Election 2004: January 2004 Archives

18 January 2004: Clark takes stand on flag: 'Flags ought to be a way of uniting people, not dividing people', Times & Democrat

"Clark is dubious about President Bush's proposal to establish a base on the moon and work toward an eventual manned mission to Mars. "It's not clear to me that the program, as Bush has explained it, makes sense or fits into our priorities," Clark said. "It looks like an election year gimmick to me."

Dems don't like space

15 January 2004: Gore blasts Bush space plan, says Earth neglected, Reuters

"Instead of spending enormous sums of money on an unimaginative and retread effort to make a tiny portion of the moon habitable for a handful of people, we should focus instead on a massive effort to ensure that the Earth is habitable for future generations," Gore said to a cheering Manhattan crowd."

15 January 2004: Bush Calls for New Direction for Space Program, McClatchy Newspapers

"Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in New Hampshire last week, said Bush's plan "is not worth bankrupting the country" and suggested it is politically motivated. Some analysts said Bush wants to inject a bold, forward-looking domestic initiative into his re-election campaign this year."

15 January 2004: Kerry comments on Moon Policy, SF Chronicle

"Rather than sending Americans to Mars or the moon right now, these people would be better off trying to figure out how to get Americans back from Iraq," he said."

15 January 2004: Transcript - Bush Space Plans, Dr. John H. Gibbons Former Presidential Science & Technology Adviser, Washington Post

"Dr. John H. Gibbons: I'm sad about the focus on human space flight when we're doing so well with robotics which extend human presence. This refocus on human flight is something that worries me greatly. I think its a misplaced focus on the future that will borrow heavily from an already deficit-ridden country. It also seems to be unilateral, and it should be an international effort."

15 January 2004: Razor-thin race whips Iowa into final frenzy, Washington Post (via Seattle Times)

The passion that unions feel about defeating Bush became evident when, in his speech, Gephardt made a dismissive reference to the president's new proposal that would send Americans back to the moon and eventually to Mars. Spontaneously, the union workers broke out in a chant: "Send Bush to Mars! Send Bush to Mars!"

12 January 2004: Dean admits he had no minorities in his cabinet, AP

"Asked about Bush's expected call for a costly new effort to return U.S. astronauts to the moon and send them to Mars, Gephardt said that NASA ought to remain focused on the space station. "I think we ought to see this through before we go on to something else," he said. He also said that with the deficit at $450 billion, the nation's first priority ought to be job creation."

11 January 2004: Dean catches flak over record on minorities, St Louis Post Dispatch

Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio turned a question on the space program into a platform of canceling President George W. Bush's tax cuts, bringing troops home from Iraq and slashing the Pentagon budget. And, he threw in a joke for good measure: "I've been wondering why the president would, while we're still in Iraq, talk about going to the moon and going to Mars. Maybe he's looking for the weapons of mass destruction still."


11 January 2004: Mars, the moon on Bush's Agenda, Marin Independent Journal

But politics does not stop at the atmosphere's edge. At a rally in Rochester, N.H., yesterday for his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor, suggested that Bush's motivation was political, and he asked how the program would be paid for. "I happen to think space exploration is terrific," Dean said. "Where is the tax increase to pay for it? It is not worth bankrupting the country."

11 January 2004: Democrats in Tight Race Before Iowa Caucuses, Reuters

"At a pancake breakfast in Waterloo, Iowa, Dean took aim at Bush instead, calling him out of touch with reality and ridiculing his upcoming call for replacing aging U.S. space shuttles with a new generation spacecraft to get Americans back to the moon and on to Mars."

11 January 2004: CNN Late Edition (Transcript)

BLITZER: "Let's go through a few of the substantive issues on the agenda right now. The president expecting next week, in this coming week, to announce a major new initiative on space, to perhaps send man, maybe women, men and women, back to the moon for some sort of a permanent base there, and maybe even, long term, go out to Mars. Is this money well spent?"

LIEBERMAN: "You know, I have very mixed feelings about it, but I'll make clear where I end up. Remember, I was attracted into politics by President Kennedy, so the moonshot program thrilled me, and I've always supported the space program. But if you ask me whether the best use of $1 trillion of American taxpayer money in the coming years is to land a mission on Mars or the moon, I'd say no. We need it right here on Earth to give health care that's affordable to everybody, to improve our education system, and do better on veterans' benefits and homeland security. And I'll tell you, I've got an idea to create an American center for cures, that will set as the goal something that seems as impossible today as it did when Kennedy said we could go to the moon, and that's to cure chronic diseases like Alzheimer's and forms of cancer and diabetes, et cetera, et cetera. But if we need -- if we had that kind of money, we could do it right here on Earth. And, frankly, I think that's more important to the American people than that kind of space voyage at this point in our history."


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