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Newt Gingrich Defends Space Plans, Says He Will 'Change Washington Decisively'

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Newt Gingrich on Sunday morning defended his much-ridiculed pitch for a space colony on the moon by drawing a distinction between himself and what he described as Mitt Romney's technocratic timidity.

During Thursday night's GOP debate in Florida, the former Massachusetts governor reacted to Gingrich's space colony plans with derision. Noting his 25 years in business, Romney said, "If I had a business executive come to me and say they wanted to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I'd say, 'You're fired.'"

The former House speaker responded Sunday on "This Week," saying, "You know, Romney's run for six years, and his message on the space coast this week was he would assemble a group of experts to think about what he might do as president, some day, possibly."

"I'm very different. I think that we can, in fact, fix Social Security with a bold new plan," he added. "I think that we can, in fact, re-launch the country with an American energy plan that lowers the price of gasoline and generates huge amounts of revenue for the federal government, creates millions of American jobs. I think we can, in fact, use the private sector and modern science to have a bold program in space."

Gingrich continued:

I never said it would be a government program, but I do believe a president who's visionary, a president who believes in America's greatness, a president who's willing to do...launch big projects and rally the American people to big ideas...you know, Eisenhower launched the interstate highway system. We all drive on it now. I suspect if I had proposed that, Mitt Romney would have said, "Oh, that's way too expensive. Let me study carefully two-lane highways."

This is a perfect example of the difference in the two candidacies. He is a manager who will manage the decay. I am a leader who has a vision of a bold, exciting American future where we change Washington decisively. And there's a good reason the Washington establishment is afraid of me. I will, in fact, lead the American people to change Washington. Romney will, in fact, hang out with his establishment friends, managing the decay, and explaining to the rest of us why that's the best hope we have.

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