Reporting from Cape Canaveral, Fla. — Taking his campaign to Florida’s space coast, Mitt Romney used the backdrop of an obsolete space module that once flew on the shuttle to call for a “new mission” for the U.S. space program and to accuse President Obama of failing to spur job growth as NASA initiatives have been scaled back.
But the former Massachusetts governor offered few specifics about what that mission would be or how his approach would differ from President Obama’s – beyond assembling a group to discuss the possible ideas. And he has mocked some of Newt Gingrich’s more ambitious notions, such as setting up a colony on the moon by 2020. But Romney has drawn strong support in this region of Florida because of his business background, and on Friday night, in an implicit dig at Gingrich, he told the cheering crowd in an empty hangar of Astrotech Corp. that he wasn’t going to pander to win their favor.
“In the politics of the past to get your vote on the space coast, I’d come here and promise hundreds of billions of dollars,” Romney said, “or I’d lay out what my mission is – ‘Here’s what we’re going to accomplish.’ I’m not going to do that… It’s not the way that the best decisions are made."