CNN's Morgan Declares Obama Wrong on Number of Bayonets

On Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight, host Morgan proclaimed that President Barack Obama was wrong during Monday's debate when he claimed that the U.S. military has fewer bayonets than in the past as the CNN host recounted that hand-to-hand combat still occurs in places like Afghanistan.

As he brought aboard Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times as a guest, Morgan played a clip of Obama from the debate and then corrected him:

The President was actually wrong about this, and I've got a very pedantic piece of literature which proves this, and apparently we actually have more bayonets in the American armed forces today, in the Army and the Marines, than we had in 1916, over 650,000.

After joking that, if Mitt Romney had corrected Obama on the spot, it could have won him the election, the CNN host continued:

Well, funny enough, my brother is a British Army colonel, and he's done service in Afghanistan and Iraq, and you'd be amazed, I think, by how much action is with bayonets these days because of the nature of the kind of warfare that's going on in places like Afghanistan. A lot of it is hand-to-hand combat. It's pretty scary, but it's true.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, October 23, Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN:

PIERS MORGAN: President Obama on the attack last night. Joining me now, a man who has a lot to say about that particular debate, foreign policy, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof. Nick, welcome back.

NICHOLAS KRISTOF, NEW YORK TIMES: Good to be with you.

MORGAN: The President was actually wrong about this, and I've got a very pedantic piece of literature which proves this, and apparently we actually have more bayonets in the American armed forces today, in the Army and the Marines, than we had in 1916, over 650,000.

KRISTOF: Yeah, three times as many bayonets as we did back then.

MORGAN: Imagine if Mitt Romney had been able to say that as a zinger back. It would have been, he would have won the election.

KRISTOF: And it just makes me think, "What on Earth are we spending money on bayonets for?" I mean, you know, is it if we run out of can openers? What are we going to do with them?

MORGAN: Well, funny enough, my brother is a British Army colonel, and he's done service in Afghanistan and Iraq, and you'd be amazed, I think, by how much action is with bayonets these days because of the nature of the kind of warfare that's going on in places like Afghanistan. A lot of it is hand-to-hand combat. It's pretty scary, but it's true.