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. Bermille

    Typical republican response because they are losing.

    January 30, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. ron hovey

    Actually, Obama is more like the coast guard. If I recall, someone else ran the economy aground, leaving Obama to refloat it.

    January 30, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Marc in Texas

    You know, I really don't care that the GOP can unite. Because they AREN'T the majority. And if they keep making stupid comments and keep up the imbecilic, adolescent behavior, the lies, and the sheer ignorance and stupidity they have come to represent, there aren't many independents that will wish to associate with the dregs of society at their core.

    January 30, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. Dave

    This is why I can't take Republicans seriously. They say ridiculous things like this. Even if you don't like Obama or think he's doing the wrong thing, claiming that he's running from problems or abandoning ship is ludicrous. Republicans simultaneously want to claim that Obama is running roughshod and making too many changes and leading us to "socialism"... then they want to say that he's hiding from problems and doing nothing.

    Just shut up, Republicans. Even if I'm not satisfied with Obama, you're definitely no alternative. You've become a party of lunatics who base everything on lies and propaganda, and your followers are dangerously unquestioning. You do not deserve to be leading the country. Hopefully a 2012 defeat will marginalize the far-right for good.

    January 30, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  5. Publius Novus

    Nice try Priebus. But the narrative works much better this way. The "Captain Shettino" is W, who ran the ship of state aground. W then left the ship on a presidential pension, and went to Texas. Fits much better, doesn't it?

    January 30, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Gurgi

    I don't like Obama either, but no need to be so disrespectful to either Obama or the incident where people lost their lives.

    January 30, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. sensible

    With a name like 'Reince Priebus', I don't think he should be calling ANYBODY names!!

    January 30, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. sensible

    AT least he didn't call President Obama the worst name possible......a republican!

    January 30, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. David in Houston

    Comments like these are why the GOP is going extinct...

    January 30, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Jess C

    Just saw the reference to the Dixie Chicks issue. Why is it that when left said "unpatriotic" things about Bush, it was horrible to the point they pushed for boycotting the Chicks music. Now, with incredible disrespect the GOP shows toward Obama, it's become the norm? This guy is sickening and I'm sure the rest of the world is laughing at him.

    January 30, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. ART

    Jules says not so that was GWBush actually if that were the case the comparison would have to be the Titanic

    January 30, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Darth Cheney

    Abandoning the ship you captain is actually a very 1%er kind of thing to do – using your status for personal gain at the expense of others. More of a Bush/Romney/Gingrich thing, when you think about it.

    January 30, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. Expat American

    This, from the Party who lied to the United Nations, and fired missiles into women in children during ‘Shock and Awe’; while they clutching their Christian Bibles and American flags in one hand and pleasuring themselves under the table with their other hand.

    January 30, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Gop

    It is always nice to come here just to read the ignorant things you left wing liberals have to say about every one but your dear leader. Obama in your views has never done anything wrong. Obama is still the lord to most of you cave dwellers. You left wing liberals must have never heard your dear leader that said “ never allow a good tragedy go to waste” when I read the nasty things you on the left have to say about the right it makes me wonder where you get off thinking you are so much better then every one else. I’m sure your Dear Leader would be so proud of how many ignorant people he owns on the left these days. I will be so happy when your Dear Leader is gone next year! Sad he cannot take the rest of you with him.

    January 30, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. Doug

    Ever notice how all the detractors of the president trumpet a laundry list of things he is doing to destroy the country. But, when asked a simple question like "What are the things on the list?" you never get an answer or you're given something that was passed in the previous administration (and can easily be proven) they either call names or completely divert to another topic.

    January 30, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. mfhpr

    Just when I thought the REPs couldn't stoop any lower and be any more immature. The reality is this ship was sunk by the previous admin and only a complete ignoramus wouldn't realize it or acknowledge it. Yes, completely sunk and still being brought up from the depths. That is a fact that is indisputable. How could anyone take Priebus seriously?

    January 30, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. felix

    Obama is more interested in campaigning that doing his job? The GOP has been campaigning for the last 3 1/2 years and haven't done a thing.

    January 30, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. Freedomics

    Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have some great new material to work with.

    January 30, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. dspenc

    These people have some nerve. I don't think these are even republicans anymore. These republicans would string Reagan up as a socialist. They are now just plain corrupt crony capitalists, afraid they'll lose their other reason to demagogue a standing president of the united states. When you don't have any facts to agrue, the results are name calling. Next thing we'll hear is that Pres. Obama is really related to Hitler and Trump wants proof he's not. Sad state of affairs for GOP. Who are the real facists and dictators?

    January 30, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Taylor

    This is not right.....people die and still missing. for the GOP to compare our President to that This is wrong. The chairman better look into his own back yard. How much he was involved with Scott Walker of WI. Some of you think its a joke, but it not. Think about if your parents, sister, brother or love one is one of those that are missing. Would you be laughing ???????? GOP is a joke .....this just prove that they don't care about anything or anyone .........The President will win again because people don't like that kind of behavior. He has been call so many names and been dis respected through his term and he is still standing with his head high. That tells you want kind of man and President he is. The one that our country needs not clowns.

    January 30, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. Walter

    If Obama wins in 2012, it will be 4 more years of gridlock. If the left honestly believes they'll have enough wins in the House and Senate to get Obama's agenda through, they're delusional. Oh yeah, Expat American, I wish you were the mouthpiece for the Democratic Party – then we could get every one of them out of office.

    January 30, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  22. Soylent

    Whereas Reince Priebus is the Republicans' Captain Who The Heck Are You Again? Supposedly the guy presided over some Republican tidal wave in Wisconsin... which was apparently so terrible that they're now holding a recall election to get rid of the governor he worked to elect. He tied the RNC to the Tea Party, which was a complete failure in the Mid-Terms. Sure, they picked up seats and took the House, but most of their supposed Tea Party candidates were loons who couldn't get elected, like that chick in New Hampshire who had to make a campaign ad denying that she's a witch.

    So if anyone is the captain of a sinking ship, I'm pretty sure it's Priebus.

    January 30, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. ThisSerious

    This guy is a coward. He knows they can't beat the real Obama, so their method to defeating President Obama is to create this fictional character to run against when it comes to his policies and character. The GOP has distorted is presidential record, stripped away from him his citizenship, collegiate accomplishments, and now they compare him to the coward Italian captain! During the general election, Independents are going to get more exposure to the candidates and their records, and to some its going to be a wake up call when they realize some of the accomplishments that this President has made. If Mitt or Newt managed to attract voters based on some false reality of the President, they may respond negatively in voting for the Republican party.

    January 30, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Anonymous

    The Nazi chairman

    January 30, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. PaulC

    The new GOP slogan "lies and insults in the pursuit of the White House is no vice".
    Just when you think they can't get any lower they fool you.

    January 30, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
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