The Third Presidential Debate: Tumult, Bayonets and Battleship -- Oh My!

Third time’s the charm?

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama met Monday night for their third and final debate before this year’s election. Face the Nation‘s Bob Schieffer moderated the discussion, which took place at Florida’s Lynn University and centered on issues of foreign policy.

Romney had a clear win in the first debate, Obama a strong comeback in the second. And the third? Well, you tell us.

At TVLine, we watched to see who delivered the night’s best lines. Below is our fair, balanced, non-partisan take on the event’s top moments, strictly from an entertainment point of view. My fellow Americans, read through our list, take our poll and then hit the comments to make your voice heard! In closing: God bless you, and God bless TVLine Nation.


• Executed an impressive humblebrag that doubled as a zinger when he tacitly drew attention to the fact that, for the past four years, he’s been the leader of the free world… and Romney hasn’t. “I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong.”

• May well have sparked sales of this and this when he replied to Romney’s claim that the U.S. Navy has fewer ships than it did in 1916.  “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, 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.”

• Also on that tip, gave a veiled Taylor Kitsch shout-out (at least, that’s how we heard it) when he finished with, “And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships. It’s what are our capabilities.”


• Came dangerously close to re-angering Friday Night Lights‘ Peter Berg when he backed up his stance on Russia. “I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin.”

• Referenced Mali, a West African country he said is partially controlled by Muslim extremists. Twitter then lit up with tongue-in-cheek questions about which Molly he was talking about, with Ms. Ringwald high in the speculation. Others played on America’s ignorance of the small nation. “Mitt,” Real Time host Bill Maher tweeted, “you do know that most of America thinks that Mali is one of Obama’s daughters, right?”

• May well have sparked sales of this with his frequent use of the world “tumult” — four times in the 90-minute debate.