(RNN) - First, it was Big Bird. Then it was binders full of women. And now, it's horses and bayonets.
In the first two presidential debates, Republican candidate Mitt Romney became the target of social media mockery based on his answers to debate questions. But in the third debate, it was President Obama's criticism of Romney's repeated call for more Navy ships that inspired the newest round of the Republican candidate's Twitter troubles.
"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, because the nature of our military's changed," Obama said. "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 what are our capabilities."
Immediately, #horsesandbayonets began trending on Twitter, along with a flood of memes and joke tweets making fun of Obama's allegation that Romney's military views are outdated.
Actor Eche Madubuike tweeted: "Mitt Romney's 1917 military plan matches his 1917 energy plan, and his 1917 era views on women's rights! #horsesandbayonets #debates"
Web producer Rich Gallup tweeted: "My great-grandfather was a US Cavalryman in World War 1. We have his bayonet, if the government needs it back. #HorsesandBayonets"
And Jon Stewart (not the Daily Show's) tweeted: "Obama just lost the Civil War re-enactment vote. #horsesandbayonets"
Hours after the debate ended, #horsesandbayonets was still trending with tweet after tweet saying how funny the line was. And while most tweets praised Obama, some came to Romney's defense.
Conservative magazine The National Review tweeted: If Obama cuts the military like he wants, we might be using #horsesandbayonets
And conservative pundit Michelle Malkin tweeted: "Obama is Mr. Snarky Commander McSnark now, lecturing Romney on how we don't have bayonets anymore."
While the tweets were amusing, it was the memes that stole the show.
The popular "Most Interesting Man in the World" meme featured the Dos Equis beer icon saying, "I don't always fight wars. But when I do, I use horses and bayonets."
The spoof Twitter handle for Romney's 2012 Olympic horse, Rafalca Romney, tweeted a picture of a horse holding a bayonet while riding a drone which said: "We need more drones and horses and bayonets."
And finally, a highly tweeted image showed a sad and defeated knight atop a horse holding a bayonet with a Mitt Romney flag.
More horses and bayonets memes can be seen on the inevitable horses and bayonets Tumblr page.
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