Your morning jolt: Debate leaves Newt Gingrich moonstruck

Yes, the big hit that Mitt Romney leveled at Newt Gingrich in last night’s GOP presidential debate was about immigration.

But the ridicule of Gingrich’s dreams of establishing a permanent colony on the moon may have been a greater shock to the former U.S. House speaker’s image as a man of grandiose ideas:

From Romney, ridiculing Gingrich’s plan to privatize a lunar settlement: “I spent 25 years in business. 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 problem is that Gingrich points to John F. Kennedy’s vow in 1961 to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade as a mark of American optimism and its instinct for exploration.

But in truth, the race to the moon was a Cold War competition. We spent billions of dollars to beat the space-minded Soviets. That was the source of our political will — though we may now prefer to believe otherwise. The question that Gingrich can’t answer is, if we don’t establish a subdivision on the lunar surface, who will we lose to?

***
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is learning the same lesson that Jimmy Carter became subject to in 1981 – the home folks don’t mind you running for president. But losing is another matter. From the Associated Press:

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s White House bid tarnished his image enough that he’s about as popular in his solidly Republican home state as President Barack Obama, a poll published Thursday shows.

Perry’s approval rating after his failed presidential bid has fallen to 40 percent, a 10-point drop from a year ago and slightly less than Obama’s 43 percent statewide approval rating, according to the poll. More than half of the people who responded to a statewide survey don’t want Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, to run for another term in 2014.

Perry’s campaign for president — during which he made a series of public gaffs and debate flubs that turned him into a national punch line — embarrassed some Texans. Forty-five percent of those polled said the campaign actually hurt the state’s image.

“He should have never been in the race,” said Traci Humphrey, a 33-year-old Republican from Dallas, who wasn’t a poll respondent. “I think it made us look like idiots, how he conducted himself. His overall image is not good for Texas.”

Texans are also finding out that they picked up some of the tab for Perry’s venture. From the Austin American-Statesman:

Texas taxpayers were billed almost $800,000 in travel costs for a security detail to travel with Gov. Rick Perry largely on out-of-state events tied to his presidential campaign from September through November, state figures show.

Most of Perry’s 48 out-of-state destinations were to the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, according to a report released late Thursday by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which provides security when Perry and his wife, Anita, travel.

***
The new progressive group Better Georgia has turned a poll that says most voters would approve of a $100,000 income cap for recipient families of the HOPE scholarship:

Voter support for the measure to place a family income cap on recipients of the scholarship receives strong support from voters of all political backgrounds, including Republicans, Democrats and voters who identify themselves as independents.

The survey shows 61 percent of registered Georgia voters support an income cap and 52 percent support it strongly. Only 26 percent of respondents oppose the plan.

Voters who describe themselves as “very conservative” support an income cap for HOPE Scholarships at 54 percent. Among those “very conservative” voters, 46 percent say they support the proposal strongly.

The highest rate of support, at 72 percent, is among registered voters whose highest level of education is a high school degree. Sixty-five percent of those voters strongly support the measure.

The survey of 806 Georgia voters was conducted Jan. 23-25 and has a 3.5 percent margin
of error, according to the group. Democrats in the Legislature are pressing for the income cap this session, but face very firm Republican opposition that one poll is unlikely to change.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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137 comments Add your comment

Last Man Laying Down

January 27th, 2012
9:11 am

A cap on HOPE is fine, but $100k before taxes for a family of 4 ain’t what it used to be. Why not use Obama’s tax the rich figure of $250k?

Ga Values...Ron Paul for Peace & Prosperity

January 27th, 2012
9:15 am

A vote for Newt is a vote for 4 more years of OBAMA

2012 Republican Presidential Nomination NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl Gingrich 37, Romney 28, Santorum 18, Paul 12, Perry Gingrich +9

General Election: Romney vs. Obama NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl Obama 49, Romney 43 Obama +6

General Election: Gingrich vs. Obama NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl Obama 55, Gingrich 37 Obama +18

General Election: Santorum vs. Obama NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl Obama 53, Santorum 38 Obama +15

President Obama vs. Republican Candidate NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl Obama 47, Republican 42 Obama +5

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

Rule .303

January 27th, 2012
9:25 am

100k income cap? Are you kidding me? Who did they poll, the homeless shelters? Geez.

