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.

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"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."

Also see:

Herman Cain endorses Gingrich

Romney picks up Gingrich attacks

Gingrich justifies debate performances

L.L. Bean heiress backs Paul

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Reince Priebus
soundoff (813 Responses)
  1. Oldie in TampaBay

    a NEW LOW even for the GOP. Shame on you Priebus .. SHAME!

    January 30, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. daveinla

    Barack Obama = Jimmy Carter.

    January 30, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. TH

    Comparing President Obama to the guy that sunk his ship and then abandon ship. Ha! That's funny. Wasn't it President Obama the guy that jumped on the sinking ship to save it while those responsible for the sinking did everything they can to stop him?

    January 30, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. Tomas Rybar

    I am so shocked ... It is shocking ... Really? Who the heck can be so shocked today ... This is turning into a "Potemkin Village" in here ... how long are you going to defend this guy? What it is that he has done? This is not working and your condescending tone to anyone with different ideas or the TRUTH for that matter is not helping (you ... CNN staff) either ... You'll just need to lighten up and say it like it is ... and get over it.

    January 30, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Stanz2Reason

    I like how the GOP tries to draw comparisons between the president and negative situations that have nothing (as in zilch, zero, nada) in common with anything remotely related to the presidents actions or state of the country. Their efforts in coming up with appropriate adverse metaphors display an utter lack of creativity and are simply lazy. Your comparison is abandoning ship by campaigning?? Really?? That's the best you can do?? The only thing insulting about that brilliant zinger is the laughable lack of time put into it.

    January 30, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Michael in Boston

    This comparison is shameful. I get the GOP want's a good tag-line against Obama, but this one is not accurate or appropriate.

    January 30, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Josef Bleaux

    As usual, Republicans don't want to address the issues, they just want to attack attack attack. With lots of name-calling and character assasinations, it's the Republican way.

    January 30, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Sad

    The Republican party used to be the party of fiscal responsibility and business growth. Republican politicians used to try to keep government out of the personal lives of people. Republican politicians used to remember that the USA is a Federation of States – and the states are supposed to govern at a low level (while the Federal government was supposed to hold things together).

    Today, it seems that Republican means "Christian far right." It feels like Republican means "obstruct, deny, destroy." It feels like Republican means "un-elect Obama at all cost – don't worry about solid policy and sound governing." It seems like Republican means "destroy the hopes of the many to benefit the few."

    I'm really sad. The USA is an awesome place that used to be balanced between moderate Republicans, moderate Democrats, and just enough third-party folks to keep things on balance.

    I'm a Democrat who sorely misses REAL Republicans – the ones who were part of balance in government...

    January 30, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. c.goldfinger

    What an incredibly offensive and ignorant remark. Over the top even for the GOP, who will do or say anything for power. Even they should realize this and fire him.

    January 30, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. SafeJourney

    And Priebus is just a corrupt as Newt. Just google priebus and see what a dirtball he really is.

    January 30, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Boytjie

    The Republicans run the ship aground and then blame it on the rescuer?

    Repugnant they are.

    January 30, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Well, Obama sure has run the country onto the rocks... Considers it a succces, after all, it could have been worse. He could have sunk it. Just give him another 4 years and he will succeed in sinking it.

    January 30, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. jim

    what a dolt! This comparison makes absolutely no sense but when you're politically bankrupt as the repugnicans I guess anything goes.

    January 30, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Tr1Xen

    You might as well compare him to Nero. That, too, would be an accurate assessment.

    January 30, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Neil IL

    Well done Preibius, you make Michael Steele look good.

    January 30, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Gurgi

    @GOP,,,Spot On!!

    January 30, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. The Shadow

    Priebus has crossed a desperate line.

    When words no longer have meaning, as is the case in a post-Gingrich GOP world, words are nothing more than weapons. Truth is irrelevant, a casualty of ambition and fear. This is the context of Priebus' comments. Like the dog that revels in licking it's privates, he made the connection to Schettino because he can.

    If he wants to go down that path I suggest other possible connections. Priebus is the Joseph Goebbels of the GOP. Or perhaps the Casey Anthony of the GOP. How about the Jerry Sandusky of the conservative movement?

    This is the genie that Priebus has let out of the bottle.

    January 30, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord".
    "And we helped" said the little girl in the Shake and Bake commercial.
    We will vindicate all the trash, and disrespect that has been heaped upon THIS President by re-electing him and providing him with a functional Congress this November 2012.

    January 30, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Rationalintn

    Why should President Obama hang around D.C. waiting for a DO NOTHING congress to do nothing? Republicans have been campaigning for months. Did former Republican presidents campaign for a 2nd term??

    Thanks Preebus, I've been meaning to donate to Obama 2012. I'll do that today.

    January 30, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. OSURubydoo

    All I can do is laugh when I see the leader of the Republican resorting to name-calling. He knows that, right now, they don't have a chance in "h-e-double hockey sticks" of winning in November.

    January 30, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Sam in Texas

    Obama 2012!

    January 30, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Sue

    Priebus – another stellar member of the republican party – NOT!!! The fact is there are no stellar members in the party! While Sarah Palin is in no way noted for her brain power, she hit the nail on the head when talked about the cannibalization in the republican party. It began in November of 2010 and continues on today. If they weren't such nasty, cantankerous weasels and liars, I'd almost feel sorry for them. ALMOST is the operative word here!

    January 30, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. Larry L

    I just sent President Obama another contribution toward his campaign. America can't survive another Republican administration.

    January 30, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. Cedar Rapids

    "Blucorsair – maybe someday he"ll explain his foriegn student loan to us as Kenyan student at Occidental college! "

    I can tell you that now Blu, and I cant believe some people actually believe that was an April Fools joke, its not true. The organization mentioned in it does not exist, the press agency that supposedly released it have said it wasnt them, and the release date of the article, and this is the big clue, was April 1st. Its all out there if you care to actually research it.

    January 30, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Steve-0

    The Republican Party is the crew of the Titanic locking the 99% in the belly of the ship to drown while they escape to the lifeboats.

    January 30, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33