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. Jean Sartre, Milwaukee, WI

    Priebus, the Republic Party's male Palin...

    January 29, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Max.

    NOT funny...Captain Flint

    ...and Priebus is like Captain Flint of a pirate ship, the Walrus, Flint was responsible for burying an enormous treasure (approximately £700,000) on an island located in the Spanish Main. After the treasure was buried, he murdered all six of them and left the corpse of Allardyce with outstretched arms pointing to the location of the treasure.

    This sounds exactly like Romney and Gingrich in their dealings with Freddie mac...and the subsequent suffering of the investors who are left to fen for themselves.

    No wonder the RNC and the GOP has such historic low ratings in the polls.

    It's not funny at all for Priebus to make mockery of such a tragedy, of which the victims,even some Americans, are currently suffering. He should be more sensitive.

    It's clear their is NO sympathy for the sufferings of the victims here....

    January 29, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. TC Smith

    The current GOP continues to destroy the heritage of a once-principled political party. Thanks to Mr. Priebus, I'll be writing a contribution check to the President's re-election fund today.

    January 29, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. Mumtaz

    I'm from Wisconsin and always thought conservatives (Priebus, in particular) were a bit soft in the head. This proves it.

    January 29, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. mythoslost

    Pubis is a little man. It is as if all the republicans have gone mad. I think they are suffering from an acute form of guilt for running our country into the grinder. If they were to just admit to all of us that they made a big mistake and move on from that in an intelligent, respectful, and helpful manner instead of blaming others and blocking movement, then perhaps we could gain some ground in a true recovery.

    January 29, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Mike in The OC

    I've voted Republican most of my life, but it's fools like this (and Gingrich/Romney/et al) that leave me shaking my head.

    January 29, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. katy heys

    Mighty tall talk from the head of the party that wrecked America with its two wars, tax breaks for millionaires, etc. etc. What a hateful pig. I am voting for Barack Obama.

    January 29, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. David

    This guy is a loser.

    January 29, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. cali girl

    Obama is the Coast Guard having to ckean up the mess of your Captain of the US ship Georgie. You sir make me sick to my stomach. I can't wait to see your face on election night.

    January 29, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. CATom

    It seems to me that the Republican Party is abandoning ship. All the rich people into the life boats and to hell with everyone else.

    January 29, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. bbds

    They sure have strange group of GOP in Wisconsin.

    January 29, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Brooke

    At long last, GOP, have you no sense of decency?

    January 29, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. disgustedcitizen

    We, the voters, will give Mr. Priebus and his Grand Old Party the answer this November. We will see then who feels like Capt. Schettino – Obama or Priebus.

    January 29, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Max.

    Captain Flint

    This is really NOT funny making fun of a tragedy

    ...And I call Priebus Captain Flint in collaboration with Romney and Gingrich. The ship is the RNC and the GOP is the entire crew. Can we recall what happened? Well, the loot was buried and people were killed and the Captain and his crew gained...the victims murdered...suffered.

    Doesn't this sound like Romney and his activities at Bain Capital, and Gingrich at Freddie Mac?????

    January 29, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. basky

    This guy have no sense of respect and integrity. He is not really doing a good job anyway as his party chair. Instead of this hateful party to clean up their house before they could open their mouth about this Loving Hardworking Inteligent President of the United States Of America.
    God Bless Obama/Biden, God Bless America.

    January 29, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Shannon

    These wackjobs on the right are just plain unAmerican. They don't care what harm they cause this coutnry, as long as they win. I guess that's their definition of family values.

    January 29, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. JDLB

    Quite the contrary, President Obama has worked tirelessly to contain and reverse the damage from the recklessness, negligence, and excesses of Bush's years in office and by any reasonable measure, he's done a dam n good job.

    The comparison Priebus makes is disgraceful, dishonest and manipulative and suggests that Tea Party goons have a chokehold on the Republican Party.

    January 29, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Tillie in Texas

    I wonder if Reince has received his subpoena yet from the John Doe investigation in Wisconsin. He's in it as deep as Walker. Tsk, tsk, tsk, Reince.... you should learn to follow election laws. Say hi to Duke Cunningham from us!

    January 29, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Joe

    Comparing Obama to Captain Schettino is not a fair. Obama is a complete failure that has accomplished nothing. At least the Captain had a job. Obama is a worthless failure.

    January 29, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. timothy

    We know who was in the White House when Wall Street ran the global economy off a cliff. Bush and his Secty of Treasury and economic team had 8 years to avoid the disaster, but didn't. We know Obama is 100 times better than Bush-Cheney.
    The question is whether Mitt Romney would be better at pulling us out of the ditch. Haven't really heard any plan out of Mitt or Newt or Santa. Ron Paul

    January 29, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. JohnRJ08

    Clearly, the Republicans have chosen an idiot to chair their party.

    January 29, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Dan J

    What does this have to do with racism? The ship captain was white, and people in Priebus' position had said far worse about George Bush. I also don't get why its offensive to compare Obama's tenure to a tragedy. Look at all the Americans suffering right now because of Obama's policies, isn't that a tragedy as well?

    January 29, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. yuri

    Priebus is preoccupied w/ political posturing and hence if any sensible comments are expected from him, it ain't gonna happen. This is the most moronic, megalomaniacal melody coming from an imbecile who is callously capitalizing on the cruise ship tragedy to his party's partisan advantage. Somebody oughta knock him on the head.

    January 29, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. sparknut

    This is what the Republicans do when they don't really have a plan or a solution to the problems that face America today. They resort to name calling.

    January 29, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. mark

    Too bad Priebus wasn't on the ship

    January 29, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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