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. Sage Sophos

    This why this clown was elected as the Gop Chairman, "Reince is committed to uniting the Republican Party to reach our common goal – electing Republicans. With sound fiscal stewardship, a dedication to conservative principles." You see someone like Mitt Romney who has been running for the last 7 years! Mitts helped elect Preibus, and all the other Republican governors who like cutting ribbons without crediting where the money came from.

    January 30, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  2. d

    When will the RNC chairman finally come out donning Nazi regalia?

    January 30, 2012 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  3. Totoro0101

    That's rich coming from THIS guy as we watch the war between the establishment and the rank and file GOP. Shut up Priebus, you're worthless!

    January 30, 2012 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  4. Blucorsair

    Obama is the most expensive leader in mankinds history adding over $5 trillion to our national debt in less than 3 years! Even 8 years of G.W. Bush never even came close to down grading our bonds and devalueing our currency ("O"bucks) that's killing americans at the grocery store and at the pump! The Costa Concordia at least had a cowardly capt. that made sure he wasn't in harms way after he wrecked the ship and it went down, but Obama isn't even that smart! Our Bozo president is trying to tell us why he sank our boat and expects us to understand and ride it all the way to the bottom! ...maybe someday he"ll explain his foriegn student loan to us as Kenyan student at Occidental college!'ll be a whooper too!

    January 30, 2012 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  5. Debra From Georgia

    From the mouth of their great leader Ronald Reagan< "There you go again."

    January 30, 2012 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  6. Andy

    The current Republican party is rabid with hatred. Hatred for Obama, )Hatred for gay people, hatred for liberals, hatred for anyone not like them. The educated fiscal conservatives within the party should be frightened. Increasingly the party is becoming so far right with the tea party influence as to be almost anarchist in nature, mixed with social phobias.

    January 30, 2012 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  7. Chief Media Urologist

    And you, Mr. Priebus, are the leader of the rats fleeing the ship. You wrecked it. You abandoned it. You blamed the crew that took your miserable place and righted the vessel. You give no credit, only selfish pleas for your jobs back.

    Go jump in a lake.

    January 30, 2012 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  8. Tony in Maine

    Priebus reminds me of the little snot on the playground who calls people names and then runs to stand beside the teacher.

    January 30, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  9. Courtney

    The chairman of the Republican Party is way out of line. Instead of running on the difference of policies, he has to engage in personal attacks. What he said about President Obama is untrue, and the chairman should be ashamed of himself. It is because of these dirty personal attacks, that I hate the Republican Party with all of my heart. President Obama will win re-election in 2012, because he does not stoop to level of the Republican Party.

    January 30, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  10. honest242

    Like Bill Maher said; " I can understand if you are one of the 1% to be a republican but, how in the world the 99% support and endorse the republican party when they work, undoubtedly speak and legislate against your interest?

    January 30, 2012 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  11. __

    Obama IS Captain Schettino.


    How's he going to distance himself from the violent racist Occutard movement?

    January 30, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  12. Lorna

    This is all they've's pathetic really...Obama/Biden 2012

    January 30, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  13. Dave

    As proven yet again, all the GOP has are a bunch of lightweights who simply can't come to grips with the fact that they have no ideas and no viable candidates. All they can do is toss out garbage like this in hopes that their knuckle-dragging base will lap it up. Pathetic.

    January 30, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  14. Rod from Indy

    He's trying to blunt earlier comments that the GOP is willing to sink the ship in order to sink the captain. The Republican party has put themselves above America for decades now, and it is going to cost them this November.

    January 30, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  15. Peter

    That's just random grasping at straws...very inneffective, especially for a guy named Reince Priebus.

    January 30, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  16. ninety nine percenter

    Well, actually, Priebus, communicating with the American people IS part of the President's job, and that is exactly what Obama is doing. Nice try, though. Seems like the Republicans are getting desperate, grasping at straws.

    January 30, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  17. john

    Why doesn't CNN do a QUICk VOTE on R. Priebus outlandish statement made on the FACE THE NATION.? Let Americans vote on that insensitive comment/

    January 30, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  18. anticomm

    truth hurts

    January 30, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  19. Nick

    An apt comparison, since the policies Obama has tried have failed all over the world, just like this captain thought he could get away with sailing the same course tried in the past. I've had an epiphany about liberalism: if you read their talking points closely, it's all about how the rest of us need to think more like them, in essence be re-eductaed, much like what happens in dictatorships and communism. They are anti-freedom.

    January 30, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  20. Daniel Nickerson

    I I think Obama tried to do his job! everything Obama tried to do for American citizens failed to a republican controlled house.
    It's hard to pass a bill on a 2 party system. there shoud be an off set like having a third independent party get involved.

    January 30, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  21. Nick

    I see so many liberals wringing their hands on this board this morning and spewing hate. "How dare anyone deviate from the path the rightous one (Obama) has set for us". We are a free country and not everyone agrees with liberal group-think. We see the policies being tried and we see those same policies having already failed in other countries. We see out of control spending and no budget from the Democratic Senate and Administration in over 1,000 days. Keep spewing your hate – it doesn't make you right or smarter.

    January 30, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  22. TopSarge

    This is embarrrasing for a person in his position to make such a vile comparison....signs of desperation!

    January 30, 2012 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  23. Mike

    Translation: "The heck with the American people, the heck with the economy, the heck with everything else- the only important thing is that we get that black guy outta the white house!"

    Just goes to show how far the GOP has fallen.... Just when you think they've hit rock-bottom, they pull out shovels and start digging deeper!

    January 30, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  24. KAB

    Republicans are the rock the ship hit.

    January 30, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  25. some guy in New Hampshire

    I know this man makes his living by disparaging anything that isn't Republican right-wing orthodoxy but this comparison is repulsive as well as false. The Italian captain crashed the ship and then fled. Obama came aboard after six years of Republican control and Republican policies crashed the ship. Obama has tried to right the ship while the right wing in Congress has sat on their hands and done nothing. The reason the comparison this man makes is because it is blatantly false and this man either is too shallow or too cynical to care.

    January 30, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
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