Dumb Things Party Chairman Say

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Pirebus made a joke on Face The Nation yesterday, unfortunately it was neither funny nor in good taste:

(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.

“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.

(…)

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.”

The general attack itself is one you’d expect from a political party chairman in an election year. But, making a joke out of a tragedy into which we already know 17  people are dead and another 15 are still missing (and likely dead)? Dumb move.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. superdestroyer says:

    But on a more generic note, isn’t one of the problems of the U.S. is that the decision makers have isolated themselves from their own decisions. Virtually no one in a leadership position in the U.S. sends their children to public schools, ride public transportation, depends upon the local police department, or even has family members that work in the occupations where most Americans work.

    Isn;’t the idea of the elite being the first off the boat the same idea that left of center magazines have been writing about in recent years. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-rise-of-the-new-global-elite/8343/

  2. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    I didn’t realize Face the Nation still was being broadcast, and the last time I saw a name like “Reince Pirebus” it was at a punk rock club in Greenwich Village, but at the risk of playing devil’s advocate it’s worth stating that an electorate which handled the “Daisy” ad against Goldwater in the mid-1960’s should be able in the 21st century to deal quite easily with a wee bit of gallows humor concerning a presidential election.

  3. sam says:

    That kind of stupidity if rife up and down the Republican phylum.

  4. Tano says:

    I think the joke touches on what the Republicans see as their best chance for winning the election in November. If only they could find a way to keep Obama from doing any campaigning….

  5. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tano: Or better yet, running for reelection at all.

  6. sam says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II:

    I didn’t realize Face the Nation still was being broadcast

    Still lame, dude.

  7. @sam:

    When it comes to stupidity, the Chairperson of the DNC has demonstrated her own examples quite often. It just goes back to my general theory that Party Chairs should be seldom seen and rarely heard

  8. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Of course. Both sides do it!

    Still, it takes some pretty serious blinders to compare this useless little toad Priebus to one of the most vital members of Congress. David Broder would be proud of you!

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    So the guy who took over the bridge when the economy was contracting at an annualised rate of 9% and we were fighting two failed wars was the guy who ran the ship aground? But this is very typical of Republicans from Newt (Saul Alynsky whose heard of him) to some Republican idiot in Kansas who wants Americans to pray for the death of the president.

  10. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:” When it comes to stupidity, the Chairperson of the DNC has demonstrated her own examples quite often.”

    Would you like to give us a couple of examples that compare with this Doug?

  11. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I know I am not the first person to point this out, and I certainly won’t be the last:

    If you remove all of the vowels from Priebus’s name, it is RNC PR BS.

  12. legion says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Isn;’t the idea of the elite being the first off the boat the same idea that left of center magazines have been writing about in recent years.

    No SD – it’s this kind of idea the political right in this country has been codifying into law for the last 30 years or so.

  13. How about her recent comments in New Hampshire where she once again blamed the Tea Party for the Tucson shootings?

  14. legion says:

    When people on the right whimper and pule about the “loss of civility” in modern political discourse, I think of things like this – like the fact that the nominal head of the RNC has the emotional maturity of a 10-year-old. I haven’t had any respect for the moral and intellectual sinkhole the modern GOP has become for years now, but I used to be able to muster some respect for the people out there who honestly held to the party’s old tenets & continued to call themselves Republicans. But when people like _this_ are who your own party chooses to represent itself, well, let’s just say it gets really hard not to trigger the vulgarity autofilters on the comment section here…

  15. legion says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Well, they do have a history of encourage people to walk around outside political events with assault rifles over their shoulders, and they do tend to use a lot of “revolutionary” rhetoric when talking about their opponents, and there is a strong strain of xenophobia, racism, and violence within their ranks, if not their formal campaign platforms. Connecting the Tea Party to the Tuscon shootings is an exaggeration & not in good taste. But it’s still a vast gulf away (and a helluva longer logical stretch) from comparing Obama to a cowardly & incompetent ship’s captain.

  16. Hey Norm says:

    “…We need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago, where my very good friend, Gabby Giffords — who is doing really well, by the way, — [was shot]…The discourse in America, the discourse in Congress in particular . . . has really changed, I’ll tell you. I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement…”

    So in order to establish his typically craven “Both Side Do It” position…Doug makes something up.
    What crap.

  17. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Rather than a vague claim would you like to tell us exactly what she said.

  18. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Hey Norm: “…We need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago, where my very good friend, Gabby Giffords — who is doing really well, by the way, — [was shot]…The discourse in America, the discourse in Congress in particular . . . has really changed, I’ll tell you. I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement…”

    So in order to establish his typically craven “Both Side Do It” position…Doug makes something up.
    What crap.

    This is it Doug? Well you’d have to admit Norm is not far off the mark.

  19. Brummagem Joe says:

    @legion:

    Every ready with the non sequitur

  20. @Brummagem Joe:

    Yes, yes, I know. She’s a Democrat so whatever she says is above criticism. How silly of me.

  21. Herb says:

    @Brummagem Joe: This is exactly what she said:

    DNC CHAIR REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: We need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago. I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn with – towards edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.

    To review: Waserman Schultz: ” I hesitate to place blame”

    Doug: “where she once again blamed the Tea Party for the Tucson shootings”

    Once again, the Tea Party is the victim…..(rolling eyes)

    (And I don’t even like Wasserman Schultz…..sheesh.)

  22. Herb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Hey, man, criticize her all you want. But criticize what she said, not what you think she said.

  23. Herb,

    She tried to make a connection between the Tucson shooting and “political rhetoric,” specifically the Tea Party, that simply does not exist.

  24. Hey Norm says:

    Doug…she did not say what you said she said. Period.
    Be a man and admit you were wrong.

  25. @Hey Norm:

    Yes and what she said was ridiculous and silly

  26. Herb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Actually the “connection” does exist. Just as Tea Party sympathizers are telling us there’s nothing wrong with people showing up with guns to political events, Giffords gets shot. You expect me to believe the Tea Party didn’t issue a sigh of relief when it was revealed that Loughner was an insane lone gunman instead of another Scott Roeder? Of course they did. Everyone did, not because a Loughner is more preferable than a Roeder, but because it meant that all the Tea Party’s revolutionary talk was just that….talk.

    And for better or worse, Tucson influenced the way they talked. Just saying: It’s been a while since I’ve heard about watering the tree of liberty with blood….and I really do think that if someone showed up at a Romney event with an AR-15 rifle strapped to their back, they’d be turned away if not arrested.

  27. An Interested Party says:

    It’s nice to know that the Michael Steele Stupidity Legacy continues…

  28. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:” Yes and what she said was ridiculous and silly”

    Actually it was neither…..overheated rhetoric is very often the source of extremist acts of political violence. And as Norm has pointed out your original characterisation of what she actually said was by any standard a mistatement. We’ll let the record speak for itself shall we?

  29. Brummagem Joe says:

    The problem with the Wasserman Shultz debate from Doug’s point of view is that it threatens his fundamental belief that gun deaths of 4/100,000 versus 0.2/100,000 are a statisttical aberration. Lol.

  30. merl says:

    @Tano: campaigning against an Obama that only exists in their minds is the only chance they have.

  31. tim says:

    Ironic side note – should it not be ‘chairmen say’?