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Obama Flubs: U.S. Has More Bayonets Today Than in 1916

by Keith Koffler on October 24, 2012, 8:30 am

President Obama erroneously asserted during Monday night’s debate that the U.S. military has fewer bayonets than it did in 1916. In fact, the armed forces likely possess more than three times as many of the weapons as they did before the U.S. entry into World War I.

The error is significant because Obama sought during the debate to portray himself as having an edge on Gov. Mitt Romney because of his experience leading the military, referring to himself three times as “commander in chief.”

Obama, who was trying to ridicule Romney’s concern that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916, derisively quipped that Romney ”hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works.”

He lectured Romney:

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 yet, the president himself clearly lacked an understanding of the importance to his own military of one of the most fundamental tools of warfare.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. military has at least 600,000 bayonets in stock and plans to acquire 175,000 more.

Given that there were about 200,000 men in the Army and National Guard in 1916, according to National Review, that would mean that there are three times as many bayonets today and probably will be at least four times as many than before World War I.

According to the website marines.com, every Marine receives bayonet training in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and on the Bayonet Assault Course in Recruit Training. The bayonet makes a rifle ”just as effective in close combat situations,” according to the website.

Since Mr. Obama hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works, maybe this will help:

Here’s the exchange between Obama and Romney:

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

PamelaOfThePoconos October 24, 2012 at 9:03 am

[Disclaimer: website is not mine, but I spent 1000's of hours in clerical help to enable pumapac.org to submit OFA 2008 records to FEC. And FEC is still asking questions about it.]

Nice thorough writeup on bayonnettes et al. tee vee really is not doing this cause any justice, usually preferring to air Obama’s jab, then let it stand on its own “merit”. So I’m going to do more with a U.S.P.S. postcard for my older friends who have no computers and need big print.

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Melvin October 24, 2012 at 9:05 am

Keith

I am so glad I found your site. You are honest and hardworking and cover things the lamestream often fail to.

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Janna October 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

At least he doesnt refer to himself as the Commander AND Chief as he did in the past.

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Just2old October 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

Thanks Keith for sheding light on the truth. This illustrates how lazy the obama team really is. They say what sounds good to them rather than checking to make sure it’s correct. I can’t wait to get some professionals in the WH. I think many will be surprised at how well the new administration will function compared to the current one.

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William October 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

This from the guy who in 2008 thought that in the Army captains are platoon leaders…

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Susan October 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

As well as his TOTUS reading of “Navy ‘corpse-man’ Christian Bouchard”.

http://youtu.be/ZlKIfzoC8D0

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A.J. October 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

I was truly surprised that Obie knew that submarines are boats that “go under the water”!!! He musta been crammin’ for the debate!!!

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Star October 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

Maybe he caught LAST RESORT.

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srdem65 October 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

Also, it has been pointed out on many sites that “ships that go underwater are called “sunk”, not submarines”. Subs are called “boats” by the military.

MrObama must feel a need to always prove he’s the “smartest man in the room”.

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WNY_ROC October 24, 2012 at 9:41 am

srdem65 – you are my day brightener today!

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A.J. October 24, 2012 at 11:22 am

Should have read 1 more comment before I commented on William’s comment above!!!

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Justavet October 24, 2012 at 9:41 am

Obama – Wrong about the bayonets, wrong about the GM bankruptcy, wrong for the country.

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A.J. October 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

And just plain – WRONG!!!

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Star October 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Wrong about status of forces in Iraq–and so adamant and interrupty about being wrong, too!

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Kimbly October 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

My friend passed along an article (wish I could find it) that said the military would be a whole lot better with a large amount of cheap equipment that can get the job done – instead of a small number of expensive hot shot equipment that no one is allowed to train on because they can’t afford it. I think Obama is the one that doesn’t get it.

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Anonna October 24, 2012 at 10:27 am

Look at the attempt to patrol our southern border with drones — big, fat waste of time. The illegals just kept moving.

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P Dufour October 24, 2012 at 9:54 am

I cannot take it… Just another reason to despise this nasty, evil, snarky “man”.

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Kimbly October 24, 2012 at 10:06 am

Gee Obama – I’ll have to ask my brother in law how he managed to maneuver to and board ships during the gulf war – all from an aircraft carrier! What a feat!

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Star October 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

I have been on one–yes, very high off the water, quite a drop…LOL.

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JP October 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

Let’s face it, this guy hasn’t a clue how to run a day care center let alone the US government. That’s why we are in such turmoil. His handlers are the ones who have managed the day to day activities of messing up this country while he learned to use a teleprompter to carry him through. I am so sick of him, his ilk and his followers. I pray everyday that God’s spares us another 4 years of this criminal.

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A.J. October 24, 2012 at 11:25 am

If (oh PLEASE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Romney wins, at 11:56 PM on the the night before inauguration day, I’m going to run out in the street and chant “4 MORE MINUTES, 4 MORE MINUTES” until I’m hoarse from JOY!!!!!!!!!

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Janice/Granny Jan October 24, 2012 at 10:58 am

Never let a crisis go to waste. I updated my Hit the Road, Barack video:

How do you want to go, Mr President, by Horse or Bayonet? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0G8ykmRxTnA

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PamelaOfThePoconos October 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

Good to know :) :) :)

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Julie Brueckheimer October 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

Ouch!

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Cooper October 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

Those comments showed just how petty, snarky and arrogant Obama really is. How anyone could vote for that hack after the last four years is beyond my comprehension. And who could possibly be ‘undecided’, the contrast between these two candidates is like night and day.

