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. Proud Union Thug

    Amazingly stupid comment. But, nothing the GOP says anymore really amazes, does it? It is just one more idiotic comment, gesture, distortion, or slam against someone who is cleaning up one of the greatest debacles of our lifetimes..the last Bush presidency. I am stunned by the element of our society that votes in these swamp people. Well, not really because they have a complete lineup of news ones, too. Get the vote out in 2012. Sweep Congress and elected our President to a second term.

    January 29, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Chris

    And Republicans wonder why they are universally held in contempt... The bottom line is NOT ALL REPUBLICANS ARE BAD PEOPLE, BUT ALL BAD PEOPLE ARE REPUBLICANS.

    January 29, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. mike

    A comment like that from the party that steered us in the ditch we're in is halarious. America is sick of the party of NO, the party thats keeps obstructing the healing process from the devestation caused during the Republican/Bush ERA. And now the other 99% suffer beacuse the republicans are bad sports that America elected Obama. They shoud be held in treason for obstucting the healing procress. Bush would of had them all in Gitmo if the situation was reversed.

    January 29, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Ted Dintersmith

    Sadly, we live in a country where someone can make such ludicrous comparisons, and not feel disgraced.

    January 29, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. billy davis

    Wow, the GOP can come up with some whale sized lies. Fortunately, the American people has awakened to their lying ways. The GOP has done nothing to help America because they are so focused on making Obama a one term President as their boss Rush told them.

    January 29, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Lone wolf

    Typical response by a high placed idiot. Go ahead and use tragedy to poke fun at the President. I am sure people wh o lost loved ones on the ship appreciated your classless comments.

    January 29, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. jt

    If the RNC is wanting to use the shipwreck scenario they should look no further than the congress... they have fled the wrecked ship that Bush put aground and pointing their fingers anywhere but themselves. Besides who in their right mind would use this tragedy to compare our President...

    January 29, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Hypocrisy

    This type of rightwing political garbage may have worked during the midterm elections but better hold your propaganda because it ain't goanna work in the general election. Fool me one, fool me twice but you ain't goanna fool me three times!

    January 29, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. s

    rEINCE pREIBUS – Another done nothing in life, footnote in the history book, hyper-critic and jealous of obama type

    January 29, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Fire

    ...but can the people unite behind the nominee after all the dirt that's been heard about each of them?

    January 29, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Larry L

    This is what the Republican Party has become. They caused the shipwreck of the American economy. They refused to help save the passengers – the working class Americans. Now they're trying to blame the mess on somebody else. Conservatives created the "swift boat" politics and continue to operate without honor.

    January 29, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    You know, I've had enough. The GOP has no ideas other than tax breaks for billionaires and taking away the voting rights of American citizens. And all it is day in and day out, ad nauseum, is attack attack attack. They have no honor. They have no decency. All they offer is hate and division. And we're allowing it. What's wrong with us.

    January 29, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Lawrence Massachusetts

    Obama is worse than the Italian Captain Obama has destroyed MILLIONS of lives; millions of families; destroyed companies. The Italian Captaini was having dinner with his girlfriend. Obama was palying golf and going to fund raising events. The US cannot afford four more years of the Community Organizer - Mr Obama, step down and go play golf with Clinton

    January 29, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    Wire Palladin SF – I think he may be gone sooner depending on how that Milwaukee WI investigation goes. Of course that's no guarantee seeing as how we have criminals in elected positions way more important than his.

    January 29, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Jim

    All of the bodies haven't been recovered yet, but it's never too early for the GOP to be insensitive.

    Just imagine what they would say if 9/11 happened when a democrat was president.

    THESE are the people that want to lead the country?

    January 29, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Kevin

    Right, the republicans sink the ship, the Dems jump on trying to save it, and despite the best GOP efforts to blast more holes, the ship actually starts floating again. Thank you Fire Chief Obama! Looking forward to another four years!

    January 29, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. gramma nance

    The GOP will say ANYTHING...the more outrageous the better. With Romney and Gingrich, where do they THINK they are going? OMG...I'm waiting to hear that Obama started the Chicago fire, took down the Twim Towers, started WWII, etc. Not ONE vote will they get from me-totally wrong and out of touch!

    January 29, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Katahdin

    The Republicans' two front runners both ran away and deserted their country when it came to serving in Vietnam. Romney was kicking back in France. And Gingrich got five student deferments–i suppose he thought that his mighty brain was too important to be risked in combat.

    January 29, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. stonesrule

    What's so shocking about the comparison between Obama and Cpt Schettino? Pretty much dead on, it's just that Obama has managed to sink what was once the greatest country in the world instead of a mere cruise liner.

    January 29, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Tony Antin

    In the same idiotic class as "Drill, baby, drill!"

    January 29, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Dolby

    Amazing how a "1-minute sound bite" is able to demonstrate how insensitive and stupid a person can be.

    January 29, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. minnie

    And along with everything else, the analogy doesn't even make sense. If he were doing the equivalent of abandoning ship, Obama would be resigning, not trying his hardest to get re-elected.

    January 29, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. Fernando

    Why does the President have to be in DC to be doing his job? Going out and speaking with the people, sharing his message with a more personal touch I would think is part of his job. Republicans are freaked because they have no viable candidate and those great Republicans in congress have lower approval ratings than a snake. While I am not surprised, I am always amazed at the stupidity pouring from Republican's mouths.

    January 29, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Tony Antin

    In the same idiotic class as "Drill, baby, drill." Republicans remind me of children who lash out simply in spite.

    January 29, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. julius raynor

    It's a shame that a republican would use such a comparsion to this ship wreck to obama when so many lovely people lost their lives....How low can you go...Disgraceful

    January 29, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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