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Wasserman Schultz: Remarks likening Obama to disgraced captain ‘incendiary’

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) said that her Republican counterpart, Reince Priebus, showed a "dramatic level of insensitivity" in comparing President Obama to the disgraced captain of the Italian cruise ship that ran aground earlier this year, killing at least 16 people.

"I'm not going to give any credence to those incendiary remarks. … For the RNC chairman to compare the president of the United States to someone who has been charged with manslaughter shows a dramatic level of insensitivity to the families of those victims," Wasserman Schultz told Fox News. "Unbelievable comparison. "

Priebus made the remarks during an interview Sunday with CBS News.

"In a few months, this is all going to be ancient history and we're going to talk about our own little Captain [Francesco] Schettino, which is President Obama, who is abandoning the ship here in the United States and is more interested in campaigning than doing his job as president."

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Asked to elaborate on what he meant, Priebus doubled down.

"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."

Wasserman Schultz also dismissed a new RNC ad that mocks her and Obama with recycled footage of a rally in 2008 when she supported Hillary Clinton for the presidency over then-Illinois Sen. Obama.


"I remember how forcefully I supported Hillary Clinton, because you know, when I grew up I was raised to believe a little girl in America could grow up to be anything she wanted to be, including president of the United States," Wasserman Schultz said.

But, the chairwoman continued, Democrats had "a remarkable field of qualified candidates who ran for president" in 2008 and she is "proud to support him [Obama] for reelection."