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Horses and bayonets and other presidential debate tweets (+video)

'Horses and bayonets' was the key phrase picked up in social media from the third presidential debate. Why 'horses and bayonets'?

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President Barack Obama countered Mitt Romney with horses, bayonets and Battleship. Who won? The Internet, of course.

Obama's broadside reply to Romney's shot at the size of the Navy took off instantly on social networks and dominated online discussion of the candidates' final debate.

A look at some key online trends from the night:

HORSES AND BAYONETS: The exchange started with Romney challenging his Democratic opponent by saying the Navy is too small and has fewer ships than it did in World War I.

Romney said: "Our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now down to 285. We’re headed down to the — to the low 200s if we go through with sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me. I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy."

Obama's response: "Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. ... We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting ships."

The online reaction was swift.

On Twitter, the hashtag "horsesandbayonets" immediately began trending in the United States and became the top trend in the country and third worldwide, even an hour after the debate ended. On Facebook, users created more than 50 pages named "Horses and Bayonets." The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also pounced, posting a meme declaring "Obama just sank Romney's battleship" that generated more than 84,000 likes and was shared more than 16,000 times in an hour.

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