Romney jabs Gingrich over space ideas
December 9th, 2011
09:17 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney jabs Gingrich over space ideas

(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.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Kris Craig

    Really?! Is that the level at which Republicans debate one another? I think Gingrich is a tool, but even I know that Gingrich isn't proposing that we light our highways with moon-mounted mirrors. Romney is only showing a lack of both imagination and maturity. During the Kennedy Administration, he would've no doubt been among those who laughed when JFK proposed landing a person on the moon.

    But this is what works in Republican primaries. Why? Because the average Republican voter is a complete idiot. They look down their noses at intellectuals and see science as the enemy. As a result, the worst thing a Republican can do in a primary (aside from having s-e-x outside a straight marriage) is say something thoughtful and intelligent. Their opponents will have a slew of snyde, juvenile remarks on standby as Mitt Romney once again proved today.

    It's a sad state of affairs when Newt Gingrich has become the voice of reason within the Republican party....

    December 9, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Is there Space enough in the Universe for such death stare thinking egos ?

    Planet Newt Vs Planet Mitt


    Newt is from Mars , Mitt is from Venus ?

    December 9, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. GJ

    Talk about desperate. Maybe you should've ran a campaign that stood for something before a frontrunner came along that you now have to scramble to attack.

    December 9, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. Cody

    "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

    Is he talking about the GOP's ideas?

    December 9, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  5. The LONE OKIE

    Newt wanted to put a colony on the moon, and mirrors in space to light the highways at night. I like him, because he is for big government.

    December 9, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. LegendRx

    Newt have at em. Romney is a sissy boy at best.

    December 9, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  7. normajean @ verizon ,com

    The worm has turned and you are it!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. Larry L

    I believe Gingrich's child labor concept needs modification. Children of the wealthy should clean the latrines to learn humility and compassion. They should also get their healthcare from Medicaid and their clothing from Goodwill. Those "future Republicans" would benefit from a taste of poverty.

    December 9, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  9. Leroy

    It would be a great idea to colonize the Moon with past and present GOP presidential contenders....

    December 9, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. Peter

    Hey Romney: Like what priorities? Must be to give it all to the rich again, since you're against any spending that would help the middle class get out of the mess created by corporate folks like you. I don't know which one of you idee uhts is more idee otic.

    December 9, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  11. Adam

    This is why I like Gingrich.

    December 10, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  12. Willam Dix

    I would say that in this case Romney is making a fool of himself.

    As much as their is plenty to deride about Gingrich record. His knowledge of space and technology is far greater than Romney's

    December 10, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  13. m

    OK Willard since you have better ideas do you plan to share them with us anytime soon?

    December 10, 2011 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  14. Tony

    Romney wants to make sure that we will have enough resources to fight the coming war with Iran, since he and every other Republican candidate (except Ron Paul) have promised to go to war to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

    December 10, 2011 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  15. Donkey Party

    Just as he does with his attempts at insulting President Obama, Willard Romney comes across as weak and petty going after Newt as well.

    December 10, 2011 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  16. diridi

    both are idiots...ship jobs overseas..boot them out...

    December 10, 2011 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  17. Namejkane

    It dosnt matter who the republican clowns nomenate , they will lose the next election, all republican retreds with failed policys from the past that got us into this mess. Only teabags from Iowa that don't know any better would vote for these clowns with their stoneage policys

    December 10, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  18. unsub

    send them both to the moon! Obama forever!

    December 10, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Debbie from Arizona

    Romney versus Gingrich. This seems to be a battle of the giant egos.

    December 10, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. GonzoinHouston

    Gingrich walks and talks like someone who could beat, or at least compete with, Obama, and he's far enough out on the right wing to satisfy the TP's and related wing nuts. I can understand why Republicans are suddenly flocking to his banner. The problem is, he may act like a legitimate presidential candidate, but he only plays one on television. Independents will never buy into his nonsense, and the left will be energized by it. Obama will flatten him in a national election.

    December 10, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. RINO Bil

    Romney has no vision and, apparently, he failed to read all the details about what Gingrich is proposing. While I don't agree with all of Newt's plam, Romney's response is superficial and worse, sloppy.

    December 10, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. Portland tony

    At least Newt has a few ideas mittens. The problem with your entire campaign is you started well, but got so dull so fast.

    December 10, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Innkahoots

    First of all, I would suggest that they quit using the term (speaker) in referance to Newt. It gives him more creadence than he diserves. And if your are, you should use the term( Disgraced Speaker),or fired speaker( the Don will like that one). As far as a moon base, It may not be the time to fund such and expedition, but it is our destiny to move off this rock ,before we suck all the natural resources right out from beneith our very feet. And the sooner we do the better.

    December 10, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. The Democratic Party works for the people, the RepubliCON Party obstructs for profit.

    The problem is Gingeritch believes every idea he comes up with is a smart idea Рbecause he thinks he's so smart. And Romney only repeats other people’s ideas if he thinks still other people like those ideas.
    There is very little understanding of reality or useful intelligence from either of them.

    December 10, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. mike with a mustache

    Anytime a republican proposes something other than the same failed policies they try to repackage and regift to America, ill listen. Moon mining and space mirrors may sound stupid, but its a break from the usual garbage. The whole custodial sweatshop thing I'm not sure about.

    December 10, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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