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. Citizen

    Republicans...!!!What a shame!!!!!

    January 29, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Claymont Dan

    Oh, and I forgot to add, what next will they be calling Obama– the devil? the Antichrist? wait, they have already done so....

    January 29, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. PatSJ

    The Southern Lady is so right! ("...aquainting the shipwreck with President Obama clearly shows where the once-proud Republican party is today.") So sad to see the once glorious Republican party become the party of nitwit leaders.

    January 29, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. d

    And I though Stormfront was full of hate. CNN takes the cake.

    January 29, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. The Truth

    The truth is that it was Bush who crashed into the rocks and then handed off to Obama to correct his mistakes. It is amazing how memories are so easily manipulated!

    January 29, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. peter

    Even Bob Schieffer, a well known Republican, thought the remark was silly and over the top, laughing and saying "what?".

    If anything, Obama is getting in trouble trying to give TOO MANY lifeboats, not too little.

    January 29, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Dennis

    Typical Repug response. When you having nothing to contribute to a healthy political discourse, you attack instead of initiating programs to support Americans. What jobs program has Boehner's House come up with? Just more empty rhetoric from the Right and the electorate has caught on. Hopefully they will be swept out of office in November.

    January 29, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. The King

    Where does it stop? Do these people have any respect or dignity whatsover? I really hope people are able to see through their unbridled hatred of a president that is doing his best to repair the damage the GOP has done to this country, and re-elect President Obama to a second term.. Then, in a fit of despair I hope all these trolls take a hot bath with a sharp razor.

    January 29, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Mark

    When you dont have any ideas, any concrete plans this is what you resort to. Inappropriate and disrespectful name calling.

    Have you no shame sir, have you no shame?

    January 29, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Mr. ReiNCe PRieBuS needs to look in the mirror if he wants to see what a failed captain fleeing a ship looks like. Virtually the entire GOBP deathcult has fled their obligations as elected officials. They have abandoned the average American, leaving them to fend for themselves while the cowards on the right care only about protected their wealthy benefactors at all costs.

    January 29, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. BL

    What's most amazing, is that this moron actually thinks what he said is perfectly acceptable.

    January 29, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Jimmy

    Cute and pathetic high school like comparison, Mr. Priebus! Shades of W's lack of intelligence at work again the Tea/Repub Party.

    January 29, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    Mr. Priebus ... the last thing you should be wanting right now is for any spotlight to be put in your direction. Your comparison was completely distasteful. I suspect the American people are going to be looking very closely at you and your words as more information into the FBI investigation of Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin are released.

    January 29, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. qwerty1

    Yea... lets make light of a tragedy thats claimed the lives of 15 people for a bit of political humor...

    January 29, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Socrates

    What really amazes me is the self rigtheousness this guy has.. And I bet he tells everybody that he believes in God.. All republicans are full of hate.. They are judgmental and narrow minded. This guy has no class neither has the brains to realize that he is using a tragedy in which some people died hoping he could make some points. The only thought that comes to my mind, as how ro define this pour soul.. he is MEDIOCRE. Most of republicans supported a president, G. Bush who lied and deceived us and because of their lies.. 4,320 young soldiers died and more than 36,000 are physically and emotionally wounded. Now Bush is riding his bike in his ranch and Cheney is collecting money from Halliburton.. Cheney is a CRIMINAL and Bush is a neophite... same as Sarah Palin.

    January 29, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Hey Reince, what happened to your first name? Someone accidentally gave you two last names!

    January 29, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Jerry from Dallas

    Never imagined my party would be this stupid! They say Obama cannot run on his record and that he never talked about his achievements on SOTU speech. I watched it just like million others and he talked about his effort on improving economy. His opening statement was that he killed Osama. Same day,he rescued our citizens in Somalia. He talked about his Obamacare,Auto industry and border security. He said that he has so far depoted many illegals more than Bush did in 8yrs. GOP thinks can beat Obama by telling lies? We gonna lose in NOV and we are likely to lose the house because we have done worse than Demos. Look at Congress poll numbers under Boehner leadership.....pathetic.

    January 29, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. nauticalman

    Disgraceful comments from the head of the RNC. Their only goal is to defeat this President. They have denied him the ability to appoint his own people and refused to pass just about anything, even if they thought of it in the first place.
    They have used the veto or threat thereof, only used about once every five years in the past, on almost everything. My only hope is that the party nominates Mr Gingrich, which will truly be the end of them. Sad commentary on our country in a time of great need.

    January 29, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Danny

    Same old name-calling, fear-mongering, finger-pointing Republican Party....getting more and more desperate. Tricky Dick and the Watergate boys would be applauding this kind of demagoguery. I'm an Independent, but I think that Newt Gingrich is a demagogue, mean, nasty and sneaky. I wonder how those who lost relatives on that ship like this kind of senseless comment. It's also an analogy accusing Obama of murder. It's a bad analogy guy who comes off to me now as a lout.

    January 29, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. evensteven

    Slandering, bad-mouthing, finger-pointing, complaining, demonizing . . . these are the tools of the Republican Party.

    Notice there's a glaring absence of "great ideas" in that tool chest . . .

    January 29, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. duane St.Pete florida

    I miss George that was a guy who loved the USA.

    January 29, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Dave

    That is a disgusting comment.

    January 29, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Scott

    What a joke. Obama has done everything in his power to help while the GOP has deliberately steered the ship towards the reef in hopes that the prez will be blamed, and they'll regain political power.

    January 29, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. GaryOwen27

    Let me see here, it wasn't Obama that was asleep at the wheel on 9/11, it wasn't Obama that invaded not one but two countries with no plan and no way to pay for it, it wasn't Obama that destroyed the economy 2001 – 2008. It was a Red Neck Right super majority.

    January 29, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Willie Floyd

    Pres. Obama has not "turned and run" from the mess he inherited! Do believe that ship captain did that very thing. The pres. has fought very hard to bring this country back with no help whatsoever with Reps. in congress. Michael Steele makes this guy look like a first class idiot.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    January 29, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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