"I think Gov. Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the Navy, for example. And that we have fewer ships that we had in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. 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?"
Appearing on CBS the next morning, Ryan told host Norah O'Donnell that he couldn't make sense out of the "horses and bayonets" line."
"To compare modern American battleships with bayonets, I just don't understand that comparison," the Wisconsin Republican said. "Look, we have to have a strong Navy to keep peace and prosperity."