Mitt Romney: “We Need More Horses and Bayonets”
Tonight’s debate was less volatile than last week’s debate. The best zinger of the evening was when Mitt Romney said the U.S. Navy has fewer ships than at any time since 1916, and therefore our military is under-funded and ill-prepared for the 21st century. President Obama responded that we also have fewer horses and bayonets than we did in 1916.
And then he explained to Mittens that we have these new thingies called airplanes, and great big ships called aircraft carriers that can transport these airplanes to any place they’re needed.
Obama also took several opportunities to remind viewers of Romney’s constant flipflopping and shape shifting on every issue.
Romney kept repeating the Right’s favorite talking points — “We’re four years closer to a nuclear Iran,” “Obama’s apology tour” — even though Obama corrected him each time. Repeating the same lie over and over gives it more power, but in this case it made Romney look like a slow third grader who had to keep getting corrected by the teacher.
Romney also kept putting on that “I’m a confident executive” demeanor by saying “when I’m President” instead of “if.” This method of “acting as if” you already have what you want, “as if” you’ve already achieved your highest goals and aspirations, goes back at least to the 1940s; probably earlier. It’s a good approach when you’re talking to a group of junior executives or aspiring entrepreneurs. But is it a good idea when you’re talking to millions of TV viewers who are deciding whether or not to vote for you?
Did Romney come across as confident and in control, or just an arrogant gasbag?