Biggest gaffe of the night: Obama’s sequestration blunder

During the final debate tonight at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney excoriated President Obama over proposed military budget cuts and cuts through sequestration. Transcript:

Let me — let me step back and talk about what I think our mission has to be in the Middle East, and even more broadly, because our purpose is to make sure the world is more — is peaceful. We want a peaceful planet. We want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know they’re going to have a bright and prosperous future and not be at war. That’s our purpose. And the mantle of — of leadership for promoting the principles of peace has fallen to America. We didn’t ask for it, but it’s an honor that we have it.

But for us to be able to promote those principles of peace requires us to be strong, and that begins with a strong economy here at home, and unfortunately, the economy is not stronger. When the — when the — the president of Iraq — excuse me — of Iran, Ahmadinejad, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that’s a frightening thing. The former chief of — chief of the Joints Chief of Staff said that — Admiral Mullen — said that our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. This — we have weakened our economy.

We need a strong economy. We need to have as well a strong military. Our military is second to none in the world. We’re blessed with terrific soldiers and extraordinary technology and intelligence. But the idea of a trillion dollars in cuts through sequestration and budget cuts to the military would change that.

Obama responded:

Bob, I just need to comment on this. First of all, the sequester is not something that I proposed. It’s something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen. The budget that we’re talking about is not reducing our military spending. It’s maintaining it.

But I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You — you mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets — (laughter) — 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.

And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships. It’s — it’s what are our capabilities.

While lapdogs, fanboys, and fangirls were exutling over the Snarker-in-Chief’s horses and bayonets putdown, astute viewers were comparing Obama’s debate rhetoric to reality:

Via the WSJ:

By far the biggest gaffe—or deliberate evasion—of the evening was made by Mr. Obama when he denied paternity for the sequester defense cuts now set for 2013 and said they “will not happen.” Mr. Obama’s aides rushed out after the debate to say he meant to say the cuts “should not happen.”

But the truth is that Mr. Obama has been using the fear of huge defense cuts as a political strategy to force Republicans to accept a tax increase. As Bob Woodward describes in his recent book, Mr. Obama and the White House helped to devise the defense sequester strategy—no matter the actual risk to defense.

Question of the night. Question of the last four years:

He can’t help himself. And there’s always a clean-up crew following him to mop things up later, anyway:

Gaffetastic!

Romney made absolutely no gaffes in tonight’s debate. The President, however, made quite a few.

For starters, those ships Obama doesn’t want to build are built in the swing state of Virginia and we still use bayonets.

Obama’s biggest gaffe, though, was his utterly bizarre comments about how there will be no “sequester” and how he had nothing to do with it. Both assertions are simply not true. He signed the sequester into law and it is law…

Debates are won in post-debate and Obama’s going to lose this one.

No wonder there were so many long faces over at MSNBC.

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