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. Teena

    The republicans are absolutely shameless,

    January 29, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. ceeleeroo

    While I'll certainly admit that Obama has made mistakes – such as hoping for fairminded or functional compromise from the Party of Fail, the otherwise comic amusement of this imbecile and his minions is sad fantasy. This will not destroy our country, no matter how hard they pursue their agenda of pandering to the stupid. It's weird they would stay this course, given the certainty of a historic collapse and ultimate disintegration of the republican agenda as a relevant player in national government. As was once said, evolution is optional. Survival is not mandatory. Good riddance to these psycopaths.

    January 29, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Dolby

    Amazing how a one-minute sound bite is able to demonstrate how insensitive and intelligence-challenged a person can be.

    January 29, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Keith

    The ship began sinking in 2001 when George Bush took over. He squandered a HUGE surplus on a large tax-cut plus two UNFUNDED wars in which thousands of Americans have died.

    Obama is the rescue captain trying to right the ship, because the original captain and crew were asleep at the wheel.

    January 29, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |

    What nonsense! Obama is supposed to sit by while these two Republican clowns fight it out and use HIM as a punching bag? BS! Hey..if the Republicans don't want him campaigning, why don't they hold off THEIR campaigning until a month before the Republican convention? Don't pollute our airways with THEIR nonsense, than complain when the other side responds! Typical Republican blabber!

    January 29, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Mark

    I don't know whether to be horrified by the ignorance and thoughtlessness of the comment or delighted that he is the Republican leader.

    January 29, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Nad

    I wouldn't say he's "Abandoning ship" whilst he's on the campaign trail early. I would say he is looking out for the crews/passenger long term future by ensuring a right wing fanatic doesn't get a turn at the controls.
    Good Political seafarring in my eyes.

    January 29, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Glen

    Once again the GOP shows so much disrespect for OUR President and this out of touch man, who relates these two issues is out of his mind and out of touch. They just show me more and more everyday that OBAMA will win in 2012 and they are going to the ones to help him win.

    January 29, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Steve Moore Smithton, Mo.

    Someone needs to remind Capt. Previously a nobody that the Republican approval rating is 9%. Although the Democrats are not much higher I would be worrying about my own house with ratings like that. He must subscribe to the Gingrich plan that if he throws enough bs at the wall maybe some of it will stick. Problem is, what sticks stinks and what doesn't gets stepped in and then you have to clean your shoes. This guy needs to realize that ignorance can be cured but stupidity is forever and with comments like that he is showing just how stupid he is. Paul2012

    January 29, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. DocHolly

    first we have the finger in the face, next we have someone who is so clueless to compare our POTUS to a tragedy that is still painful to many families who have missing relatives and lets not forget the entire libetarian/gop bubble that are running against a person who doesn't even exist. I'm surprised that noone has come out with a target on the WH. Oh wait. they did.
    will it surprise anyone if OBAMA2012 is a bigger landslide than OBAMA2008?

    January 29, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Dixie Independent voter

    The Republicans are great at insults. This is a really good one, Mr. Priebus. I'll think of your tasteless remark when I'm in the voting booth.

    January 29, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Emma in Baltimore

    The GOP is too rich and too heartless for their own good. I can't believe this guy used a real life tragedy for his own humor and political gain. I hope that their blind followers will gain enough sense to step back and realize how awful this is. Maybe they'll start to realize how much bs they are fed from their party's leaders.

    January 29, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. MiamiMikey

    Much to the chagrin of the Republican party, Obama will be president elect in November 2012. Also, the Senate will have the 60 plus democrats and the house will swing to the democrats ensuring the end of the Tea Party!!! Can't even count how many state legislatures especially in the North will swing back to Democrat!!! Keep it up Republicans. You are definite showing your true colors in this election!!!!

    January 29, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Nodack

    I thought it was the Republicans that sunk the ship. We voted in a new Captain who didn't manage to save all the passengers that were "underwater" and IMO is trying, but the old captains crew is loyal to the old captain and want to see the new captain fail at any cost and don't seem to care about the passengers at all. They keep talking about all the passengers that didn't pay their fair share and deserved to die because they were envious of the first class passengers.

    It's just standard GOP propaganda to me. I'm sure the Democrats would do the same if the positions were reversed though.

    January 29, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. constrain

    The GOP has become delusional.

    The more comments like this they make the more the American people are disgusted.
    You want to know who is really abandoning ship? It's the voters jumping of the GOP barge of lies.

    January 29, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Rod

    The party that shut down the government under Gingrich and constantly threatens to do so is the shipwreck. And the captains are the greedy Corporations that have made the GOP nothing more than the yes men of special interests. The party that talks about principles and votes only the interests of the 1%. The party that lies and cheats the American people out of their legacy and their rights.

    January 29, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    They're namecalling like fourth-graders in desperation. Very dignified. Look at the polls, pals. In 2012, the GOP gets laughed out of contention for the presidency once again.

    January 29, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. macallen23

    Stay classy GOP.

    January 29, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Shawn

    Here we go again, iit's a race issue. Guess this means that he gets a free pass on every move he makes. The fact's are that he has put this country in dire straights, both economically, and in racial terms,

    and he not even a 100% African American. The left leaning press allow's this administration to go unchallenged and the left loves it....Mindless fools!

    January 29, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. BeverlyNC

    And this the supposed Party of Christians and values?? What lying hypocrites. Guess they will cheat, still try to push voter suppression tactics, send out false letters with the wrong election day on it, call seniors and give them non-existent addresses for absentee ballots – like they got caught doing in WI and FL.
    Truth always wins out in the end. We the People don't vote for traitors, liars, and cheaters. President Obama will win in a landslide and bring a wipeout of the obstructionist Republican Congress along with him.

    January 29, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    A personal best in the Republicans' race to the bottom (and that's saying something after Allen West said Liberals should get the hell out of the United States). Whether Gingrich wins or loses the primary he has left his stylistic permanent marker on what has become the party of uncompromising pettiness, intolerance and hatred.

    January 29, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Indyswimmer66

    Do you have any idea how shockingly big the Democratic/Obama victory will be in 2012?

    January 29, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. trinida

    Indecent Behavior. Very inappropriate, animalistic.

    January 29, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Dilip Samuels

    Behold the singular reason why the Republicans will lose the presidential election ....stupid men like this

    January 29, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. Linda

    I cannot believe this, As a Canadian I am so glad I am one. The only way I think that the United States will prevail is if Obama remains the president.

    January 29, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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