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. beevee

    It is jerks like this guy that give a bad rap to the party they belong. We don't need another tongue lashing Gingrich for the party.

    January 30, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  2. mangoz

    I love watching this dog and pony show...goat rope...cluster fruck!!! Brings new meaning to that adage/acronym ROFLMAO. Its like having a whole big family of "Dubyas" dodging shoes!

    January 30, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. dave

    Republicans are getting desperate. After they eat one another in this presidential election the voters will finish the job. They are now changing the law in states to make it more difficult for the poor and minorities to vote. Florida and South Dakota are examples and it is not going over big with the people. They are fighting back. The GOP is in trouble and they no it.

    January 30, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  4. Billy X

    "For 8 years we had to sustain comparisons of Bush and his camp to everything from the Devil to Hitler..." urmm yeah – and anyone saying something like that about His Holiness (on a mission from God) was instantly branded a terrorist-traitor-unAmerican-Communist!

    January 30, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    Miguel, did any Democrats make jokes about 9/11? Just because you feel Democrats have made inappropriate remarks about GOP presidents is not a reason to excuse an ill-considered remark from the GOP chairman. What analogy will you use about Priebus if he is connected to the corruption proble of Scott Walker? What tragedy will you exploit then?

    January 30, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  6. nevermind

    shocking?, um , okay

    I guess it is shocking to the lapdog media that anyone could complain about obama. if we get a 2nd term of him, no doubt it will be a crime.

    January 30, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  7. Whammybar

    What a puke bag, this is one of the reasons I can never see myself voting for a Republican.

    January 30, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. catmomof17

    Once again, the GOP shows it's arrogance and ignorance! This will be the elections arrogance costs them! This was a nasty, cheap shot that denigrates the seriousness of the lives lost in this tragedy. Way to go calling...are you 2?

    January 30, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  9. JasonP

    Disgusting Republicans with their hatred, vile, disrespect. The Dems will be back in November! Thank God.

    January 30, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. quinLee

    I'm sure Priebus thought this was a witty thing to say but it's really not. More like insensitive, stupid, and most of all, not grounded in facts. Never mind the fact they are still pulling bodies out of the wreckage. The nutbags have all but killed the republican party. This becomes even more evident when reading some of these incredibly stupid posts.

    January 30, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  11. JakeF

    When you're the Captain of a Ship of Fools, (Congress), is there really any other direction you can turn?

    The Captain guides the ship. If half your crew refuses to work with you, of course, disaster will follow.

    January 30, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. Andy from CT

    If any Democrat had ever said something like this about George W. Bush, the outrage from the right would have been off the charts. Truly amazing how someone in his position can exploit deaths from a tragedy for political gain. Even more amazing is that people on the right think this is perfectly OK.

    January 30, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  13. Mitch

    Y'all better rein-c ths oy in , Repubs! He speaketh with forked tongue and is quite dumb!!!

    January 30, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  14. quinLee


    Excellent analysis!!!

    January 30, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  15. kit8

    If, Obama is Captain Schettino then Republican Party is the Costa Concordia as this party has run aground years ago with no way of moving forward and no new ideas to get them off the rocks.

    January 30, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  16. MCJNY

    I think that these tactics are driving undecided and independent voters right back to obama. All of this sound byte nonsense and stunts like gov brewer in AZ, it all looks like silliness. The republicans do not have the look or feel or record of "saviors" to the dying middle class. They all treat the sober and serious business of restoring prosperity for the "rest of us" as game. For those who believe ABO, this works for them. Those kinds of voters are not demanding a plan from the republican party just another warm body to take over for obama. That's not enough for this country. We need an upgrade at the position, not just another butt to sit in the chair in the WH.

    January 30, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  17. Frank Tillery

    Instead of asinine, unsensitive analogies about the President, why does he not tell us what the Republican party will do for the nation? This is not a reality show folks. Our nation is facing serious issues.

    January 30, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  18. Ed Fl

    This turkey Preibus is just one more outed racist GOP'er. Anyone with a name like this guy probably would be at home if he lived in San Francisco. A two bit joker.

    January 30, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  19. Dan H

    Rience Priebus is a pathetic weasel POS
    . Priebus, Boehner, Cantor, McConnel...they're all hateful, vile little people and they always look like they're smelling something bad. It seems hatred is the only thing they have to sell the American people.

    January 30, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. joho

    What a totally insensitive and inaccurate thing to say, I guess the Republican party of 2012 epitomizes unchristian values and behavior like never before.

    January 30, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  21. WAKE UP

    wow, what a liberal snakepit, with so many failures on his plate it is ashame he had to use that as an example of how barry is destroying out great country , as always its bush that did all this 3 years later and trillons down the drain right.
    jim jones has returned and set up a kool aid stand here. maybe we can find out the truth behind the imposter in chief, if
    he would only not think he's above the law and just submitt to the request of georgia courts , he's got nothing to hide right?, should be easy? thats right hes too busy running the county , please what a joke !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    January 30, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  22. El Hombre

    Hey, when you got no candidate, no argument and no credibility, all you can do is spew filth. Of course the GOP is pretty good at that, they have been practicing that for the last four years.

    January 30, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  23. Phil in KC

    It was W who ran the ship aground. Obama has been trying to patch the hole and make it seaworthy, while the Republicans keep blocking his efforts.

    January 30, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  24. Jared

    As a conservative republican, let me just say this guy is a moron. There is plenty to criticize Obama for, but this isn't the way to go about doing it.

    January 30, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. Jeremy Tharp

    Oh waaah ... take off the diapers Priebus. This is one of the most immature talking points yet, and the party duel has yet to take place. Sure, it would make your life a lot easier if he just didn't campaign at all and let your party take over on downs.

    I just can't imagine why he wouldn't just take that route. <– WARNING: falling sarcasm

    January 30, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
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