Martin Bashir | October 23, 2012
>>> and so the question is not a game of battleship where we're counting ship, it's what are our capabilities.
>> the debating is over now and we've only got one final fortnight standing between us and election day . will the race change again in the labs 14 days? only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, this will be a mad dash to the finish. mitt romney 's game of battleship -- sorry. souning me is msnbc contributor and former u.s. marine , goldie taylor and karen finney, also the former communications detector for the dnc. my apologies. goldie , paul ryan was back on mop up duty. here is what he had to say about bayonets and horses.
>> to compare modern american battleships and navy with bayonets -- i just don't understand that comparison. the president -- all these defense cuts -- if all these defense cuts go through, our navy will be smaller than it was in world war i.
>> that's simply not true. the size of the u.s. naval fleet reached its lowest point in 2007 under george bush . naval ships today as you know do more than they could do in the days of world war 19. can you just spell that out, goldie .
>> the interesting part about this is that paul ryan doesn't understand because, frankly, he's never served. he's never put his name on an enlistment contract. he's never gone through boot camp . doesn't know what the navy does or how it does it. comparing, you know, our naval fleet today is like comparing the smartphone i have in my hand to rotary phones that my grandmother had. frankly, these ships, these vessels can do more. they can be more. and, you know, to compare them to the fleets that we had in 1917 is just, frankly, a misnomer. you know, bigger budgets don't always equate to a better fight. what we have to understand is that our landscape has changed in the way that we fight the enemy. the battle field isn't always -- you can't roll up to osama bin laden on the " uss nimitz ." at the end of the day you have to -- you have to be -- we have to be equipped with the tools that you we need at the time we need them and the budget has to be right size. whether it's smaller or larger is irrelevant. you have to make sure the right resources get to the front line at the right time.
>> indeed. absolutely. karen , would you please give us your opinion on this piece of republican reaction? it's a tweet from dr. transvaginal probe himself, virginia governor bob mcdonnell , who says the president's comments about horses and bayonets is an insult to every say lor w40 has put ous hr her life on the line for our country. what is he talking about?
>> he was trying to pander for votes. i have to say, i have a lot of family members in the navy. i don't think they were offended by any comments about bayonets and horses. i think what folks in our service -- armed services as well as voters like me, what i'm more offended by is the idea that latching onto this number, and i think this was part of what the president was trying to get at, the number of ships in the naval fleet , is any kind of substitute for a real policy on our defenses.
>> yeah, but it's a lot easier than having a policy, karen . you just look at cliff notes . you stick the statistics together and you spout them at a debate and people say you look presidential. that's what that was about.
>> and then you don't have to talk about what your counterterrorism strategy is and you don't have to talk about how you would allocate resources.
>> absolutely not. what are you talking about? that's rubbish. just mention a few boats.
>> i'm just a silly girl so what do i know anyway. part of what's so offensive is really, seriously, let's think about this. for the last several weeks the sum total of what mitt romney has had to say on defense policy is the $2 trillion that he wants to spend and his concern there aren't enough naval ships in the fleet. that's it. that cannot be the commander in chief test at this point because we're in big trouble if it is.
>> well done, mr. romney . goldie , the kaiser's dread naughts don't rule the waves in the 21st century so isn't the real insult that mitt romney 's assumption is voters don't know the difference between the navy we had in world war i and the navy we had today, and i should also disclose that my father was in the british royal navy .
>> well, i should also disclose my older half brother terrence is a retired naval officer and i think their real flighter slight to all this stuff is not once during the debate, not one single time, did mitt romney reference the men and women who serve in our nation's armed forces , not one time did he talk about how he's going to take care of veterans when they return home with meaningful health care and meaningful jobs. that was the real insult. you don't hear him talking about veterans. he didn't mention them once in his speech before the rnc convention. not one time did he pay homage to the service, the blood, sweat, and tears they put out on the line every day. maybe that's because no romney has ever served, not him, not his sons, not his father, not his grandfather. maybe that's the reason why. they're willing to take us to war. they're willing to draw red lines all over the planet, but they're not willing to serve for themselves, and that's a real issue here. if you're going to put someone else's life on the line, be darn sure that you're willing to step out there for yourself.
>> absolutely. karen , to goldie 's point, there was no mention last night by mr. romney of our veterans but he was very keen to show off his knowledge of one country in particular. take a listen, please, karen .
>> mali has been taken over, the northern part of mali , by al qaeda -type individuals. with mali now having north mali taken over by al qaeda .
>> karen , mr. romney mentioned the west african nation of mali at least four times last night. now, we don't wish to minimize its importance.
>> no, no.
>> but mr. romney appeared to have selected mali as one might select the numbers on the lottery. pull out mali to sound impressive.
>> well, that's clearly the one piece of information that he could remember from the power point when he was studying. like mali , they have terrorists, say mali , it will sound exotic and people will think i know what i'm talking about. here is what's interesting. you just showed it on the map. i wonder if he knows where it is on a map considering the other mistake he made regarding certain countries that are not actually landlocked and actually do have access to the seas. i mean, does he even know where these countries are is a big question, and does he even understand the complexities of what's going on in mali is another question.
>> that's a very good question and i think we know what the answer to that is, no and no. karen finney and goldie taylor, thank