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But shipbuilders just down the road from President Barack Obama's prep location may take issue with the suggestion their industry is a thing of the past. Republicans are likely to make sure they hear about it.
Obama made the quip Monday at his final debate with Mitt Romney, which took place in Florida.
"You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916," Obama said in a pointed jab at the GOP nominee. "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. We had these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. So the question is not a game of battleship where we're counting ships. It's 'What are our capabilities?'"
That was in response to an allegation from Romney that "our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917."
"The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission," the Republican candidate continued. "We're now at under 285. We're headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me."
Romney was referring to the large cuts to the defense budget that would be triggered if a deal isn't reached on reducing the federal debt by the end of the year. His assertion that 313 ships are required for a fully operational Navy uses an outdated figure – Navy Secretary Ray Mabus dropped the number to 300 ships in April.
Mabus has also criticized Romney for his assessment of the Navy's strength compared to 1917, saying it's an outdated way of looking at American defense strategy.
"It's like comparing the telegraph to the smartphone. They're just not comparable," Mabus said in April, according to the Navy Times.
Yet Obama lumping together Navy ships with "horses and bayonets" could harm him in the key battleground of Virginia, where some of the Navy's largest shipbuilding and repair operations are based. Obama and Romney have both been battling fiercely for votes in the southeastern part of the state, where communities in Newport News, Norfolk and Portsmouth are largely sustained by Navy operations.
Republicans immediately latched onto the comment on Twitter, saying it showed Obama would be open to cutting military jobs in the commonwealth.
"President Obama's dismissive comments about the Navy tonight should be concerning for any voter who cares about the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad," Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, said in a statement distributed by Romney's campaign. "President Obama has not only ignored these concerns - but his flippant comment about 'horses and bayonets' was an insult to every sailor who has put his or her life on the line for our country."
Tuesday, October 23 2012, 05:44 AM CDT
Singer asks forgiveness from Chattanooga in video
June 19, 2013 15:29 GMT
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Musical performer Cee Lo Green is making nice with Chattanooga after his recent Riverbend appearance that drew criticism.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/190vuNs ) reported the singer and rapper says on a video posted on TMZ.com, "Forgive me, Chattanooga."
Riverbend officials have apparently cooled off and made plain they never said Cee Lo was banned from future events, but said they thought they had an agreement to keep the show clean.
Officials said they were disappointed that the artist drank onstage, cursed during his performance and mooned the audience.
In his video, Cee Lo also apologized for the late start to his show, which festival officials said was due to weather delaying his flight.
Said Cee Lo, "I meant no harm."
Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com
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