Guest column: Obama's space vision, Rusty Schweickart, FL Today
"As President Obama visits the Space Coast today, we are witnessing how his policies are bringing jobs to the area and new hope to the space community. Florida's Space Coast has become not just the launching pad for commercial rockets to the station and America's launch pad for the largest heavy-lift rocket that NASA has ever built, but is now also a launching pad for new businesses and jobs of the future. In light of this leadership, Mitt Romney's candidacy presents a stark choice. Romney claims to support the space program, but like many other issues this election, Romney fails to present Americans a plan for the future of NASA and the program that is forever etched in our nation's history."
Republicans' plan for space program mirrors Obama's, opinion, FL Today
"Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee have blown it on space. For two years, Republicans have accused President Barack Obama of bungling Brevard County's signature industry. They hammered him in appearances and interviews for canceling Constellation, botching thousands of shuttle jobs and relying on the Russians for lifts to the International Space Station until private U.S. rockets fly. But given a chance to do better, Republicans in Tampa approved a platform that calls for ... staying the course. Their plan is, literally, Obama's plan."
"Here on the Space Coast, we started a new era of American exploration that is creating good jobs right here in this county. (Applause.) We've begun an ambitious new direction for NASA by laying the groundwork for 21st century space flight and innovation. And just last month, we witnessed an incredible achievement that speaks to the nation's sense of wonder and our can-do spirit -- the United States of America landing Curiosity on Mars. (Applause.)
The president picked a tricky spot in Florida to make his case. The Melbourne area supported Republican nominee John McCain in 2008 by a wide margin, but demographic changes have made the area more friendly to Democrats, an Obama campaign official said. Mindful of the importance of the space industry to voters in a part of the state that includes the Kennedy Space Center, Obama defended his administration's handling of the space program during the rally.
Space exploration is star-crossed on campaign trail, Washington Times
Mr. Romney drew laughter during a Republican debate in Florida in January when he proclaimed that he would have fired primary contest rival Newt Gingrich for proposing the establishment of a human colony on the moon. "If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I'd say, 'You're fired,'" Mr. Romney quipped. "The idea that corporate America wants to go off to the moon and build a colony there, it may be a big idea, but it's not a good idea."