Why GOP candidates are talking about space
January 27th, 2012
06:17 PM ET
3 years ago

Why GOP candidates are talking about space

John Zarrella is CNN's principal correspondent for coverage of the U.S. space program, covering such events such as John Glenn’s 1998 return to space, the Mars Pathfinder mission and numerous space shuttle launches. Zarrella was the CNN network correspondent on site when the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster occurred. In 2011, Zarrella covered the final flights of the Space Shuttle program.

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich got a lot of mileage out of his comments on building a moon colony by 2020. Whether you think that should get him a one-way ticket to the moon on the first flight or you believe his vision is an inspiration, he did accomplish one big thing.

Gingrich got the conversation started. What kind of space program do we want? What kind can we afford? Had Gingrich not said what he said, the space program might have been totally ignored, as it has been so often in the past.

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Filed under: 2012 • Florida
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Because they want to blame Pres. Obama for some sort of decline in American excpetionalism. The facts are that the Bush administration cut NASA's budget over the past decade. Cut funding for a new launch vehicle, command modules, service modules, etc. The Bush administration killed R&D on a replacement for the Space Shuttle. But, the GOP wants to blame Pres. Obama for all of it.

    January 27, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. Proud Progressive

    Gangrenes got no intention of going to the moon. You have to remember where he was when he said it. Florida....home of the space program. This whackjob conman will say anything for a vote. He doesn't even qualify for president of the local rotory club.

    January 27, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. bobcat2u

    You asked what kind of space program can we afford. At this point in time, we can't afford any kind of a space program. Let's get our priorities straight. First let's get our nation working again. Help the people who have been put out of their homes through no fault of their own. Get our education system back up to where it used to be. I could name a lot more, but I'm getting tired of typing.

    January 27, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. Ed DFWTX

    I think the moon is a good idea. All the GOP candidates and their followers move to the Moon and leave the rest of us middle class, working Americans alone – Amen.

    January 27, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    The Republicans are talking about space because there is very little left on Earth that they have not strip mined, acid rained, moved jobs overseas, paid for criminal labor, bribed corrupt officials and generally squeezed every drop of profits out of. Maybe they think any possible aliens will be like Tea Parties, too stupid to see them for the creatures they are.

    January 27, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. kayla

    pandering to the latinos, have they no shame?

    January 27, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Squigman

    It's a distraction, and a sound bite that hopefully will snow the American people. The republicans, do not want issues pertaining to a mess they made, given the light of day. The best way to distract, is to talk of smoke and mirror issues. Mission accomplished.

    January 27, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. Little Jimmy Truth

    That's good!!! Excellent for GOP!!!

    January 27, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. Charlie from the North

    Don't try to read too much into it. Space: It is just what is in their heads.

    January 27, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. DENNA

    A colony on the moon is the ONLY way Newt will be president – that is if there are no democrats there. LOL

    January 27, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    They aren't serious; this is all political pandering. They'll all be for government-subsidized mint juleps and horse racing by the time they reach Kentucky.

    January 27, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  12. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Why GOP candidates are talking about space
    Because they want “small” government but BIG is just as great
    It only indicates that they will say whatever it takes to get a vote
    Hence, the formula for a true FLIP-FLOPPER meaning, they’re all a joke!!

    Obama 2012

    January 27, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  13. enuff

    You can't mine resouces from the moon... it would require a pipeline to bring everything back and the GOP congress would attach it to a bill to force it in 2 months. we all know how that turns out.

    January 28, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  14. Sergio

    I think it is tragic – borderline comical – that people who think affordable, universal health care is a "costly, socialist" program, at the same time think they can afford to invest in an ambitious-ludicrous space program that will take some time to deliver any tangible results.

    Really folks, where are the priorities?

    January 28, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  15. Anonymous

    This flaccid field of clown car candidates is focused on space because they hope one day to return home to Planet WIngnut.

    January 28, 2012 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  16. diridi

    look, bellowing the smoke emitted from space pollutes, so these GOP idiots pollute the Nation. Just plain idiots want to spend for this pollution for other nations to use our expertise on cell phones, and WARS. Please stop, we do not need these idiotic stuff.

    January 28, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |