Mitt Romney's (Lack of) Space Vision
Willard Mitt Romney is ignorant when it comes to space policy and it was on display for all to see at Thursday night's debate. There is no possible explanation we can offer as to why Mr. Romney commented and used the rhetoric he did, it just was incoherent. Mr. Romney was all over the place on the space issue showing he really has no cogent thoughts about space exploration, settlement, and policy. Watch this video of Mr. Romney addressing the space issue and then compare it to Mr. Gingrich. I wish I had more from Mitt Romney on space but this is all that could be found.
To understand where Mr. Romney is coming from on space policy, you need to look at his advisors. Mr. Romney likes to say he is a Washington outsider but in reality, he is relying on former BIG NASA officials as advisors who resided in Washington DC and would love positions in a Romney Administration. Take one look at the Romney Space Policy Advisory Group and it is no wonder why the governor believes he needs hundreds of billions of dollars to do any worthwhile human space exploration. Most notably on this list is Dr. Michael Griffin:
Former NASA Administrator
Former Head of the Space Department, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Is Mitt Romney really taking advice from former NASA Administrator Dr. Michael Griffin? While we all agree that Dr. Griffin is well educated in physics and engineering, his track record suggests he is not grasping the economic condition of this country. Moreover, NASA was crippled under Dr. Griffin’s leadership.
Space voters must ask themselves:
Is this not the same man, Dr. Michael Griffin, who personally implemented and appointed the leadership team for the Constellation program that was ultimately canceled because of multi-year delays and cost overruns wasting at least $11 billion taxpayer dollars since 2005? Yes it is, but being the fiscally responsible candidate that he is, Mitt Romney would have Dr. Michael Griffin as his advisor.
Is this not the same man, Dr. Michael Griffin, who personally oversaw the James Webb Space Telescope spiral out of control, costing the American taxpayer at least $8.8 billion dollars with a launch slip of at least 10 years and all but crippling Science Mission Directorate? Yes it is, but being the fiscally responsible candidate that he is, Mitt Romney would have Dr. Michael Griffin as his advisor.
Is this not the same man, Dr. Michael Griffin, who’s failed BIG GOVERNMENT space policies of Constellation, Orion, and Ares while at the same time neglecting our commercial partners and the free markets have us now relying on the Russians for access to space? Yes it is, but being the free market candidate that he is, Mitt Romney would have Dr. Michael Griffin as his advisor.
Is this not the same man, Dr. Michael Griffin, who said the United States needed a “Big Monster Rocket” to return to the moon but under oath and in front of congress, Neil Armstrong, and Eugene Cernan said you could return to the moon with the equivalent of an Delta IV Heavy rocket which we currently use? Yes it is, but being the fiscally responsible, limited government, and free marketer that he is, Mitt Romney would abandon this plan and have Dr. Michael Griffin as his advisor.
This speaks directly to the question of who Mitt Romney would surround himself with as President. This is not a path for the United States space program that is consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets. Moreover, it is evident to us at TPiS that Mr. Romney, and his staff have not reviewed the Augustine Commission report in any real detail.
Mr. Romney’s vision for space is not good for America, NASA, Florida, or for tea party voters.