Former Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich famously called for an American base on the moon during his 2012 campaign; nearly two years later, he hasn’t given up his dreams of space exploration.
Gingrich told Yahoo News in an interview published Wednesday that he would still like to travel to space, “if I get the chance.”
The former House speaker said his competitors “deliberately distorted” his plan, which they characterized as a moon “colony,” and said now he’d like to see NASA innovate by turning to private sector funding.
“The one period of glory in NASA was the first nine years when they weren’t a bureaucracy yet … and they haven’t gotten back to that excitement, that adventurism, and won’t,” he told Yahoo News. “So, I would take most of the NASA budget, and I would turn it into prizes for private sector.”
Gingrich also addressed the flurry of primary opponents cropping up within the Republican Party ahead of 2014 midterm elections, calling those intra-party challenges “a sign of a very vibrant movement.”
“I like the turmoil,” he told Yahoo News. “You’re going to see a lot of tension and a lot of primary fights, but I don’t think that’s not healthy.”
[h/t Huffington Post]
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.