President Obama won the night when it comes to memorable one-liners during Monday night's debate.
"We also have fewer horses and bayonets,” Obama said, responding to Mitt Romney's assertion that the military has fewer resources now than at any time since 1916. "It’s not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships," a reference to the well-known board game.
Twitter said the line prompted the debate's highest number of tweets per minute, with 105,767 tweets at 9:45 p.m.
Monday night's final presidential debate was focused on foreign policy, and the topics under discussion did not seem to lend themselves to the Internet success — and subsequent cultural memorability — of the last two. The first presidential debate prompted an immediate online frenzy when Romney mentioned his love of Big Bird, and Romney's reference to "binders full of women" generated an instant meme during the second.
The vice presidential debate had its moment, as well, with Vice President Biden's use of "malarkey."
Monday night's moment was the president's "horses and bayonets" comment.
Obama supporters and liberal pundits read the moment as a snappy response and a win for the president.
Ok that answer rocked - fewer ships than 1916 - fewer bayonets and horses too! #StrongerWithObama— Karen Finney (@finneyk) October 23, 2012
Still basking in the glow of the President's horses and bayonettes rebuttal. Kudos to whoever came up with that line!!! #msnbc2012— Krystal Ball (@KrystalBall1) October 23, 2012
Fewer horses and bayonets!!!! Alright!!!!— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) October 23, 2012
"Yes and we have fewer horses and bayonets than in 1916!" Smack!— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) October 23, 2012
But several members of Romney's campaign staff, as well as Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) tweeted a preview of their spin, which could turn the line into a weapon against Obama's support for the military, particularly in swing states with a high military population such as Virginia.
Is Obama writing off Virginia and Florida with his reckless "horses and bayonettes" remark? #horsesandbayonettes— Rick Gorka (@Rick_Gorka) October 23, 2012
Mr. President, for the thousands of Virginians in the Navy family, cutting our naval forces isn't a game of battleship.— Eric Cantor (@EricCantor) October 23, 2012
Updated at 10:48 p.m.