Obama Hits Romney With #HorsesAndBayonets

October 23, 2012
America (and the world) was tuned in to TV and the Internet as the final round of US presidential #debates unfolded between Democratic candidate and incumbent president Barack Obama (@BarackObama) and Republican candidate Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) faced off at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. It was a sit-down #debate with CBS' Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer (@bobschieffer) moderating. The focus of the discussion was on foreign policy although, inevitably, a lot of peripheral topics were brought up. Observers say the debate brought out the best arguments from both candidates -- and rightly so, as Obama has had a record for performing poorly during face-offs with the Republican governor. In part 3 of the debates, Romney had the spotlight on him when his comment on #BindersFullOfWomen trended on the Twitterverse as he cited opportunities for women in the workplace. This time, however, Obama showed he, too, can generate a trending topic of his own, although peppered with a lot of criticism and humor. #HorsesAndBayonets rode on the time slot's popularity, with 15,800 tweets per hour at its peak. Here's a transcript of the exchange that led to this hashtag: ROMNEY: Our Navy is old -- excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285. We're headed down to the low-200s if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me. I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy. Our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947. OBAMA: You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. Naturally, the Obama camp capitalized on the hashtag's popularity, buying "bayonets" on Twitter. Promoted hashtags generally cost $120,000. The phrase extended its popularity beyond Twitter. Horsesandbayondets.tumblr.com now exists, so with a dedicated Horses and Bayonets Facebook page. Let's see some of the tweets on #horsesandbayonets. And lastly, given its controversial nature, the hashtag is not without its share of memes.

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