Tim Slater

January 27th, 2012
9:26 am

Speaker Gingrich was the ONLY candidate LISTENING to Floridians on local issues that have national impact. He actually brought up IDEAS that the Jacksonville port may need to be deepened to stay competitive and create jobs, not lose them. Bring a nuclear carrier battle group to Mayport so that Virginia does not continue to be a potential Pearl Harbor, also creates local jobs. Float IDEAS to save the Space Coast so that our talented engineers don’t have to move to other countries, saves jobs.
Other candidates simply stick to the party line CUT CUT CUT. Give me a break, a 5 year old can say that.
I appreciate Speaker Gingrich’s courage to float ideas instead of cowardice sound bites.

George Hills

January 27th, 2012
9:37 am

Mr. Gingrich needs to address down to earth issues like human waves of Mexicans & communist Chinese immigrants undermining our way of life.

clyde

January 27th, 2012
9:40 am

Kennedy’s idea of a man on the moon was dynamic in it’s time.Gingrich’s idea of a moon base is bombastic for this era.

NEWTIE

January 27th, 2012
9:45 am

TO DA MOON , ALICE….hehehehehehehe….

Road Scholar

January 27th, 2012
9:47 am

Gingrich is already on the moon!

$100,00 is a little low. Maybe have $150k set as 100% and then step it down to 0% at $250k?

NEWTIE

January 27th, 2012
9:47 am

after we populate the moon, then we can go to MARS all the while listening to ELTON JOHN’S “ROCKETMAN”…smoking a big doobie

UGA Class of 86

January 27th, 2012
9:50 am

I am in no way a Gingrich supporter – an his moon idea is not one of his better ideas – but at least he is thinking. I won’t vote for any of the clowns running on the republican side, but at least Gingrich is making an effort. The other clowns just carry on the mantra of the party of NO. To make things better somebody has got to come up with a plan that helps and inspires people. The moon idea won’t do that, but if Gingrich can come up with something he will beat Romney despite all his baggage.

Aquagirl

January 27th, 2012
9:51 am

Mr. Gingrich needs to address down to earth issues

The only thing Mr. Gingrich needs is a tow back into deeper water. He’s done flailing on the beach.

UGA Class of 86

January 27th, 2012
9:53 am

Oh and 100K for Hope is too low.There needs to be a cap, but families earning 100K a year are by no means swimming with extra funds. Add tuition, books, and other costs to an already strained budget and some of those kids won’t go to college.

J Throckmorton Malcontent

January 27th, 2012
9:56 am

Newt’s like Nixon, without the good parts.

td

January 27th, 2012
10:01 am

Sorry Newt but we can not think big in the nation any longer because we are to busy taking care of the parasites.

Independent voter

January 27th, 2012
10:01 am

Newt could not beat Obama in the debate, Romney control the debate last nite this tell you how Newt is running scare he is not a good debater.

michael g.

January 27th, 2012
10:03 am

Jim….you got a hard on for Newt or something? There are other things going on in the state as well as the nation, but you continue with your obsession with Newt.

FruitNewt

January 27th, 2012
10:03 am

Romney does like saying, “You’re fired!”. He could be The Donald’s understudy.

FruitNewt

January 27th, 2012
10:05 am

Actually, Gingrich might beat Obama in a debate. Less aggressive people will generally give over to the person using the lecturn as a bully pulpit.

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:11 am

NEWT the FRUIT is toast…hehehe…he looked lost as ROMNEY gored him with facts…

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:15 am

@td 10;01

speaking of “thinking big” , hows your research of OBAMAS sex life going? i guess watching hours of gay black porn is a hard job but somebodys gotta do it…lol

td

January 27th, 2012
10:17 am

The Hope is suppose to be for the best and brightest students is Georgia to be able to go to college. It was never intended to be another entitlement program for the poor. The program is in trouble due to grade inflation in a lot of the districts and this has allowed children, who have not really done the work to make them college material, to access the grant for at least the first year of college. After that most of them do not have the grades to continue and drop off the hope but it has put a stain on the system. If the legislature wants to really do something to save the Hope then they should add a minimum SAT/ACT score to the grant. This would weed out the undeserving.

td

January 27th, 2012
10:19 am

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:15 am

How many screen names are you going to use Billy?

Now the truth............

January 27th, 2012
10:21 am

People without visions are lost. To sit here and say building in space is dumb. Then what the hell is the Space St. Doing up in Space. I guess people are not learning a thing in Schools about Space. What the man said was he wanted to free the private companies to advance into space which we should . Why you ask …. Other countries are already doing it. without USA. We need to get into the game.
Newt is the only person to run the USA. Others are out to rip off more money.

Newt NEWT NEWT

Look before I leap...

