(CNN) - While Mitt Romney has mostly danced around specific attacks against newly minted front-runner Newt Gingrich, he didn't hesitate to take aim at Gingrich over his past advocacy for private space exploration projects.
"I saw the speaker had a measure that I read about to put a permanent colony on the moon, to mine rare materials from the moon," Romney said Friday in an interview with The Des Moines Register editorial board. "I think we've got other priorities for our spending before we do that."
He added: " (Gingrich) even talked about a series of mirrors that we could put in space that would light our highways. I've got better ideas for our resources."
Over the last few weeks, the former Massachusetts governor has watched Gingrich knock him out of his steady spot at the top of several state and national polls.
Several of Romney's high-profile supporters have taken to phone conferences with reporters to attack Gingrich's record, a tactic the former House speaker has also used in response.
Also in the interview, Romney took issue with his opponent's controversial stance on child labor. Gingrich recently repeated that he thinks children in poor communities should take up part-time jobs–including janitorial jobs–in order to learn a strong work ethic.
"I disagree with the speaker thinking we should eliminate some parts of child labor laws so that kids could clean schools," Romney said. "I don't think that's a great idea."
He further hit Gingrich over other issues, including climate change and immigration policies.
Comparing himself with Gingrich, Romney said, "We're very different people."
The former speaker's campaign has previously responded to attacks from his opponents, saying this is only the beginning.
"This won't be the first, this won't be the last. There's going to be an awful lot of them, and none of them are going to work," said Gingrich press secretary R.C. Hammond in a statement on Thursday.
- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.
The Repubs are holding our government hostage in hopes of making Americans give up their freedoms so we can have our government back. But we all know the hostage taker can never be trusted. We must purge the terrorists from our society.
And once again a Republican comes out against investing in the future, against investing in science and industry, against any sort of progress whatsoever that doesn't involve handing billions over to Wall Street parasites who don't work. Mittens is for spoiled billionaires. He could care less about anyone else, including America's future.
There is an abundance of resources in our solar system that can used here on earth. If America doesn't take the steps needed to research and develop those resources another country, such as China will. How can we call ourselves leaders if all we end up doing is following. Having a permanent lunar base could be used to lessen the cost of space exploration plus be used to learn how to colonize other planets.
The space ideas have been floated around for years, as part of a future construct for humanity several centuries from now, if we haven't destroyed our planet by then. G'rinch is doing what he always does: toss off ideas left and right to show how brilliant he is, when in fact his ideas have no bearing on today's ills. As for Romney: always reacting, never being proactive, always trying to figure out what people want him to do; rather than him figuring out what should be done. G'rinch in particular reminds me of a conversant evil doll: Chucky from the movies, or Talking Tina from the Twilight Zone: no good thoughts from either of them.
Gingrich has a space plan? And Romney's reacting to it?
Way to take on the great burning issues of the times, guys!
Mittens is digging up old news to knock Newt on, these are old positions of Newt's based on ideas stemming out of the scientific community. Newt hasn't spoke on these issues recently. Either way I think Newt is right on to support mankind's progress.
Newt vs. Romney – this will be great! Obama might as well start planning his second term...
That's what Gingrich did best in school....he took up space...
OBAMA 2012! NO WAY are any of these clowns winning the general. I laugh that they waste all this time and money for candidates that are unelectable
Gingrich can't be an American president. He was born on the Moon.
A Gingrich space plan sounds great! When will he be leaving?
republican love funding projects with tax payer money,if its a no win, blame the goverment ,if its a money maker privitize the profit ,they call it capitalisum
That’s funny, that statement may well be the only thing I agree with Gingrich on. Someone tell Romney that the recourse we need from the moon is helium-3, and it will make the moon the middle east of the 21st century. But don’t tell that to the clean coal lobby, they would much rather have china control that vast energy supply (enough to run our entire civilization for as much as a millennium) than have their personal gravy trains threatened. And we all know lobbyist always get what they want from Washington.
hey Mitt..why not call Newt out on what he really said that was disgusting....having poor kids work as janitors in schools...(not the rich kids mind you) keeping up the myth that poor families only sit at home and collect welfare not that most try to work 2 to 3 low paying jobs just to make ends meet. You won't do it because the low life right wing base of your party CHEERS such tripe and you DEF do not want to upset them since they don't really care much for you anyway. Yeah let the poor kids clean up trash and vomit (which is what most school janitors do) while they fire the real janitors which may be their fathers and mothers by the way with the only jobs they can have. Call him out on THAT Romney and I'll be more impressed than with this space junk.
WOW, another whole year of this clap
Now that Ralph Nader has a chance at winning he quits the race.
@Doug: Seriously, sir, get out the Yellow Pages and find a competent psychologist in your area. Going by the overwrought, irrelevant hate and fear you've been spewing since 2008, I can only conclude that at one point in your life you were rejected/abandoned by someone who was a declared Democrat. Oh, and it must have happened while you were driving – only explanation I can come up with for your ranting about how the democrats, as a whole, are: 1) discourteous drivers, 2) cruel to the poor, 3) pathological liars, ad nauseum, no matter what the actual subject of the article is aboutl Seek help in pinpointing the cause of your sad delusions.
The Republicans will nominate their actual candidate from the convention floor. They have these clowns competeing now (except Ron Paul) merely to take up time and keep their actual preselected candidate from accidentally getting a black eye until he has to take the game to the President.