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. julie

    The republicans are so desperate it is pathetic. If you want seafaring analogies that make sense–Newt Gingrich is Captain Ahab and Mitt Romney is the Skipper from Gilligan's Island.

    January 29, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Chuck

    I want to give this guy a forehead slap.

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


    January 29, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. buddy in T.O.

    This moron would have us believe that President Obama is the first sitting president in the history of the U.S. to have the gall to actually campaign for reelection. Yes, the GOP is living in there own little fantasy world. Nothing is getting done because of the GOP. The Congress, not the President make laws, pass budgets, etc.

    January 29, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Michael1776

    The Chairman of the Republican National Committee's comments can only be described as nasty – repulsive – abominable – revolting – foul – wicked – offensive. Crawl back into the hole you came out of. How disgusting!

    January 29, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Marcus

    NOvember 2012 – Always the class act aren't you?
    That an obsucre GOPer would compare Schetino to the POTUS due to their 'perception' (read hope for political gains) that the economy is going from bad to worse was something quite predictable...
    ...But not as much as that some guy(s) would agree (in public) with him or her and throw any respect (that was left) about his/her opinion in the...

    January 29, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. gordyb

    Another mind less fool who will say anything! W and GOP policies sunk the ship stupid! Their continued strategy of not helping the president in an effort to win back the white house has cost americans billions in revenue, lost jobs and slowed the recovery. Independent voters recognize this and the results will be a huge democratic victory in november.

    January 29, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Excoastie

    It is interesting that the Fox New web site so far has no reference to the RNC Chairman's disrespectful comments about the President. I wonder why?

    January 29, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. AK_steve

    FIrst off – we are better off now than how the GOP boy wonder ("W") left us. From day one the GOP attacked everything... literally everything Obama did. And despite the fact that the GOP did ABSOLUTELY nothing to help the economy and tried to stop EVERYTHING that would improve the economy... Obama pulled off a recovery.
    The WORST recession in 80 years – CREATED by the GOP. And Obama saved us. That is the fact.

    I am sick of GOP lies and obstruction. They are the party of hate and blame. They would rather see the country ruined than to see a democrat succeed. Typical GOP, party before country.

    January 29, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Rationalist

    I'm no fan of Obama. But if anyone makes a good comparison to Capt. Schettino, it's that derelict G W Bush who drove this country into the ground and walked away from it in smoldering ruins.

    January 29, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Captain Backfire

    Well this ship hasn't sunk, though Bush got it awfully darn close. It was nearly under when Obama took over, but he has been in there bailing it out bucket by bucket and we are steaming along once again. No thanks to half the disgruntled crew that continues to rock the boat as hard as they can hoping it will sink.

    Priebus, you sir are the lowest of lows. How you can even sleep at night is a mystery.

    January 29, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. deb

    The GOP has gotten so ugly and negative and they're killing this country. I voted repub for most of my life but now?.... I'LL NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN AGAIN!!! UGLY UGLY "ALL- ABOUT- ME" TYPE PEOPLE!!

    January 29, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Gpop

    Is this the fearless leader of the GOP? What a shame! No wonder the Republicans are bickering and bashing one another the way they are now, this guy is their childish leader. The once impressionable, suit wearing Republican party has been reduced to not only the "party of no", but also the party of lost and confused individuals dragging down the tubes anyone who are fooled by their foolish rhetoric. It has left a lot of Americans, including Republicans, scratching their heads in shame and disbelief. WOW!

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

    Way to be classy GOP.

    January 29, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. rdepontb

    Reince Priebus has a very comendable background, based on hard work, intelligence, and discipline. Aside from the hard work, he seems to have sunken with some of those in politics to slinging mud in public, every chance he gets. By now he's seen as a week Tom Hanks look-a-like on some strange kind of potion.

    For anyone to so openly, shoutingly disparage anyone in the Office of the President of these United States, especially this far out of the elections, is a poor attempt at distraction from in-house problems at the RNC. A look at the variety of debates show desperation, surely, and not leadership of any sort.

    Reince, take care of your problems at home, or President Obama will surely deserve a second term.

    January 29, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. GimeeABreak

    I love it – the Dems and loony left are getting nosebleeds, they are so far up the moral high ground.

    And these are very ones who endorse the systematic mutilation and murder of 50 MILLION bables are suddenly filled righteous indignation and respect for their fellow man???????

    The Costa Concord is a terrible tragedy but the writer of this article was talking about a negligent CAPTAIN not the victims.

    January 29, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Boston Wes

    The Republicans are at an all time low in being any kind of a human. Never seen so much hate and lies coming from this group. They will say anything, talk from both sides of their mouth and flat out lie. What a bunch of low lifes.

    January 29, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Bill

    the republican party runs like bernie madoff's old company. where are the assests – just inflated rhetoric trying to make the country think they have the goods to back it up

    January 29, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. jb1963

    I'd still rather have Obama.

    January 29, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Diana Baskin

    This is very sad. Is this all the republicans have, insults and mud slinging? The voters are having to vote for the one who can out insult the other one and throw more mud. I wish someone would ask them what they will do besides lower their own taxes. How will they fix things? All I am hearing is who has the most money and who profited more from other people's misery. Obama is no different from other presidents who have gone on the campaign trail.

    January 29, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Obi Won

    Very sad that the Republican party cannot find some other analogy where people have not died. It's tragic the lack of compassion for families who have lost loved ones. This is not a game to them. Republicans talk about family values, etc., faith, etc, but there actions do not support the rhetoric. Shameful

    January 29, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Michael Siever

    Republicans just love to exploit tragedies to get votes. Just look at 9/11!

    January 29, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Claymont Dan

    Can't the republican leadershp sink any lower- does :Priebus have ANY personal morals that temper what he says - We all know that politics is an 'anything goes' sport, but THIS? Its a sad day for republicans, but of course, many 'christian values evangelicals won't blink an eye to all of this. I am a family values military officer veteran, and I DO NOT APPROVE OF THE REPUBLICAN MESSAGE

    January 29, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Ozzie

    Such a silly little man, Mr. Priebus. Can't we locate a mature Republican? They all seem so childish and demeaning . By the way, what did Reince think of President Bush's work ethic?

    January 29, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Doug

    No that would have been "W". Obama was left to clean it up. Look at the employment chart–it took 7 years of growth to get the jobs we lost in late 08/early09.

    January 29, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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