January 27th, 2012
10:23 am

Adjusted for inflation, the Apollo program cost the US about 135 Billion.
Apollo put 12 men on the moon for a total of 227 hours (or 454 man hours). That is a cost of about 300 MILLION dollars per hour.
Newt suggests that part of the costs would be picked up by private corporations and we incent them with “prizes”. Ain’t no one going to dole out that much cash without some kind of ROI.
The US did it for national pride and more importantly, to send a message to the Soviet Union during the cold war, that we could and would beat them in technology that supported the arms race.
Not a single person has walked on the surface of the moon since 1972. That should tell people something.
Is man by nature an explorer? Yes
Does man need to expand to space in order to survive in the long term? Probably
Does man need to do it tomorrow? No

If we think that a permanent colony on the moon will cost 1 trillion (and for the suggested 13,000 population, I think that number is way under-estimated) and the US taxpayer picks up 1/3 of that, that is 333 Billion. Another example of the GOP talking out both sides of its mouth. They are not truly interested in cutting spending, they only want to cut programs they don’t like and spend it somewhere they DO like.

As my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Huntington used to say, “Piffle!”

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:25 am

@td `10:19

how much gay black porn u gonna “investigate” in your patriotic quest to prove OBAMA is gay?…lol

Old Hippie

January 27th, 2012
10:29 am

Romney took Newt to the woodshed last nite. And all four of those candidates looked like whiny little brats complaining that someone said something nasty about them.

Obama is going to be re-elected in a landslide.

Don Abernethy

January 27th, 2012
10:30 am

Our return on investment from the space program is not worth it. We cannot afford NASA. Use the money to beef up our military and Mexican border. We do not have the right person to run against Obama. I am against the Republican establishment and the Democrat establishment. If elected Romney will bow to their wishes and they have almost destroyed our country. I have voted Republican for 50 years but would gladly vote for a candidate who shares the views of the Tea Party.

Look before I leap...

January 27th, 2012
10:37 am

The Hope scholarship program does have minimum GPA and ACT/SAT score requirements contrary to what another prolific and often wrong poster here as indicated.
This often wrong poster has also hinted at “grade inflation” which I suppose means that the grades of non-deserving students are being artificially raised in order to qualify. Yet no citation or proof offered.
The apparent enmity towards poor people and non caucasians continues. Gotta admire the consistency.

honested

January 27th, 2012
10:37 am

Nut Getrich has been sold as a man of ‘big ideas’.

Big ideas are nice and necessary, but that is different from validating ‘crackpot ideas’.

Identifying the difference can help prevent a repeat of the disaster that was 2001-2008.

td

January 27th, 2012
10:39 am

I would argue that the space program is what has made us the leading economic power in the world today. Here are some of the things we have today that came directly out of the space program:

Invisible Braces, Scratch-resistant Lenses, Memory Foam, Ear Thermometer, Shoe Insoles, Long-distance Telecommunications, Adjustable Smoke Detector, Cordless Tools, Water Filters for everyday living.

Now for some more serious inventions:

A NASA developed chemical process was responsible for the development of kidney dialysis machines.

The need to find imperfections in aerospace structures and components, such as castings, rocket motors and nozzles led to the development of a medical CAT scanner which searches the human body for tumors or other abnormalities.

Astronaut health has always been a concern. Weightless conditions could cause physical deterioration, so a cardiovascular conditioner was developed for astronauts in space. This led to the development of a physical therapy and athletic development machine used by football teams, sports clinics and medical rehabilitation centers.

A hospital food service system employs a cook/chill concept for serving food. The system allows staff to prepare food well in advance, maintain heat, visual appeal and nutritional value while reducing operating costs.

Ground Control

January 27th, 2012
10:39 am

This is ground control to former speaker Newt……………………………………….

DannyX

January 27th, 2012
10:41 am

“The Hope scholarship program does have minimum GPA and ACT/SAT score requirements contrary to what another prolific and often wrong poster here as indicated.”

That same often wrong poster also doesn’t realize the Hope scholarship did in fact start out with an income cap.

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:42 am

@look/leap

youre right, all his “facts” are colored by his apparent disdain for the poor and non whites….he thinks theirs no way a black student can earn better grades than white students, so it must be grade inflation

td

January 27th, 2012
10:44 am

Look before I leap…

January 27th, 2012
10:37 am

If you my friend would do a little research before you decide to attempt to make another poster look bad then you would know that only the full Hope has a SAT/ACT score requirement attached. The 90% Hope does not.

As far as proof of grade inflation then all you need to do is to go over to the education blog in this paper and the journalist and bloggers have posted many studies and proof.

Look before I leap...

