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. Knowbuddy

    @GaryB I agree with you and have an answer to your comment "although for whatever reason, lberal cracks tend to be a little funnier and a little more rooted in reality that conservative jokes": It's because liberals tend to be funnier and more rooted in reality than conservatives.

    January 30, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  2. WeDon'tMatter

    Its really sad to watch or hear a republican who really thinks that their party has a chance at the White House in November. Its almost as sad as comforting a fawn as it dies after it was hit by a car, a real tear jerker and there is nothing you can do to help it. I feel sorry for their weak over propagandized minds.

    January 30, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. Expat American

    Pretty smug words from the Genocide Over Policy (GOP) regime of liars and mass murderers.

    January 30, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. Dave

    Actually, wouldn't Obama be the coast guard in this case since he's had to tell congress to get back to Washington to do their jobs numerous times? If anything, Boehner is the ship's captain and he has abandoned reason and accountibility to appease the 10% tea party caucus.

    January 30, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    Its interesting: I finally spotted a comment equating liberalism with communism this morning, and how liberals supposedly indocrinate people. Well, after watching the Right spew their hate over the years and set litmus tests for being loyal to the country, I have to conclude the Right knows far more about indocrination than the Left ever would. Everything they say uses the same buzz words, like liberty and freedom, or they use a convenient tragedy to try to divert attention away from their lack of solutions and obstructionism. Its amazing that they ignore their own history and create an alternative reality where only they ahve the Truth, and the rest of us are jsut too stupid or devious to accept taht we must obey their words. They believe in being Ideologically Correct, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. By the way, I hope Preibus has his lawyers ready for when he gets called in the Walker Corruption Probe.

    January 30, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. yo

    The GOP chairman making a statement that has the same import and validity of any ignorant troll on any comment board... How surprising. Why is this news, CNN? Next!!

    January 30, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. ja

    well, we know what is said about opinons, who is the priebus, another roach that crawled from a crevice, obama, has brought the soldiers home, stopped qaddafi, bin laden, what more do the extremist americans want

    January 30, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. Joi Gibson

    What incredible arrogance and lack of class! To make political hay out of that tragedy is the height of insensitivity!! This is why folks are turned off by the GOP! Shame on him!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!!

    January 30, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  9. quieteye

    RNC/GOP = Masters of Disasters
    Great Depression, Savings & Loan Debacle, Great Recession

    Attack Democratic cleanup efforts instead helping the 99% deal with their blow-ups

    Party 1st, Country 2nd – and ever-spinning myths of patriotic superiority and competence

    Wake up from the dream voters – See the reality.

    January 30, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. Nitehawk1950

    A virtual NOBODY gets his 15 minuets of fame to be remembered as an obnoxious somebody...Great job bone head and thanks for the embarassment of being a republican affiliate. You've just convinced me for the need to become an independent.

    January 30, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. Joe The Plumber

    What a stupid analog – does he have sh for brains?

    January 30, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. MadModerate

    LOL – more propaganda for the Goebbels of the GOP.

    January 30, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. John

    a very apt analogy. quite astute.

    January 30, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. ShawnDH

    President Obama has done a remarkable job turning our nation away from the cliff Republicans and their policies led us to. Now Republicans are getting more and more desperate (and more and more extremist and deranged) because it's clear our nation is recovering. This scares them because they crave power more than they love their own country. I'm voting for Obama and the GOP fanatics like this remind me why everyday.

    January 30, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  15. lucy2

    That comparison is inappropriate and disrespectful to the victims of that tragedy.
    It's fine to disagree on policy and want your party and ideology to have control, but garbage like this is over the line, and a perfect example of why everyone hates politicians.

    January 30, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  16. NoKidding

    I am appalled by the stupidity of these people. How did they make it to where they are, is beyond me. Before Mr Priebus opened his mouth, didn't he have a clue that the mere mention of a wrecked ship would evoke the image of the famed GW Bush who left office with a record deficit, collapsing financial and housing markets, high unemployment and the top terrorist Bin Laden still at large?

    January 30, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. Spam Eater

    It's a perfect comparison. Both refuse to accept responsibility for anything. Less than one year left of this horrible hopey dopey change experiment.

    January 30, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. Teams33

    Very good analogy.

    January 30, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. Appalled

    Absolutely disgusting.

    Every election, the other party tries to cast negativity on the sitting President by claiming "running a campaign instead of running the country," but this takes it to a whole new level.

    FWIW, I am an undecided and unaffiliated voter...Mr. Priebus has just done a fantastic job encouraging me to support Democrats.

    January 30, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  20. Puddin

    Polls showed that after watching The State of The Union address, people were asked if they felt President Obama was working for the American people, and the percentage went way up there. The problem with our country is the God-awful Repub. party. Just look at what is currently going on with them. The majority of them are total hypocrites. They have caused the problems in this country since former Pres. Clinton's term ended. They don't give a "tinkers damn" about the welfare of U..S. citizens, except for those who line their pockets; that's obvious. Every time the president mentions big business should pay their fair share of taxes, the Repubs alway say "Oh, no, that would be a "job-kliller." Common sense is people need jobs, but the other part of that sentence....businesses need workers, too, for without them there would not be a business for them. Thinking Pres. Obama should stop campaigning....they wish! And the president is far from being a wrecked ship!

    January 30, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  21. Gramljon

    These folks just can't give Obama credit and feel that they can say or do anything to him, I suspect, because he is a Black man. They give him less respect than they did Bill Clinton at the heightg of the Monica Lewinsky affair. They are a primarily white elite trying to hold onto yesteryear. I know because I grew up in the same area that Prebius is from.

    January 30, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. BP

    Went to law school with Preibus. Not a very bright guy. His smile and personality took him farther than his brains ever could. Now he is loosing his personality. He'll just be a talking balloon with a smile. He is UM's Captain Kangaroo.

    January 30, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. J. Crobuzon

    You know, I was rinsing my prius the other day and thought how much GW Bush was like that boat captain, namely a lot of people died for his stupid mistakes but he was safe in a lifeboat the whole time. When are we going to get around to arresting him?

    January 30, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  24. The Choobs

    Lame metaphor, Priebus - I don't see how America, with rising employment, increasing growth, bullish market, and great hope for our future, is ANYTHING like that ship. Again, shows how the Republican leadership either doesn't know those facts, or is simply lying to pretend these trends don't exist. One may want and vote for a different path, but to compare our nation to this tragic ship is quite a stretch.

    January 30, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  25. Publius Novus

    Priebus makes even less sense than Michael Steele.

    January 30, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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