Gingrich promises ‘permanent U.S. moon base’ if he’s elected

Newt Gingrich Moon Base

Newt Gingrich wants to conquer the moon, in case you haven’t heard.

Speaking recently to a heavily NASA-populated crowd in Florida, the 68-year-old Republican contender promised to build a permanent U.S. moon base by the end of the decade…if he’s elected president.

A long-time space enthusiast, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives also said he wants to expand exploration of Mars.

“By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American,” Gingrich said.

“We will have commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism and manufacturing, because it is in our interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching,” he added.

Gingrich’s moon idea isn’t actually as crazy as it sounds, but his critics were swift to attack the practicality of his plan.

“The idea that anybody is going out and talking brand new, very expensive schemes to spend more money at a time when we do not have our fiscal house in order, in my opinion, is playing crass politics,” said former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, another candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

Gingrich is “not being realistic with the people of this country as to the nature and threat of the (fiscal) problem,” Santorum added.

What do you think? Is Gingrich’s moon base idea too far out for America’s budget?