January 27th, 2012
10:46 am

@DannyX

Yes it did and looks like it will again. But the argument about where the cut-off occurs will be fun to watch.

Edward

January 27th, 2012
10:47 am

michael g: This is a political column, and, like it or not, Newt and the GOP candidates are news at the moment. Your equivocation is ludicrous.

Jose

January 27th, 2012
10:47 am

Re: capping HOPE. HOPE is a very important tool in a need blind way to reward high school students who study hard and are willing to enroll at a GA college or university. We need our best students, whether they are “rich” or “poor, to study here and stay in Georgia professionally. HOPE has been a great incentive for that and let’s hope it doesn’t get capped. We need those kids to keep working hard.

td

January 27th, 2012
10:50 am

DannyX

January 27th, 2012
10:41 am

I know there was an income cap in the beginning but it was done away with because it looked to much like an entitlement program and we conservatives wanted to reward the best and brightest regardless of class.

DannyX

January 27th, 2012
10:52 am

“Obama is going to be re-elected in a landslide.”

Its starting to look like that Old Hippy. The Republican debates have been Obama’s best weapon.

In December the Wall St Journal poll had Obama over Romney 47%-45%, in just one month the same poll has Obama up 49%-43%.

The Wall St poll has Obama clobbering Gingrich to the moon, 55%-37%.

They also asked which party they prefer to control Congress, Democrats 47% vs Republicans 41%, again another jump from the previous month which had the Democrats up by 2%.

Keep debating Republicans! We want more! Encore!

td

January 27th, 2012
10:53 am

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:42 am

Sort of like those great CRCT scores at APS/Dekalb and Albany did not result from cheating?

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:55 am

newt the freak looked sad last night as ROMNEY kept on the offense…also NEWTIE tried to shut down WOLF and looked stooopid as heck…so much for his “great” debate skills….NEXT

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:57 am

NEWT got his ho card pulled last night…push comes to shove he looked pathetic and lost…i guess his moon colony bs didnt go over to well with the audience..so much for his grand ideas…hes toast..

Check the history

January 27th, 2012
10:58 am

The HOPE Scholarship started with an income cap of $66,000 dollars for a family back in 1993. The cap was removed when they thought the lottery would generate enough money for everyone to be eligible. That projection was obviously wrong, so they ought to put a cap back on it.

If 100k is too low, I recall hearing some Democrats pushing a $140k cap. That’s surely high enough.

Auntie Christ

January 27th, 2012
10:58 am

We know less about the oceans here on our own planet than we know about the moon. They are the source of life, and will be our demise if we don’t start looking after them. They could very well be dead within the next 20 years, due to over fishing, oil spills and other man made disasters. Getrich and repub supporters sneer at efforts to save the planet from global warming and man made pollution, and cheerfully deny funds to combat it, but like a monkey mesmerized by a shiny object, they go ape over some half-@ssed pie in the sky scheme about making the moon the 51st state.

There’s no better illustration of why the country is in the shape it’s in than the moronic comment, by the consummate moron td, who states that bold endeavors aren’t possible because of ‘parasites.’ Hey genius, the money isn’t there because you’ve voted for candidates that say gazillionaires don’t have to pay taxes, that they can shut down companies then invest their $$ offshore and we’ll tax them less than a hotel maid, while they benefit from the infrastructure, the education system, and other amenities paid for by a hotel maids taxes..

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:58 am

thank god we wont have a ho for THE FIRST LADY, now that newtie wont get the nomination

UGA 1999

January 27th, 2012
11:01 am

During the entire debate process I have not paid much attention to Santorum, however over the past two elections he seems to have really done a good job. I do think Mitt was the clear winner last night.

td

January 27th, 2012
11:01 am

OSAMA aka the man who made DUBYA his bi@tch

January 27th, 2012
10:58 am
thank god we wont have a ho for THE FIRST LADY, now that newtie wont get the nomination

We have a Moochele now.

td

January 27th, 2012
11:02 am

UGA 1999

January 27th, 2012
11:01 am
During the entire debate process I have not paid much attention to Santorum, however over the past two elections he seems to have really done a good job. I do think Mitt was the clear winner last night.

ABO, ABO, ABO

Centrist

January 27th, 2012
11:03 am

Democrats like Mr. Jim Galloway pushing for yet another means test for earned benefits falls on deaf ears for the Republicans in control of Georgia politics. A majority in this state support helping those in need, but not cutting off their earned benefits for further help for those who have not earned them. Grade inflation and growing marginal scholarship recipients is the biggest problem with Hope.

UGA 1999

January 27th, 2012
11:04 am

td…..class brother….class.