Trump Loves What NASA Represents, But Need to Fix Potholes First
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said at a campaign event today that while he loves what NASA represents, other problems -- like fixing potholes -- need to be fixed first. He also noted that "space" has been "taken over privately, which is great."
Trump spoke at a Politics and Eggs event in Manchester, NH today. Video is available from WMUR-TV. At about 44:49 into the video, Trump is asked by a 10-year old boy about his views on NASA. Trump replies:
"In the old days it was great. Right now we have bigger problems, you understand that, we've got to fix our potholes. You know we don't have exactly a lot of money. I love NASA. I love what it represents. I love what it stands for. And I hope that someday in the not too distant future we can get that going. Space is terrific. Space is terrific. ... space has actually been taken over privately, which is great. .... Lot of private companies going up into space. And I like that even better. It's very exciting."
He then tells the boy that if that is what he wants to do, it's "terrific for the future" and "whatever it is you love, you do."
In August, Trump was asked his views on sending people to Mars. He gave a similar answer -- that rebuilding the country's infrastructure has higher priority -- but did not talk about his broader views on NASA and the space program.
Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, and Hillary Clinton, are the two presidential candidates who have had the most positive statements to make about the space program during their campaigns. Bush has said "I'm a space guy" and wants "aspirational goals." Clinton said she "really, really" supports the space program.
The other candidates do not appear to have made substantive statements about their views on space as part of their campaigns. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), however, chairs the Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee of the Senate, Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and is the lead sponsor of commercial space legislation. A compromise version of that bill cleared the Senate last night. In a committee press release, Cruz said it "makes a commitment to supporting the continued development of a strong commercial space sector and recognizes the major stake Texas has in space exploration. ... It provides NASA and the International Space Station with nearly a decade of mission certainty.... Most importantly, it solidifies America's leading role in the commercial space sector and builds upon the work of President Reagan."
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