In case you missed it, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus yesterday compared President Barack Obama to Captain Francesco Schettino, who abandoned the Costa Concordia cruise ship as it was sinking, even though the evacuation of passengers had barely begun.
In an appearance Sunday morning on CBS, Priebus said, “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.”
The comments created a mild controversy, as Democrats (and former RNC Chairman Michael Steele) declared that it was inappropriate of Priebus to make the comparison given that at least 16 people died when the Costa Concordia sank. The ever-civil Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the remarks “incendiary.” (Oh, the hypocrisy!)
Today, though, Priebus stood by his remarks in an appearance on Fox News:
Pressed about whether the analogy was appropriate considering that the crash killed at least 16 people – with more than a dozen still missing – Priebus stood by the comments.
“The analogy was made and it was an analogy of leadership, that in a time of crisis, this president is leaving the White House and campaigning non-stop all the time,” Priebus said. “I think it’s pretty clear, but if people out there on the Democratic side want to make hay of it they’re going to be able to do it. The reality is that it’s a fair analogy in regard to leadership in a moment of crisis that this president is more interested in his own job, A number 1, than the jobs of millions of Americans out there hurting right now.”
As Allahpundit wrote when the story about Captain Schettino’s gutlessness first broke, Schettino’s actions instantly turned his surname into a byword for cowardice — and it was clearly in the sense of invoking an image of cowardice and selfishness that Priebus used Schettino’s name.
This isn’t a hill to die on, though, and it might have served Priebus better to have said he was sorry to have mentioned Captain Schettino. If nothing else, that would have made DWS’ refusal to apologize for her truly incendiary comments about the Tea Party look even shabbier by comparison.