Obama’s ‘Horses And Bayonets’ Line Sweeps Facebook In Final Presidential Debate

By Jennifer Moire 

President Barack Obama‘s response to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney that included a dated reference to “horses and bayonets” launched a meme that swept Facebook during the third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla., Monday night.

While discussing military spending, Romney advocated for increased spending for more Navy ships, which are at their lowest level since 1916. Obama retorted with the zinger, “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” which became the line of the night — shared across Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Obama had just 2.2 percent more mentions on Facebook than Romney during Monday night’s debate, according to Facebook data. For Obama, “horses and bayonets” seems to be the catchphrase of the night, along with “whopper,” which was how he characterized Romney’s suggestion that he has apologized for the U.S. on the world stage.

For Romney, a couple of quips generated buzz on Facebook, including, “I’m still speaking.”

Here are the top 10 debate-related mentions on Facebook Monday night. A complete list may be found on the U.S. Politics on Facebook page.

  1. Obama
  2. Romney
  3. Foreign policy
  4. America
  5. Wrong
  6. Strong
  7. Military
  8. Bob Schieffer
  9. Iran
  10. China

In other debate factoids, Obama’s Facebook chatter among U.S. users spiked about halfway into the debate, which is about the time when Romney mentions also peaked, according to Facebook-CNN Election Insights.

It’s always interesting to note what kind of a message the respective campaigns post to Facebook following the debates. After this final debate, the Obama and Romney teams stuck with previous post-debate strategies: Romney shared a fundraising appeal, and Obama emphasized a core campaign message.

Readers: Have you been influenced by the presidential debates?