On the Tea Party movement:
I think that liberal outreach has about as much chance of success as the Obama outreach to Iran. . . .
It’s [the Tea Party] not the caricature as the press had it — as the disaffected, the poor, the losers — unsuccessful, racist, ignorant, uneducated whites. Which is exactly what you heard all of last year — when it wasn’t ignored. It turns out they’re middle class, slightly above the mean in education and in income.
But they represent a philosophy. And it’s libertarian. And it’s interesting. It’s got three ideas. It’s against high taxes, it’s against the intrusiveness of government, and in an even larger sense it’s kind of a constitutionalist idea.
There really is this notion of liberty, and that somehow the expansion of government — particularly since the liberals have taken over in the House, the Senate and the White House — has pushed taxes higher [and expanded] the reach, the power and the extent of government. And it’s a kind of betrayal of the American social contract.
These people oppose America becoming a social democracy like Europe. And they like the traditional idea of more risk, more independence and less government coddling and cradling of the population.
On President Obama’s plans for NASA:
We are seeing the abolition of the manned space program.
When Neil Armstrong speaks out, that’s an event. This is a guy who is the most self-effacing American hero in our history. He could have been Lindbergh and he became J.D. Salinger.
And now he speaks out in an open letter together with [Eugene] Cernan, the last guy that walked on the moon, and James Lovell, the commander of Apollo 13. And they are saying that the program that Obama has abolished – has cancelled — is essentially the end of man in space. It turns NASA into an R&D agency for pie-in-the-sky ideas like having humans on asteroids and ends its role as the agency that actually gets us into space, even low-Earth orbit and back.
Obama spoke about – we’ve done the moon, so we are going to do asteroids and Mars. This is total pie in the sky. On what rocket? With what space capsule? With what simulators? With what training program? There’s nothing here of substance.
And when Kennedy committed us “in this decade,” as he said, he meant it within his presidency. He intended to be — he expected he’d be — president until January 1969. Obama is talking about 2025, 2030. All of this is total speculation.
And what it does is it ends our human dominance in space, which we had for 50 years. We have no way to get into earth orbit. We’re going to have to hitch a ride on the Russians who are charging us extraordinary rates and are only going to increase that.…
All the private stuff [launching humans into space] is complete speculation. What we’re doing is we’re ceding the certainty of access into space. We are not going to have it. The Russians will have it. The Chinese will have it.
We spent tens of billions on the space station and spent three decades in constructing it. We’re not going to have any way to get there….
And we’ll look up in a decade and there’s going to be a lunar base … [there are] not going to be Americans on it.