Romney beats back on 'horses and bayonets'
October 25th, 2012
10:52 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney beats back on 'horses and bayonets'

(CNN) - In a new radio ad released Thursday, Mitt Romney's campaign featured one of the biggest flashpoints from the final presidential debate, attempting to turn the tables on the president's quip about "horses and bayonets."

The one-minute spot, "Our Navy," features Romney's argument that the Navy is smaller than any time since 1917, citing a downsizing of 313 ships to 285 ships.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

When he made the point during Monday night's debate, Obama fired back: "[W]e also have fewer horses and bayonets."

The new radio ad describes the president's sarcastic comment–which quickly spread online as the debate season's latest catchphrase–as insulting, but telling.

"Sure, his flippant remarks insult Mitt Romney, but do they also expose how President Obama views the world and America's place in it?"

The ad's narrator continues: "As Commander-in-Chief, Mitt Romney will reverse Obama's defense cuts. He will invest in our military, creating jobs, and defending our freedom."

Romney has aggressively gone after the president over the impending defense cuts, scheduled to trigger at the start of 2013 if Congress fails to reach a deficit-reduction plan by the end of the year.

The one-minute radio spot specifically targets voters in New Hampshire, saying the Pentagon cuts could threaten the 3,600 Navy jobs in the Granite State.

A "toss-up" state according to CNN's Electoral Map, New Hampshire has four electoral votes.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

- GOP Senate candidate accuses Dems of distorting his rape comments

- Clint Eastwood returns, stars in new super PAC ad

- Obama ad uses ghost of recount past

- Romney campaign and allies far outspending Democrats

- Trump's new charity drive

- Obama ready for 'all-nighter'

Filed under: Ads • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Presidential Debates
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Mittless is Wittless

    Mitt still doesn't get it. Mitt doesn't understand we are living in the 21st century. Mitt doesn't understand the military because he avoids the militay. Mitt is like Bush W, thinks he can send a few people into a country and they will find the good guys, we will give the "good guys" weapons .. and we know that those weapons could ever get in the hands of the bad guys...(but he has the nerve to try brining up fast and furious after this?) Mitt is a nitt witt when it comes to defense. I wonder if he is even listening during his briefings?

    October 25, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. jackson

    wow, knucklehead is crazy brave for sure... but, lets see romney try and spin his "syria is iran's path to the sea" remark in a favorable light.

    October 25, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. luke,az

    Gov. Romney is NOT presidential material. Every day he changes his positions. There is no core to this man. By the way Gov. Romney, SHOW US YOUR TAXES FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS !!!

    October 25, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Thomas

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday he's endorsing President Barack Obama for a second time, saying he was "uncomfortable" with Mitt Romney's views on foreign policy.

    Need more be said about a Romney term !

    October 25, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. B.

    Romney actually said he didn’t understand why windows in airliners didn’t open, discussing events in his wife’s aircraft emergency and return to airport for smoke in airplane.

    Romney is right up there with Ol man Bush that didn’t know about- store item scanners- on a rear visit to a Grocery store.

    Romney is the most -Out of Touch- person to run for President since Ol man Bush..

    Can you imagine this idiot handling the 3:00 A.M. emergency in the White House ?

    October 25, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. NameBill

    Romney is wrong. Our Navy has more ships now than it did under the Bush administration. Also, blaming Obama for the Congress sequester is politically foolish.

    October 25, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Yanni

    Mitt suffer from both Intellectual dishonesty and moral failure

    October 25, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Mikey

    Mitt Romney is dangerously unquailfied to be Commender in Chief

    October 25, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. joe

    colin powell just endorsed Obama and said mittens foreign policy is pretty much a mess and this from a guy that should know. I remember when powell was the darling amoung the repos but since he has used common sense and endorsed the president twice now they don't like him anymore and say terrible things about him. How anyone could vote for flip flopper romney is beyond me. He has a differnent policy each week depending on which way the election is going. If he wins this country looses big time.

    October 25, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Steve In CT

    Not being a veteran, nor any of his sons, Romney has no clue about military capabilities. There is no way any ships of the Navy of 1917, could stand up to one nuclear attack submarine. There are no more Battleships, for a good reason.

    October 25, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Name Independent Thinker

    We need to be cutting the deficit, not adding to it. Why give more to the Pentagon than they are for.

    October 25, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. travismatthew

    As with so many other things Romney is out of touch. He got owned, and as any politician would, he's trying to turn it around.

    October 25, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Jim8

    He will reverse defense cuts, cut taxes to the rich, and balance the budget. How dumb can we be?

    October 25, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. St. James Place

    Willard FYI the Navy quit coal firing ships boiler with coal in 1920. Maybe a little reading of military history will help you get your facts right.

    October 25, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Going for the defense contractor vote is he? Maybe he'll be forthcoming and let us know what he'll cut to keep the huge contractor dollars flowing in? Or, he'll just do what GW did ... not add the funding to the budget for 8 years.

    October 25, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    Obama was an absolute pathetic jerk, in how he handled his criticisms of Romney, and we all know it. That's how deaperate politicians behave, when they think they are going to lose POWER!

    October 25, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Romney's comments in the debate just shows how little he understands the military. We need a leader who has more strategic experience than playing a few games of Battleship.

    October 25, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Troy

    Ok.... And Obama knows about military????? Last time I checked we still use bayonets. Also.... The Navy does has fewer ships called "aircraft.carriers". That's why the deployments went from 4-6 months to 8-12 months.... Go fact check that.

    October 25, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Gosh Folks,
    I know it's tough but after Romney is Elected you will have to get a real job and get off welfare, unemployment benifits and food stamps. Sorry!

    October 25, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. ghostriter

    It never ceases to amaze me how the military is the one area where republicans lose all conservative ideology.

    The military personnel are govt workers. Therefore, if we need to get rid of govt employees, why aren't they in the mix? The military gets all kinds of socialistic assistance. The GI bill, healthcare, pensions, etc. And tax breaks, but that is a republican thing.

    The military is the one area republicans don't mind growing and growing.

    October 25, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. A Kickin` Donkey

    Mr. Romney, before we APPROVE of your proligate spending on defense, we will require a DEFECIT IMPACT statement from you, sworn & notarized. Our Federal budget can not support more wasteful and inflated DOD spending. From now on, EXPECT us to demand a clear delinieation of the costs from ALL your proposals [including changes to the tax code. Cheers, Mitt.

    October 25, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    And today's poll showing Obama up by +5 in Virginia shoudl tell you all you need to know abotu how well this Navy attack is working. Yawn, Mittens, YAWN.

    October 25, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Critical Thinking

    @Thomas: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday he's endorsing President Barack Obama for a second time, saying he was "uncomfortable" with Mitt Romney's views on foreign policy.

    Need more be said about a Romney term !

    The only thing that needs to be said about the Romney term with regard to Colin Powell's endorsement is that Mitt Romney is not african american. That is the prominant reason for the endorsement. I'm sure Colin Powell can't be pleased withthe lies and cover up to the Libyan attack.

    October 25, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Cadillacjoe

    Someone explain how these two statements make sense together:
    1. Governments do not create jobs, businesses do.
    2. I know how to create jobs, let me run your government.

    It seems Mitt is far to valuable to our economy to waste his talents where they would do the least good.

    October 25, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. enfilmigult

    "Obama's defense cuts." What a crock.

    October 25, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
1 2 3