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Obama’s ‘horses and bayonets’ debate comment tops Twitter chatter

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.

The topic was trending nationally within minutes, and also prompted multiple parody Twitter accounts, including one with more than 30,000 followers before the end of the debate, as well as a Tumblr.

Twitter said the line prompted the debate’s highest number of tweets per minute, with 105,767 tweets at 9:45 p.m.

{mosads}According to Google’s politics team, searches for bayonets jumped 7,215 percent during the debate. 

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. 

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.

Updated at 10:48 p.m.

Tags Eric Cantor

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