As both candidates entered the stage Monday evening it was clear they were ready to fight. Similar to last Tuesday’s debate, President Obama and Gov. Romney were ready for the final battle that focused on foreign policy.
Moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News successfully moved the debate, although he did at times let it sway away from foreign policy into domestic issues.
President Obama issued a constant attack against Romney’s shifting foreign policy attitude.
“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” Obama said at one point in response to Romney's earlier remark calling Russia “our number one geopolitical foe."
The president continually went into detail on where he believes the former Massachusetts governor lacks foreign policy mettle: Iran’s nuclear weapon development and the timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan are just two examples.
After Gov. Romney criticized the current administration on the size of the U.S. Navy, claiming it had fewer ships than in 1916, the president jumped to refute him.
"Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets," Obama said. "We have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."
The president continued to drive the point home as he concluded, "It's not a game of battleship where we're counting ships, it's 'What are our priorities?'"
As the president spoke these words, the social media universe went wild. A Twitter account for @horses_bayonets was quickly created; a Tumblr account is up; and the site cavalrymenforromney appeared almost immediately. After every debate there seems to be one word or slogan that resonates until the next time these two meet.
Could horses/bayonets be what people remember as they enter the polls on November 6? Do you have another favorite quote from Monday’s debate? msnbc has a new Facebook app where you can upload your favorite debate quote and perhaps start your own meme.
The national polls are showing a tight race. As we have previously reported on The Cycle, Real Clear Politics is showing Romney and Obama practically tied at around 47%. It is anyone’s game.
So who do you think won Monday’s debate? Swing state voters, those who could decide the election, say Obama won the debate 53% to 42%, according to Public Policy Polling. The CBS snap poll of undecided voters showed that Obama also won: 53% to 23% for Romney. Twenty-four percent of those polled said they were undecided.
A CNN post-debate poll of registered voters showed a closer race: 48% believed the president came away with the big “W” and only 40% believed Romney did. In the same poll, 59% said that the president performed better than they expected he would.
So did the president just win this election? Our Cyclists will have full post-debate coverage today at 3 p.m., but be sure to let us know your thoughts on Monday’s debate in the comments section or tweet us @thecyclemsnbc.