The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

'Horses and bayonets' becomes latest debate catchphrase


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - "Horses and bayonets" became the most memorable catch phrase of the debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on Monday night, as the Democratic president reached far back into the past to paint the Republican's foreign policy ideas as outdated.

Mr Romney has criticised Mr Obama's military policy throughout the campaign, accusing the president of spending too little to strengthen the military by noting that the US Navy now has fewer ships than it did in 1917.

The former Massachusetts governor made the point again on Monday during the final debate of the presidential campaign, and Mr Obama pounced.

"You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916," Mr Obama said. "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed.