The full Gingrich speech on space

As noted by one commenter, the full Gingrich speech on space is available here on C-SPAN.

I have now listened to the whole speech, and can say without hesitation that everything I wrote in my previous post was correct. Gingrich is knowledgeable about space, science, and history. He is basing his proposals on past successful models where the U.S. government did nothing but buy the product developed by private individuals or companies. These proposals actually continue as well as accelerate the Obama administration’s efforts. And he is not proposing a giant pork program.

His proposal to have a moon base by 2020 is unquestionably campaign talk that won’t happen. Nonetheless, this proposal is aimed at energizing the American aerospace industry by focusing the government’s goals, which will then need to be purchased by the government from private companies. He also made it very clear he wants to shrink the NASA bureaucracy, reducing its budget while devoting ten percent of that savings (equal to billions of dollars) for prizes. The example of a $10 billion tax-free prize for the first to get to Mars was only for illustration. As he said,

The model I want us to build is largely is the model of the ’20s and ’30s, when the government was actively encouraging development but the government wasn’t doing anything. The government was paying rewards, it was subsidizing the mail. … We had enormous breakthroughs in aviation in the ’20s and ’30s at very little cost to the government because lots of smart people [outside the government] did it.

I beg everyone to listen to this speech, in its entirety. It illustrates a thoughtful man who understands history. Gingrich might not be a perfect man, and he certainly is not the perfect candidate for President, but don’t tell me what you think of him if you refuse to listen to him. For two decades too many people have eagerly expressed opinions about him without really listening to what he has actually said or done. And what he says here is reasonable, intelligent, and certainly worthy of consideration.


  • Jim

    Well, here’s the thing. Its not so much that there is no place for lofty goals and vision. Its that there is no place for that in the current Republican party. In last night’s debate, the vision of new space goals by Newt Gingrich was deftly swatted away by not just one of his opponents, but all three, with the most damning comment from Mitt Romney:
    ‘I spent 25 years in business. 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!’.’

    Now you can say that is a shallow understanding of the Gingrich proposal, but that does not matter. Romney just told Republicans voting in a primary that his opponent is looking to create a new government program that will cost tax payers billions.
    And that, at least today, has resonance with those who will vote on Tuesday.
    Not many will view the entire Gingrich speech, but many heard Romney last night.

  • jwing

    Why does it have to be a government program? Two brothers from Dayton, Ohio over 100 years ago dreamed lofty dreams with no government funding and beat Langley (the government funded apponent) and everyone else. Edison, the Wright brothers, Ford, Rockereller, Tesla, ect. were not dependent on government largess and approval to dream and succeed.

    Individuals tinkering and inventing is the meaning of “American Exceptionalism.”

  • Jim

    You and I both know you are right. Its just that this not what voters heard last night from 3 of the 4 candidates. I was thinking after I posted something above, it is interesting to break down Romney’s quote:
    ‘I spent 25 years in business. 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!’.’

    Here is what he told voters in one sentence:
    I’m a business man, and Mr. Gingrich is not.
    The Gingrich proposal will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, you will pay for it no matter what he says, and that is not worthy of business, no less government.
    I would fire this guy, and you should also on Tuesday.

  • i liked the part of newt’s speech when he said that lincoln first campaigned on building a railroad before there were trains around . cool history

  • Kelly Starks

    Cool finally the full speech! All I could find were 6 min clips.

  • Kelly Starks

    Sadly true.

    Gingritch talked about great visions, but with no substance to how he’ld do them, what it would cost, etc. Tried to do a JFK “put a man on the moon by the end of the decade” speech. But most of that speach was ignored and forgotten, and the moon flight was really seen as a race with the Soviets, and folks trusted the gov back then.

    Now in the US, with the gov having spent decades crushing them and convincing them space is impossible, they want to hear the “how” clearly outlined. Newt was bouncing all over on imges, anecdotes etc, but not meat.

    His idea for prizes (around 25min) to acheve stuff has merit – but getting the gov, or voters, to set aside $2B a year from NASA for prizes? Good luck. Further doing what he says for what he wants to putout ($10B to get to Mars, etc) how much could you get for that? Not only the question could any research team develop that much for that (launchers, life support systems, landers, etc) test them, etc for $10B or attract the difference? I mean the Xprize attracted Paul Allen to spend $25M for $1M, but billions?! 2nd, how much useful tech would you get out of those prizes? SS1 turned out to not be very comercilizable. Would the Marsprize craft be good for much?

  • wade

    they will say Anything to get the job….and it only pays a trifle of their personal worth. For Fame.

  • wade

    i cant believe how Mr. zimmermans site of scientific ideals has turned so political in its volume. we all sound live an eastern nation before it fell

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