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. sam9962

    Priebus keep saying stuff like this....thank you for helping re-elect our first class President. You under estimate the power of stupid words.

    January 30, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. Mary

    A disgusting statement from the chairman of the Party of Hyperbole.

    This conservative wants to know what has happened to the Republican party.

    I am sick and tired of outrageous, outlandish, and exaggerated claims passing for political discourse by people who think that the days of civility and decency are dead, and that we voters are too stupid to understand this.

    January 30, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Former Republican, but never again!

    Republicans are SICK! This is why after voting Republican for 35 years prior to 2008, I will NEVER vote for a Republican again!

    January 30, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Michael in Houston

    You republicans become more repulsive every day. The lack of class from the right is staggering.

    January 30, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. MNTaxpayer

    That's the GOP in a nutshell. Vulgar, tasteless, cluless, disrespectful, hatefull. Gotta love em. I hope this guy is unemployed in December 2012.

    January 30, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Critical Thinker

    I'll bet Newt put the words in Priebus's mouth since Reince is not very bright ...deja vu of the Bush_Rove duo.

    January 30, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Tex71

    A more appropriate nautical metaphor might be the GOP candidates brawling like drunken sailors on the deck of the Titanic and ignoring the iceberg looming over the bows.

    January 30, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Ed Peters

    Obviously another teacher has failed (maybe more than one to produce this dunce).

    January 30, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Tex71

    Just look at that face – smug, self-righteous, condescending – this is the face of the new GOP. The old GOP looked the same but there was a brain behind the eyes.

    January 30, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. timothy

    There they go again. Criticizing the liberal media and Obama because they have zero ideas to work with...

    January 30, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. RS, CA

    Absolutely correct! The ONLY thing Obama has done the past several years - is CAMPAIGN. He's an embarrassment to this country and the presidency. He's nothing more than the soundbite guy behind the teleprompter, running up and down the stairs of Air Force One day after day (on whose dime???).

    January 30, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  12. Fox

    Reince Preibus: Our Gilligan.

    January 30, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. DeeNYC

    The GOP are the rocks that sunk the ship. SS America can move forward as long as the GOP are around.

    January 30, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. RINO

    On top of the lousy slate of Primary candidates to choose from, now I get this guy whose name is more aptly spelled Prepuce. Cross-voting in November here I come.

    January 30, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Don

    This pathetc clwon has to be desperate, look who he has to support and defend! The Walking Brain Dead Republican Cirucs, uh, I mean Party, ROFLMFAO! If ANYONE should be compared to Captain Shettino is the WHOLE Walking Brain Dead Republican Circus of Brain Dead Twits. I guess when you KNOW you do not stand an ice cube's chance in Hell you will grasp at ANYTHING that will draw attention away from the most failed, corrupt, and biggest bunch of liars to ever contend for the WH. This is beyond laughable, it is truly pathetic and truly shows how desperate the Republican party is getting. Why don't they just admit to the American public that there is NO one in the Circus they can run for President and save the country the cost of throwing all of these losers to the curb?

    January 30, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Is this the best that the Republican Party has to offer the country? Sophmoric name calling?

    January 30, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. TM

    Ummmm, no. It was the REPUBLICANS that ran the country into the ditch 4 years ago, and have ben doing EVERYTHING possible to keep us there. DESPITE their cynical attempts, the stock market is coming back. Unemployment, will still high is BETTER that it was when GWB left office. And GM, which the Grand Old Tea Party likes to denigrate as "Government Motors" is back as the number ONE car manufacturer in the world. Obama and the country have done pretty well in the face of the unreasoning obstruction by their opponents in the Republican party. Imagine what is possible if the Republicans decide, just once, to put the country's needs ahead of their own?

    January 30, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. Mark

    Republicans are drilling holes in the bottom of the ship, and mining the harbor, doing anything to scuttle the ship so they can blame the captain for the sinking. The American people aren't going to buy that. They're not stupid.

    January 30, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. george673

    replace Preibus's head with a raw pot roast, look ma, no difference.

    January 30, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. capt. chris

    more like capt Sullenburg taking over for bush

    January 30, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. tom

    i've had it. i was going to wait until the fall to make up my mind but this has gotten ridiculous. i can't, in good conscious vote for any republican if this guy is their leader.

    January 30, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. gregory

    You talk about a sinking ship. The republican party with you at the helm has already suck.

    January 30, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Hapalion

    Let me see, someone who ran the ship aground and then fled the scene; sounds a bit like Retire and Run Palin to me...
    Not only can't republicans do anything better than campaign against a decent man with a fervor he reserves for hunting down Osama, but they can't even make a good metaphor. No wonder they don't support education.

    January 30, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. notanapologist

    What a truly disgraceful comment to make. There is a terribly destructive disease which is infecting US politics , and in particular the GOP party. This is one example of it. The media should take him down hard for this.

    January 30, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. ContrastandCompare

    If BHO wins in November, have your passports updated. There will be a mass exodus. High request of work visas for other countries. USA will become a third world dictatorship with a marx bent.

    Thank you Ronmey for ruining the Republican election for us.

    Dirty campaigning, has made me rethink my party choice.

    January 30, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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