obama they would notice that he is wrecking the country.

    January 30, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  2. Eddie B

    Funny how Bush was the guy who sank this ship and didn't even step out to address the American people for a while when the markets were crashing. He then got out of office and hasn't appeared since.

    January 30, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  3. paulbark

    We've seen the GOP has nothing positive to offer. They spend time attacking each other and attacking Obama. Negative hate won't win the election for the GOP. Their only solutions involve going back to past GOP initiatives – giving rich people more money and deregulating. It didn't work before, and it's not the solution to today's problems.

    January 30, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  4. paulbark

    Hate, lies, and fear. It's the backbone of the GOP. America can see through the fraud.

    January 30, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  5. Just a thought

    This knuckle dragger and any such person that would support this clown should be shown the exit from public view. This country doesn't need to be represented by idiots.

    January 30, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  6. phil

    Zaphod Beeblebrox is alive and well

    January 30, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  7. NiSolihp

    This kind of bizarre, almost idiotic, comparisons is just par for the course. It is a typical strategy to deflect the attention from the utter lack of |leadership" within the GOP. The contenders who had some potential are sitting it out and center-stage is an unprecedented mud-wrestling competing with utterly irresponsible and regressive policy sound-bites. Newt or Rick Santorum are trying to revive medieval-era social stances...lesser said the better about Mitt Romney, who has none.

    January 30, 2012 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  8. Grumpy Old Lady

    This is why I've given up on Republicans. They say the most outlandish things that they lose all credibility. I didn't even finish the article this time. Not worth the time!

    January 30, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  9. TheLord

    This guy should change his name to Gobbels, bottom feeder.

    January 30, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  10. Timothy Jay Smith

    These Republicans will say anything. I wish they'd go find their own country to destroy.

    January 30, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  11. Franny

    These cowards are saying this because the truth is they're all terrified to up against President Obama our Nija President. He's going to rip whoever gets the nomination, and I can't wait! Go Obama 2012!

    January 30, 2012 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  12. robinhunter

    An odd comparison for the GOP (Give Others Poverty) to make. After all, it was George W. Bush who was piloting the nation's ship when it veered way off course and crashed into the rocks. Nearly every federal dime spent since then has been on recovering from the shipwreck that was Bush-Cheney.

    January 30, 2012 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  13. LouieD

    Looks like Rinse Peinis is the Captain Kangaroo of American politics.

    January 30, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  14. lemmam

    obama is hurting the job market in the USA. what a fool to shut down ALL drilling in the Gulf of Mexico last year. If there was one airline crash, would he shut down the entire airline industry? And the refusal to go with the pipeline will cost up to 60,000 jobs. obama is a social worker, not a president

    January 30, 2012 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  15. Homer

    Nothing "shocking" about the comparison that I could see. What 's shocking is that Obama and Holder haven't been indited

    January 30, 2012 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  16. jerry

    Once upon a time there were intelligent Republicans. I didn't agree with them, but I did respect the smart ones. Now that's over. They live, eat and breathe hatred. All out of their mouths is foul. And their handful of "moderates" sit quietly by, afraid to challenge the disgusting mob they are part of. May they drown in their own vomit.

    January 30, 2012 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  17. Nick

    This coming from a political party where the leading GOP nominee wants to put a base on the moon with 13,000 Americans within the next 9 years. Yup, that about sums it up.

    January 30, 2012 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  18. Tim

    THIS?...THIS is a guy heading a national political organization? You have GOT TO be kiddin...THIS guy? Is this the best Republicans can find? OMG, what an embarrassment.

    January 30, 2012 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  19. Useless Republican

    The useless suits in the Republican party have spoken. If that's what Obama is, then what are the Republicans? I know useless citizens.

    January 30, 2012 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  20. Matt What is shocking is all the clueless Obama lovers. Obama and the Dems are ruining this country. They think the gov't deserves a say in everything we do with our lives. Whether it is what we put in our refrigerators or what we have in our bank accounts, thy want their hands in our daily lives. I say NO! No more Obama!!

    January 30, 2012 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  21. mrhapiguy

    Haha that's a good one Priebus. What? Too soon?

    January 30, 2012 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  22. Eric

    It's the typical 'conservative' poutrage, that we've come to expect from the GOP.

    January 30, 2012 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  23. MittForPres2012

    This is just part of the ongoing Republican strategy. After all, "people are generally stupid", or so some people might believe. This is just their way of appealing to the "ignorant masses". Say stupid, hateful things like this and you'll attract a whole bunch of people–all stupid and hateful themselves–perhaps a huge bunch to your side. The Republicans already hate the media calling it liberal. The media is based at its root on literature, meaning you have to be literate in order to be involved in it. The type of people the Republicans seem to be trying to appeal to tends to leave people like this out. The Republicans hate college professors cause they're "liberal". Whole college campuses are liberal. Pretty soon, they'll be hating everyone with an IQ over 60, as they'll all be liberal because the GOP has collected everyone else all on their side.

    January 30, 2012 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  24. Bob Ramos

    "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."

    When Obama participated in the rescue of the two folks held by the pirates, did he abandon the American people? When Obama gave the SOTU address and propose consolidation of some major agencies, did he abandon the American people? This guy will make the Repubs long for the days of Mike Steele. He proves that the RNC is captive to the party's right wing.

    January 30, 2012 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  25. GaryB

    As an independent with a fair number of very partisan, conservative, Republican friends, I've observed a big problem with some Republicans. When they make these sort of over the top and frankly, lame, jokes, they think they're being clever and they don"t understand why normal Americans are laughing at them and not laughing with them. On the other hand, I observed similar behavior from some of my more liberal friends during the Bush years (although for whatever reason, lberal cracks tend to be a little funnier and a little more rooted in reality that conservative jokes).

    January 30, 2012 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
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