January 27th, 2012
03:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Space execs hope to rocket Romney

(CNN) - Eight former space executives threw their support behind Mitt Romney Friday, hoping to boost the candidate in a state with enormous stakes in America's space program.

In an open letter, the leaders said Romney was the candidate best positioned to reignite a program they said had languished under President Barack Obama.

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"Restoring the U.S. space program to greatness will require the leadership, management skill, and commitment to American exceptionalism possessed by only one candidate in this race: Mitt Romney," the group wrote in their letter.

In 2010, Obama announced he would cut NASA's lunar program from the federal budget, and focus more on exploration of deeper space. The space shuttle program officially ended in July 2011 with the launch of the shuttle Atlantis. Obama has advocated more private spacecraft for missions closer to Earth.

In their letter, Romney's space supporters described Obama's management of NASA as lacking "purpose or vision or mission."

"This failure of leadership has thrust the space program into disarray and triggered a dangerous erosion of our technical workforce and capabilities," the space leaders wrote. "In short, we have a space program unworthy of a great nation."

The letter also made a point of portraying Romney as realistic about America's space program, a point Romney himself made at Thursday's CNN Florida Republican Presidential Debate.

At the debate, Romney slammed rival Newt Gingrich for proposing expensive space plans in Florida, saying the former House speaker was pandering to the crowd with a vested interest in space investments.

"This idea of going state to state and promising what people want to hear, promising billions, hundreds of billions of dollars to make people happy, that's what got us into the trouble we're in now," Romney said.

The executives backing Romney are Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, USSpace Chairman Mark Albrecht, Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson, Apollo XVII Commander Gene Cernan, former shuttle pilot Bob Crippen, former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, former National Security Council Director of Space Policy Peter Marquez, and Tufts University Professor William Martel.

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Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Mitt Romney
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Watch Mittens flip on this now, and promise to spend billions and billions we don't have.

    January 27, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. diridi

    for wasting money on moon rocks...nonsense. what an idiots.

    January 27, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Smart people make such stupid mistakes” I heard before today that is true

    January 27, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Independent

    "space supporters described Obama's management of NASA as lacking purpose or vision or mission" – like everything else under Obama.

    January 27, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Jariv

    @Wire Palladin, S. F. -- You have shown how stupid you are. That is what Gingrich said. What a Moron !!!

    January 27, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Texas Doc

    News to Space Execs: There would be no space program were it not for Democrats. If they are looking for space cadets, well then the GOP is full of 'em.

    January 27, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Publius Novus

    Is Willard going to do this wonderful job before or after he fires the guy who brings in the idea?

    January 27, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. GL

    I thought we are broke.

    January 27, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. raj

    Obama has done right thing for space programme. Lanuching every other day space shuttle was not worthy especially in this economy. Private sector can enter into this now. Goverment should go little further exploration of deep space is perfectly good idea. Its an idea of future.

    January 27, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    The program didn't languish under Obama. Unmanned probes, telescopes and explorers are still being launched. Manned flight crawled to a dead stop because R&D on a replacement for the aging Space Shuttle languished under George W. Bush while he fought his wars on a terrified nation.

    We cannot go to the moon in the 2020s as Bush had projected because they didn't bother to fund enough money on a launch vehicle capable of reaching the moon. After the last Shuttle flight, the Tea Party hacked the NASA budget, cutting what little money there was for vehicle developement. Suggesting that Obama let the space flight languish is a gross mischaracteriztion by the very people who should know the factual reasons why US manned space flight has ground to a halt.

    January 27, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    In an open letter, the leaders said Romney was the candidate best positioned to reignite a program they said had languished under President Barack Obama.
    Read the article and eat your words from yesterday Rudy! In Obama's true form, he wouldn't want the USA being a world leader in anything. I'm sure he thinks this would upset people so he'd prefer to lead from behind in space as well as everything else.

    January 27, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. V in Chicago

    I guess the Space Execs don't want to live on the moon like Newt does. Race China to the moon? Please . . . How ridiculous can someone be and still expect to be taken seriously. This "Moon Base" thing shows that Newt is starting to crack. Keep watching folks, it's gets better every time he opens his mouth.

    January 27, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. packerfans

    Surely when Mitt become President Untied States, then my Advice better program space big surpise in history!! If he like my idea !!! Not Newts even Obama no way!! Go Vote Mitt Romney!!!!

    January 27, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Rob

    So, Republicans are for private enterprise and less government involvement, fewer tax dollars being spent on programs, etc... except when it comes to space? Then they are the opposite? Weird.

    January 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    What a joke.

    January 27, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Bill

    And how does he propose to pay for it?

    January 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. P

    Why do we waste money on space exploration when the US is in a deficit financial situation? What a waste of money..

    January 27, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    there is a reason that we have not gone back to the moon...think about it! Plus as far as the space program goes the shuttle program was ended by President Bush not Obama, just so happened it ended under Obama's watch.

    January 27, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Asking Romney for a vision on anything is like asking Gingrich for advice on self control. Its pandering, plain and simple.

    January 27, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    Truth, so, you are actually advocating spending billions you have already said we don't have? What happened for your calls for fiscal discipline, your dark visions of the US ending up like Greece? You can't even be consistent in your positions, typical mouthbreathing con.

    January 27, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There is so much to be done with space. There are very few wrong answers or plans. The idea to do nothing is one of the wrong ones. We can always plan to do things and work that into what we spend. This is an investment.

    January 27, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. king

    Where is the outrage from the tea bagging hacks that shouts Obama spends too much! Now they want to fight another war, and spends billions of dollars sending folks to the moon. Then you wonder why the repubs always run up the federal deficit.

    January 27, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Bruce

    Another reason why we shouldn’t elect this man. If he going to waste money on a program that’s going nowhere, while working people need a place to stay and food on their table, then he’s not worthy of the office…his priorities are not in order.

    January 27, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. kayla

    so, no money for social security, schools, but money for space. what idiots, maybe you guys need to land on space and stay there.

    January 27, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. tim12

    amazing that the execs did not back moon boy newt.

    January 27, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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