Tonight's final presidential debate held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida was supposed to tackle foreign policy. Unsurprisingly, both candidates decided to hop from the designated topics and go "all over the map," as President Obama several times described Mitt Romney's positions on a multitude of issues. But hey, it made for a few entertaining moments! The most entertaining one was no Big Bird! Certainly not "binders full of women." But "horses and bayonets" will definitely be worth a chuckle or two tomorrow.
The president used the phrase when he was addressing Romney's assertion that the the Navy has as the same number of ships today as it did in 1917. (Here's that fact check.) He said Romney "hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. ... 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." ZING!
President Obama continued:
We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships. It's — it's what are our capabilities?
And in one fell swoop, the president was able to paint his opponent as completely out of touch and harboring some worryingly outmoded, outdated ideas about defense spending (which he wants to boost by $2 trillion bucks the Pentagon isn't even asking for!). But that's not the only area Obama was able to make Romney look weak on ...
When it came to discussing some of the meat and potatoes of foreign policy -- China, Libya, Israel, Iran, etc. -- the president looked passionate, well-versed, and well, presidential. Meanwhile, Romney agreed with much of what the president has done or wants to do, offered a lot of tough sweeping statements, began sporting an unfortunate sweat mustache, and finally, attempted to divert back to domestic issues he feels safer with, like those "12 million jobs" he says he can create (albeit he won't say how ...). As a result, pundits from both sides of the aisle observed that Romney seemed "out of his depth," "nervous," "sweaty," "red-faced," and worst of all, that he was making little to absolutely no sense.
In other words, the guy WENT ROGUE! And by that I mean he started sounding about as well-versed on foreign policy as Sarah Palin. For instance, Romney described Syria as "Iran's route to the sea." He also made a sweeping statement about Russia being a “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” (At least he didn't claim to see it from his house ...)
The President put it best when he put Gov. Romney's turn-back-the-clock policies in perspective:
The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War's been over for 20 years. But, governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.
A great clip of that moment here ...
Those points alone are super-scary. But having a president who would be as shaky as Romney appeared to be tonight on foreign affairs? Sheeeze! Forget Halloween! After tonight, a Romney win would be the most frightening event to play out before Americans' -- and clearly, the world's -- eyes over the next few weeks.
What did you think of the debate tonight?
Image via Joe Raedle/Getty