Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Monday blasted her Republican National Committee counterpart, Reince Priebus, for comparing President Obama to the Italian cruise captain who faces charges for allegedly abandoning ship earlier this month.
“Chairman Priebus should be ashamed of his comments comparing President Obama to the captain of the wrecked Italian cruise ship,” Wasserman Schultz said. “That he would compare the President of the United States with a man now charged with manslaughter for his actions shows a lack of respect for the president that is beyond the bounds of appropriate political discourse.”
“More importantly, it shows a galling lack of sensitivity for the victims of this tragedy and their families, as well as those still living in anguish because their loved-ones are still missing,” she added.
On Sunday, Priebus had told CBS’ Bob Schieffer that “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.”
“What did you just say?” Schieffer had responded. “What did you call President Obama?”
Priebus then repeated the statement: “I called him Captain Schettino, you know, the captain that fled the ship in Italy. That’s our own president, who is fleeing the American people and not doing his job and running around the country and campaigning.”
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, is under house arrest and faces charges of manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning a ship while its passengers were still aboard. The ship ran aground Jan. 13 off Italy’s Tuscan coast, and the death toll from the incident stands at 17.