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. der

    That dam their space t00k er jooobs!

    December 10, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. mary sabbah

    romney shd just forget it.americans dont need an accultist in the white house.we are better than will be a national disgrace.he must know by now that americans just dont want him as president.

    December 10, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Hind-sight is always 20-20. Ask Newt about Glass-Seagall:

    "The bill originally passed the Senate on a largely party line vote. Republicans at the time held the majority in the Senate, as well as in the House. When the House and Senate bills were reconciled, the final vote was a veto proof majority in both chambers.

    Repeal was effected by the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act. All three gentlemen were Republicans.

    So not clear how you manage to lay the repeal at the hands of Clinton and Rubin (who, BTW, left office several months before the bill was enacted)"

    December 10, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. sensible

    Child labor is, and should always be, illegal. In saying only poor children(ie. minorities) should be 'tapped' as laborers, he is showing his racist 'values'! He wants to re-enslave the minorities! Child labor is slavery.

    December 10, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |

    Romney you're just showing how ignorant you really are. What Ginrich said or believes in years back has nothing to do with the man wanting to turn the economy, make jobs and a stronger military of today. Talk about realistic plans for a better America, getting rid of the cancer, Obama. Make America stronger and not weakening her like Obama is doing.

    December 10, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. evandermole

    At least Gingrich is thinking outside the box with the moon / mirror ideas rather than just regurgitating "drill, baby, drill" as if it's a solution to our energy problems. It would be nice if Romney articulated what his allegedly better ideas are, since he kept saying he has them.

    December 10, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. GI Joe

    So – does Newt propose all this to spend trillions and zillions of dollars just to turn around 18 or so years later and say it was a mistake? He's done that many many times before. The most expensive to date (causing the wall-street crash of 2008) was him pushing and getting a veto-proof repeal of Glass Steagall. Look it up.

    December 10, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Romney Un-Electible

    At least Newt has ideas! Romney has nothing to offer and tells us nothing of what he would do as President.

    December 10, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Doug

    Well if we could put all the Democrats on the moon then back here at home we would run a surplus with minimal taxe since all Republicans are givers and all Democrats are takers.

    December 10, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. SNAPPA

    Not that I can stand Gingrich which I totally cannot at least he shows some vision. Romney has no vision whatsoever because of his cult understandings. As humans go we need to get off this rock one way or another, what was it Stephen Hawkins said "we shouldn't be putting all our eggs in one basket" and he is right. One big rock, one stray black hole and it's all over. Eventually the sun will run out of fuel and go red giant on our asses and bake the world into a cinder. Where will Romneys spending priorities be then?

    December 10, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. bilk7

    We'll see in tonight's debate how much courage Romney has when he's standing right next to Gingrich. Why is Tim Pawlenty coming to mind?

    December 10, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Tony

    While I seriously dislike both Mitt and Newt, we can't stop and say "Space exploration and research can take a back burner for now while we sort out other problems." The space race and further research is what made all of today's technologies possible... cell phones, computers, the internet, and so many more. These have all provided so many advantages to society in general. If we do not do it, another country will... and they will have gained an advantage over us.

    A society that has stopped looking forward is a society that will stagnate and fail.

    December 10, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Mittens is getting desperate with his "kitchen sink" approach to attacking Newt. And the pix are wonderful! Newt's looks like "hey, don't give me free booze and free mic time" and the Romney pic screams "I'm unstable; don't leave me alone with sharp objects or children."

    December 10, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Dixie AZ

    Is Newt having trouble keeping on track? Any quirky idea - reasonable or not - falls out of his brain onto his tongue like a gum ball.

    December 10, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Ken from FL

    Sounds as though Mitt is floundering around, looking for an issue. At least Gingrich doesn't suffer from a lack of that "vision thing."

    December 10, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. gino

    Put 'em both on a one-way trip to Mars. Or anywhere.

    December 10, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. independent

    Republican are holding up nominees all over the place; they are holding or threatening to hold Congressional investigations driven out of political motivation; they are trying to hold up government at all levels – hurting the average American – in order to force the President out of office. I call on all Democrats and Independents at all levels to immediately hold investigations into these activities, as well as activities motivated to reduce Democrat-leaning voters from voting. The Congress, the Senate and all State legislatures should immediately begin hearing into these activities. They are undemocratic, they are unpatriotic, they undermine our democracy, they hurt the economy and the national interests of the United States of America, and that is how they should be portrayed. Do it now, do it consistently and do it forever – or at least until reasonable Republicans again gain control of their national party and strategy.

    December 10, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Ground Zero

    *** The space race and further research is what made all of today's technologies possible... cell phones, computers, the internet, and so many more.......

    And a whole new generation of rude selfish uneducated morons.
    Drive around texting endangering other peoples lifes.
    Cant put the phone down for one minute to to talk to a cashier.
    Cell phones going off in movies houses and churches, restaurants and doctors offices.
    People hiding behind thier keyboards and insulting other posters.

    Wonderful technology, huh !

    December 10, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. ngc1300

    All Newt's campaign needs is a little smoke to add to the mirrors, and he's ready to roll!

    December 10, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. Mdavid

    Great. This is the one thing that Gingrich has right - support for space industry with the main initial task of building solar power satellites as an alternative energy souce. This is a serious proposal that originated with the physicist Gerard O'Neill at Princeton University, and currently being worked on by any number of researchers. And this the thing that Romney chooses to challenge Gingrich on. Gotta hand it to the republican field. There's not a single person in it who I'd trust with Presidency.

    December 10, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Shaking my head in laughter at these two space cadets.

    Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, neither Romney or Gingrich has of yet chosen to discuss the real issues facing real folks - plans to increase job growth in America - without the hocus pocus we'll wave our magic wand rhetorical BS.

    December 10, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Doug

    "Independent" is correct, Mexican drug cartel killing a US border agent with a gun they were given from the Obama administration is no big deal at all, I'm sure he or she would be consistent with this line of thinking if the Bush admin did the same thing.

    Observe what Democrats say, what they do, and what they wish for, pretty easy to understand why they don't believe in a higher power that will one day hold them accountable for the life they have lived and their actions, thoughts, and wishes.

    While Democrats continue on their taker spree, I want to thank every Republican and true independent who is giving to the less fortunate this holiday season. Democrats will continue their war on Christmas while those in the center and on the right will continue giving, sharing, and helping. Its nice how a comparison of red vs blue areas shows just how telling ideology is in character and decency of a person.

    December 10, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. Ralf The Dog.

    Spending money on development of space technology is investing in the future. Tax breaks for corporations to outsource American jobs is intentional destruction of the United States economy. The mirror idea is more than a bit of a joke and due to the amount of energy, it would be cheaper to robotically mine asteroids than send people to dig on the Moon. (It takes far more energy to take off from the moon than it takes to go from the belt to Earth, Remember, in space, distance does not add cost, only the change in velocity you need to overcome gravity.) I think his general concepts are sound.

    December 10, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. ZB

    So Romney wants to take us back to the dark ages and Gignrich wants to take us on a space ride, but in either case the Republican/Tparty want to take us to the looney bin.

    December 10, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. bobden

    Do we need to pay all the other countries on earth for the right to dig up valuable stuff on the moon for our use?
    That is, if there are any valuable things to dig up. What's the cost to find out?

    December 10, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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