Boca Raton, Florida: Barack Obama aimed to belittle rival Mitt Romney's commander-in-chief credentials on Monday, accusing him of not understanding a military that had moved on from "horses and bayonets."
The exchange, quickly trending on Twitter as #horsesandbayonets, began with Romney accusing the president in their final pre-election debate of wanting to cut the US military, saying "our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917."
President Obama hit back with a series of scathing comments designed to show that his Republican challenger was not ready for the Oval Office.
"I think Governor Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works," the Democratic incumbent charged, saying he would maintain defense spending before launching a stinging counter-attack.
"You mentioned the navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed," he said to laughter from the audience.
"We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines," he continued.
"So the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships. It's: 'What are our capabilities?'"
Story first published:
October 23, 2012 07:57 IST