Texas Rep. Ron Paul said Thursday evening during CNN’s Florida primary debate that he didn’t think the government should finance another mission to the moon.
“I don’t think we should go to the moon,” he said. “I think we maybe should send some politicians up there sometimes.” (RELATED: Full coverage of Ron Paul)
Paul was reacting primarily to a proposal by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to establish a permanent American base on the moon by the end of his second term.
“I went into the Air Force in 1962 and studied aerospace medicine,” noted Paul, adding that he “had a daydream of becoming the first physician in space.”
But Paul said that he’d only support space funding for national defense purposes, and “not to explore the moon and go to Mars.”
“I think that’s fantastic. I love those ideas. but I also don’t like the idea of building government business partnerships,” he said. “If we had a healthy economy and had more Bill Gates and more Warren Buffetts, the money would be there.”
“We don’t need a bigger, a newer program. … Something else deserves a lot more priority than going to the moon,” said Paul, conceding again that he could support national defense space programs that were “not just for the fun of it.”