Re: Why the GOP establishment is afraid of Newt!
posted at 1/30/2012 2:11 PM EST
In Response to Re: Why the GOP establishment is afraid of Newt!
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Why the GOP establishment is afraid of Newt! : He said it in the debate! MACKIN: Thanks, John. This question goes out to Speaker Gingrich. Next month, the space shuttle program is scheduled to retire after 30 years, and last year, President Obama effectively killed government-run space flight to the International Space Station and wants to turn it over to private companies. In the meantime, U.S. astronauts would ride Russian spacecraft at a cost of $50 million to $63 million a seat. What role should the government play in future space exploration? … ... more GINGRICH: Well, sadly -- and I say this, sadly, because I'm a big fan of going into space and I actually worked to get the shuttle program to survive at one point -- NASA has become an absolute case study in why bureaucracy can't innovate. If you take all the money we've spent at NASA since we landed on the moon and you had applied that money for incentives to the private sector, we would today probably have a permanent station on the moon, three or four permanent stations in space, a new generation of lift vehicles. And instead, what we've had is bureaucracy after bureaucracy after bureaucracy and failure after failure. I think it's a tragedy, because younger Americans ought to have the excitement of thinking that they, too, could be part of reaching out to a new frontier. You know, you'd asked earlier, John, about this idea of limits because we're a developed country. We're not a developed country. The scientific future is going to open up, and we're at the beginning of a whole new cycle of extraordinary opportunities. And, unfortunately, NASA is standing in the way of it, when NASA ought to be getting out of the way and encouraging the private sector. KING: Is there any candidate who would step in and say, no, this is vital to America's identity, this is vital to America's innovation, I want the government to stay in the lead here when it comes to manned space flight? Nobody? PAWLENTY: Yeah, I think the space program has played a vital role for the United States of America. I think in the context... KING: But can we afford it going forward? PAWLENTY: In the context of our budget challenges, it can be refocused and reprioritized, but I don't think we should be eliminating the space program. We can partner with private providers to get more economies of scale and scale it back, but I don't think we should eliminate the space program. KING: In a sentence -- in a sentence or two? (CROSSTALK) GINGRICH: John, you mischaracterized me. I didn't say end the space program. We built the transcontinental railroads without a national department of railroads. I said you could get into space faster, better, more effectively, more creatively if you decentralized it, got it out of Washington, and cut out the bureaucracy. It's not about getting rid of the space program; it's about getting to a real space program that works.
Posted by sk8ter2008[/QUOTE]
No, that's not what I was talking about. All you quoted was him claiming that we'd have a moon base if NASA money had been given to private industry (in a way entirely unlike Obama spurring 'green energy' with governmentmoney, of course) since 1969.
This is distinct from his plan to, in fact, have a moon base built over the next 8 years, when he believes he will be President.
The former House Speaker made national headlines this week with his proposal, which included flights to Mars by 2020 and a plan to have 13,000 Americans inhabit the moon base as some point so that they can apply for statehood.
His statements come just before Tuesday's primary in the Sunshine State. Florida's space coast, home to decades worth of space research projects and rocket launches, has been hit hard by NASA budget cuts.
A spokeswoman for NASA would not comment on Gingrich's proposal, which has been attacked by his Republican rivals.
"I spent 25 years in business," Romney said during this week's debate in Jacksonville. "If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I'd say, ‘You're fired.'"
Frank DiBello, CEO of Space Florida, the state's economic development agency for the aerospace industry, said Gingrich's timeline is "a little implausible," noting the technology to support long duration space flights to Mars does not exist.
Regardless, Gingrich pressed on with his plan while stumping in Florida on Sunday, criticizing the former Massachusetts governor.
"This isn't leadership," he said in Lutz, Fla. "Some of you may like it, or may dislike it -- but I gave the boldest explanation of going into space since John F. Kennedy in May of 1961. I believe in America with big solutions."
One space expert is having his say about Newt Gingrich's plans to build a lunar base, dismissing the presidential contender's out-of-this-world goal as nothing more than a political ploy.
Speaking to voters in Cocoa, Florida, last week, Gingrich promised to establish a permanent base on the moon by 2020 if he's elected president.
But as Gingrich showcases the groundwork for the moon base, one space expert in the Sunshine State believes the only thing Gingrich is laying down is political fodder.
Howard Chipman, CEO of Aurora Aerospace, a centre that offers astronaut training, told the New York Daily News that his claims are nothing more than a 'gimmick'.
Mr Chipman added: 'It's a cheap trick to get some Florida voters because of all of the space jobs here.'
(Reuters) - Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich called on Wednesday for a base on the moon and an expanded federal purse for prize money to stimulate private-sector space projects.
"We want Americans to think boldly about the future," Gingrich said during a campaign rally in Florida, where he outlined a space policy initiative that would cut NASA's bureaucracy and expand on private-sector space programs championed by President Barack Obama.
"By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American," Gingrich said.
"We will have commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism and manufacturing, because it is in our interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching," he said.
Gingrich is locked in a close battle with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as Florida prepares to vote on Tuesday in the Republican presidential primary. Republicans are seeking a nominee to challenge Democrat Obama in the November election. The rally in Cocoa was just down the road from the Kennedy Space Center.
With the retirement of the space shuttles last year, the United States is dependent on Russia to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station, a service that costs NASA about $60 million per person. China, the only other country that has flown people in space, is not a member of the station partnership.
In addition to supporting the station, a $100 billion laboratory owned by the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada, NASA is working on a spaceship and heavy-lift rocket that could carry astronauts to asteroids and other destinations beyond the station's 240-mile-high (385-km) orbit.
The Obama administration also backs the development of privately owned space taxis to break Russia's monopoly on transportation to the station.
Congress allotted $406 million for the program for the year that began on October 1.
Gingrich said he wanted to spend 10 percent of NASA's $18 billion budget on prize money for competitions that spur innovation and technological breakthroughs in space.
"I'm prepared to invest the prestige of the presidency in communicating and building a nationwide movement in favor of space," Gingrich said at a meeting of aerospace executives and community leaders after the rally.
"If we do it right, it'll be wild and it will be just the most fun you've ever seen," he said.
During a debate in Florida on Monday, Romney said he believed space should be a priority.
"What we have right now is a president who does not have a vision or a mission for NASA. I happen to believe our space program is important not only for science, but also for commercial development and for military development," he said.
So yeah. You're right: He's not a spending hypocrite on this front, he's just a loon.
He thinks 1.8 billion/yr in prize money will buy a moon base.