PHOENIX, October 22, 2012 — During tonight’s final presidential debate, Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama sparred over the likely defense budget sequestration scheduled to happen later this year.
“Our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1916,” Romney said, “The Navy said it needed 313 ships, now it’s down to 285, and it’s headed down to the low 200s if we go through sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me.”
Obama hit back at Romney for claiming that our national defense is at its weakest levels since 1916, by saying, “First of all, the sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen.”
The conversation got even more interesting, when President Obama mocked Romney’s attack by saying, “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.”
This statement was the hottest topic of the debate, as it received well over 105,000 tweets according to Twitter.
Google also reported that the keyword search for “bayonets” jumped by over 7,000 percent during the debate.
As it happens, bayonets are still widely used by the United States Marine Corps.
During bootcamp training, Marines still do train with bayonets on their rifles and are issued them along with their standard equipment.
Even the official Marine.com website features the bayonet as a weapon, stating, “From 500 yards, every Marine is accurate with a rifle. Attach the OKC-3S Bayonet, and the weapon becomes just as effective in close combat situations. Also a Marine’s multi-purpose fighting knife, the OKC-3S is the weapon of choice when shots can’t be fired. Every Marine receives bayonet training in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) and on the Bayonet Assault Course in Recruit Training.”
While it is true, the United States military doesn’t use bayonets as heavily as the troops did during the Revolutionary and Civil War, they are indeed still used within our military today.
And more to the point, so are ships, and the Navy doesn’t have what it needs. If the President follows the path he’s on, we may need more of those bayonets.
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