In an interview with WPTV in Florida, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was asked about defense and the space program. His answer was more focused on the former (spend more!) than the latter (“robust”), providing few clues about what he and presidential candidate Mitt Romney would do with NASA if elected. Ryan refused to answer a question about NASA’s commercial space efforts.
Countering critics who perceived him and Romney as weak on national security and foreign policy, Ryan said Romney would propose to strengthen defense spending if elected.Ryan, who voted against the 2008 and 2010 NASA Authorization Acts, said he believed in a “robust space program.”
He said the space agency, which has shed thousands of jobs after the retirement of the space shuttle and the cancellation of its Constellation program, was an “invaluable asset to our national security.”
“President Obama has advanced what we think are devastating and irresponsible cuts to defense programs. We want to restore that because we believe in peace through strength. We believe in scientific research. We obviously believe that a robust space program is in the vital national security interests of America,” he said. “Mitt Romney has committed to restoring our national defense which we see as a national security issue including our space programs.”
Ryan declined to say which role, if any, commercial space companies such as Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, would have under a Romney-Ryan administration.
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