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. My name is Jose Jimenez

    Reince Preibus = RNC PR BS after removing all the vowels.

    January 29, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Reggie from LA

    "I called him Captain Schettino, you know the captain that fled the ship in Italy,"
    And I call Priebus, Michael Steele's backstabber or comeuppance. Actually Wrench Previous's betrayal of Steele pretty much showcases the nefarious personality of his party. Now he has ammunition to belittle the Obama administration? Uhm, I think not. "I think you got nothing but a freak show and I cannot believe that people have been applauding that cast of characters that the Repub PAC is trying to pass off as leadership. Good luck, Judas."

    January 29, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. God

    HAHAHAHAH I think this Preibus kid is utterly confused. He meant to say ROMNEY is our Schettino. he his a spoiled, sniveling, spineless, coward, job cremator. SCHETTINO = ROMNEY.

    January 29, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. vjpgh

    ....excuse me, and what politician does not campaign for their next term while still in office?

    January 29, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. usualone

    This guy is always an insult to people who think differently than he does. He is appealing to his base - and he is not funny. He is just cruel to citizens and the President. Shall he vanish from the public as should his dishonest people running for the presidency. He owes us an apology.

    January 29, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Mike in Texas

    What a tool. Sorry Reince, the ship already hit the rocks when Obama took over. He came in when the Capt bailed and kept the ship from completely sinking. What Reince hopes is that there is enough ignorant misinformed people out there who will vote for whatever the Republican candidate is because the economy is not improving fast enough. The financial disaster was 40 years in the making and only a fool would think it was going to recover that quick.

    Our society is impatient. Instant gratification is what they want. Our country became great because we worked hard and didn't expect instant results. America needs to go back to getting rich slowly.

    January 29, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. Annie

    Go Obama!!!! We've got your back!

    January 29, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |

    This guy will be crying in his soup in November.

    January 29, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Sal

    Every republican politician is disgusting, vile, and mean spirited! 

    January 29, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. mhklein

    Priebus's comment is really offensive.

    January 29, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Reason

    I didn't – and won't – vote for President Obama, but what a stupid comparison. President Obama doesn't represent my values, but I don't believe he's a coward or is trying to destroy our nation. He certainly hasn't resigned his post – unlike Sarah Palin, who did quit in the middle of her term in office...

    January 29, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Name unsung

    what an idiot

    January 29, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Whatelse can you expect

    Wow. The level of disrespect for this president is unsurpassed. I can't beleive this...any outsider looking in will know that this comparison is as bad if now worse than saying he was born in Kenya.

    Preibus' remarks means: Like Capt. Schettino, Obama deliberately wants America to Fail and has done everything in his power to do just that. Because that is what the Capt. did. Which we know is not true of Obama. He is doing what he really feels is best for the countryk.


    January 29, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. mhklein

    If Obama abandoned ship by suddenly resigning, then Priebus would have a point. But Obama is not abandoning anybody; he is still working hard as president. In fact, he wants a second term. What's the comparison? It's just not there.

    January 29, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. NoKidding

    Comparison to the captain of the wrecked cruise ship? He's talking about GW Bush, right? and God knows how hard it is for Obama's or anyone for that matter, to get that ship up and running again!

    January 29, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. craig

    Actually, if the comparison is to be made, I think Bush is a more likely candidate. He steered the country directly into war, refused to levy the taxes needed to support the effort, oversaw the disaster in the financial systems, watched as millions lost their jobs, and then abandoned ship, claiming his two terms were over and he had no further responsibility. Apt comparison, but the wrong Captain! At best, Obama was the Coast Guard guy on shore, demanding that Bush accept the responsibility.

    January 29, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. retphxfire

    Sheesh, typical. He just joined the ranks of Beck and Limbaugh.

    January 29, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    Hey! I made this exact comparison in my post on this site weeks ago! How about at least recognizing Four and The Door, huh?

    In any event, it is uncanny not just the visual of a ship laying on it's side half full of water, but the few die-hards who still think Francesco Obama has any chance of being the guy to rescue it. C'mon, really? His cruise is over, people!

    January 29, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Name

    I wouldn't let your chairman of the Repub committee walk my dog,o ya,I don't even have a dog thank God.Is he the white Micheal Steele,crusader of the ignorant,defender of the brain dead followers of the teabagger party.He's smart because if he opens his mouth too much his head may cave in,no brains that create a vacuum between his ears.POTUS Obama has got us out of the ditch you Repubs drove us into 11years ago,remember,or you like @Truth,who has selective memory,don't want those rememberences...DO YA...Your party is ready to implode,just telling you to keep you on your toes,I'm a nice guy really,Democrat,and one of those UNION GUYS you speak distastefully,all the time.

    January 29, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. S.positive

    Well, at least, the idiot chairman cannot with confidence say that their nominee can beat President Obama in November which is telling...

    January 29, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. Jersey Proud

    Just because your angry doesn't mean you can say what ever you want. I'm tired of everyone talking about the Republican anger and allowing irresponsible statements to go unchecked. Yesterday in the NY Post a man commented on an article about a NY residents suicide, saying "he should have taken a couple of Upper West Side liberals with him. Then he would be a hero." You don't make progress by being angry, making threats and offensive comparisons. You make progress by ideas. Obama has had some ideas that have worked and some that haven't, but he is taking this country in the right direction. The Republican front runners have no ideas. They just criticize and then want to go back to the way things were. As an independent I like Obama but would vote for someone if I felt they could further move the country in the right direction. Right now only Obama has ideas that make sense. It's too bad the Republican party has become such a joke. I once looked to them as a serious group of leaders.

    January 29, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. dan

    This is Priebus rubbish and twaddle, nothing more. He should be ashamed for disrespecting the President. If the shoe were on the other foot, I expect he would be howling to the heavens. Stop the rubbish, Priebus, grow up, become an adult, and talk about the real issues. Insinuation and character assassination demonstrate only how low your own standards are, and they reflect poorly on the party you lead.

    January 29, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Ml

    Captain Bush steered the ship into the rocks and Obama has been trying to right it ever since.

    January 29, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Penguin

    Oh, my, Reince (why do all these rich kids all have names like "Reince" and "Mitt"?) . You just created a new round of grass-root contributions to the Democratic Party.

    The Republican Party is a complete laughingstock, completely kowtowing to the rich. How much longer will working class Republicans tolerate vapid, spoiled, spineless, pre-adolescent little jerks like Reince Priebus and Mittens Romney?

    January 29, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Chipster

    What is this guy smoking? The GOP Congress has blocked every effort to right the ship after Bush/Cheney ran it aground. President Obama has continued to do everything he can possibly do to work around their selfish, politically motivated obstructionism while the American people are struggling. Their leaders are an ethically challenged blow-hard who refused to accept responsibility for his behavior, a businessman who refuses to admit that he likes Democratic policies, and a religious fanatic who plans to put the American Taliban in charge of controlling women! Priebus, you're a damn fool!

    January 29, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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