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Denise October 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Cooper – AMEN! Perhaps even worse are the liberals I know that really don’t want to support O this time but are being pressured by others in their family. I hope, I just hope they go into the both and vote their conscience instead.

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RT October 24, 2012 at 11:39 am

Relish the moment trying to find something amiss, and ignore the larger and more relevant point, pun intended…

No surprise. I am sure we’ll be seeing horse numbers soon… No? And, don’t forget to calculate in the size of our standing army and express the math on an adjusted basis for population size, etc. the possibilities are endless.

Good stuff…lol…

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Chris Daniele October 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

“We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.”

There’s another thing that’s going under water; the dignity of the office of the President of our nation.

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MT for re-redistribution October 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm

…not to mention the whole nation, under his cunning leadership.

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Star October 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm

And my house…

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RT October 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

And the answer to the implied question is?

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A.J. October 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Just got to thinkin’ and realized what a great tie-in the Commander-In-Thief used here. Military – Horses – Bayonets – Then the natural progression to the———NAVY? It must be frustratin’ to be as smart as Obie. He speaks and the rest of us can’t understand what he says. Guess we need to be punished! Oh wait, the last 3 years and 9 months. We’ve paid our debt to society!!!!!!!!!!!

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RT October 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm

A.J. – go ahead and fault our President for your inability to grasp simple, metaphor-laden, concept-oriented, and application-driven discourse. It must be burdensome and your need / desire to be punished may be rooted in your childhood. Heck, that makes you and Governor Romney victims….

I feel your pain. Take two aspirin and call Ann Coulter. She’ll make you feel better. She works well with folks with your condition…

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Naplesugar1 October 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Where’s my like button?

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Sadie October 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Probably next to the “attack watch button”.

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Star October 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm

What’s application-driven mean?

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RT October 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Hi Star – I would offer that it means a link from a concept / theory / foundational discussion to something more specific / pointy / practical… Vectoring the SR71 to a more accommodating AGL. My two cents…

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Millard Farqhuar October 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

Are you so stupid that you don’t understand metaphor? The idea is that although we had more ships in 1917 they are metaphorical bayonets compared to our modern fleet. Man are Republicans dumb…no wonder Willard actually has a chance of being elected.

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Christa October 25, 2012 at 10:18 am

Millard is the only one who commented that actually understood what Obama was saying. It was a metaphor, not a literal statistic. His point was that the military has changed. It’s no longer about quantity, but quality. We don’t need additional ships in the navy because our current ships are capable of handling so much more than the older ones, hence fewer ships. He’s also referencing the fact that Romney wants to add more to the military budget than the military is requesting. It’s completely unnecessary. Either save the money and reduce the deficit or spend it on something that will directly help Americans.

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PaulS October 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

The only “ship” in the navy that goes underwater are the ones permanently on the bottom of the ocean! We have “boats” Mr. Obama called submarines that go under water! But what would you expect out of someone who thinks he’s the smartest guy on the block…

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Ben October 27, 2012 at 12:55 am

Can’t believe we had to suffer through four years of this idiot. Thank goodness it is almost over.

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StewartIII October 29, 2012 at 11:08 am
wolfgang Halbig October 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Why does anybody today want to have nine children or more when they cannot afford even one child. The fathers refuse to pay child support, they don’t live at the home with his children.

Why does anybody today want to have 12 or more children when the father is not even around to teach them about all the opportunities that await them through education and not selling drugs.

Why?

‘They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English.

I can’t even talk the way these people talk:

Why you ain’t,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be…

And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.

And then I heard the father talk.

Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around.

The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.

These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.

$500 sneakers for what?

And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.

Where were you when he was 2?

Where were you when he was 12?

Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol?

And where is the father? Or who is his father?

People putting their clothes on backward:
Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?

People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something?

Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?

What part of Africa did this come from?

We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa…..

I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.

I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands. The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa. So stop, already!

With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua,… Mohammed, and all of that crap……..
And all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem.

We have got to take the neighborhood back.

People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now.

We have millionaire football players who cannot read.

We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.

Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.

We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..

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csd October 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

And the failures continue to stack up with this clown.

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Jeffrey October 30, 2012 at 1:09 am

So, out of curiosity to see if we really do use fewer bayonets I did a little research, and found that in the 1980′s about 400,000 of the M9 bayonet were produced, and of the OKC-3S that succeeded it only 100,000 were made.

Of the M1917 which would have been the mainstay in the American arsenal of WWI, 2 million were produced, and of the M1905 for the Springfield 1903 rifle I cannot get a number but 843,000 of the rifles were produced before before US entry into the Great War. So we must be talking about nearly 3 million bayonets in the Great War, about 500,000 bayonets in the last two decades.
So am I missing some magical other bayonet produced in the last two decades?

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eddyjames1952 November 4, 2012 at 2:11 am

Obama wasn’t in the boy scouts, never made it into the Military. The truth is with all the drug use he bragged about in his autobiography he could enlist in any branch of the armed forces. The only thing he knows about bayonets or ships he saw on TV. He hindered the war effort by taking months to decide how many extra men to send (countless polls I’m sure). Insisted on the ridiculous rules of engagement that showed more concern for the enemies feelings than our guys’ safety. I’m sure our troops would rather have had more ammo and supporting troops sent to help in the war effort, but Obama was more interested in putting a gay in every fox hole, He was positive who he would rather be in a hole with and he didn’t care what the troops preferred, he had his base to contend with.

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