Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus compared President Barack Obama to disgraced cruise ship captain Francesco Schettino, who allegedly abandoned the sinking Costa Concordia in an accident Jan. 13 that left 17 passengers dead off the coast of Tuscany.

On CBS' Face the Nation Sunday, (video below) the GOP politico called Obama a cowardly president driving his country into a metaphorical rock.

In the end, 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 is abandoning the ship here in the United States, Priebus said. He's more interested in campaigning than doing his job as president.

His Democratic counterpart, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, slammed Priebus for making an offensive comparison.

Unbelievable comparison, the Florida congresswoman and party chair said in an interview with Fox News. The captain of the Costa Concordia has been charged with manslaughter, and 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 demanded the Wisconsin Republican apologize. Priebus crossed the line. People died, and he is exploiting and making light of a tragedy for political purposes, she said.

The captain, Francesco Schettino, has received worldwide condemnation for taking a cruise ship off route, smashing it into submerged rocks and refusing to assist his passengers as the Costa Concordia capsized in the Mediterranean. He has been charged with multiple manslaughter counts and abandoning ship.