POLITICS
10/23/2012 08:11 am ET Updated Oct 23, 2012

Joe Biden, Paul Ryan Spar Over Obama's 'Horses And Bayonets' Comment In Presidential Debate

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden accused Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan of flip-flopping on national security matters.

Biden told CBS' "This Morning" that Romney and Ryan have "gone from rattling the saber tooth, you know, being doves carrying, you know, peace. I don't know what they stand for."

Ryan, appearing on the same program, found fault with President Barack Obama's remarks on the U.S. military.

Ryan said that "to compare modern American battleships and Navy with bayonets, I just don't understand that comparison."

“Look, we have to have a strong Navy to keep peace and prosperity and sea lanes open,” he said. “The president’s--all these defense cuts, if all these defense cuts go through, our Navy will be smaller than it was before World War I. That’s not acceptable. And, yes, the ocean hasn’t shrunk. You still have to have enough ships to have a footprint that you need to keep sea lanes open, to keep our strength abroad where it needs to be.”

Obama sharply replied to Romney's assertion about the Navy in Monday's debate. "You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916," he said. "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed."

Biden echoed the line on ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday. "Demeaning to the military for the president to say the truth that one aircraft carrier is probably more powerful than the entire United States Navy was back then?” he said. "This is a different Navy, my Lord, George, the capacity, the firepower, our Navy is superior to every other Navy in the world combined."

"I didn’t see anything that the governor disagreed on and he seemed to be desperately trying to demonstrate he agreed with the president’s policies. It was sort of amazing," said Biden.

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