Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich promised Wednesday to build a base on the moon by the end of his second term in 2020, according to the Washington Post.
Speaking to a Cocoa, Florida crowd near Cape Canaveral, home of the Kennedy Space Center and the discontinued space shuttle program, Gingrich also responded to criticism from opponent Mitt Romney, who has charged that the former House speaker is prone to “zany” and “grandiose” ideas. "The Wright Brothers standing at Kitty Hawk were grandiose. John F. Kennedy was grandiose," Gingrich said, according to the Washington Post. "I accept the charge that I am grandiose and that Americans are instinctively grandiose."
NPR reported that the shuttering of the shuttle program caused a “loss of jobs on the Space Coast and a lack of well defined mission for NASA.”
Recent polls have shown than Gingrich's initial poll jump after his South Carolina victory has dimmed, and projections now place him neck and neck with Mitt Romney. Romney, who hoped to take South Carolina, has gone on the attack in order to reverse Newt’s gains in Florida, which has a winner-take-all primary. The 50 delegates at stake are more then Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina combined.
Nate Silver of the New York Times said of his model that suggests Gingrich has a 60 percent chance of taking Florida: “I suspect the model is being too conservative and that there is enough evidence — when you look carefully at the day-to-day results — to conclude that Mr. Romney has re-emerged as the slight favorite in Florida instead.”
The Post reported that Gingrich gave no details of how his plan would be enacted.