The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Thursday that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has picked up the endorsement of former Ohio senator and astronaut John Glenn. Less newsworthy than the endorsement—which doesn’t carry that much weight—is some of the comments Kerry said in his speech about whether there should be human missions to the Moon and Mars:
But Kerry said the U.S. government should not be talking about returning to the moon or going to Mars missions proposed by President Bush.
Rather, he said, leaving his prepared speech, “we need to go to the moon right here on Earth” by creating high-paying jobs of the future and making sure that “young Americans in uniform are never held hostage” to Middle East oil.
The Toledo Blade offers the full quote at the end of its article about Kerry’s speech:
“What we need to do as we enter this dawn of the 21st century, is not talk about going to the Moon or even to Mars. We need to go to the Moon right here on Earth by creating the jobs, building the high value-added jobs of the future, making clear that no young American in uniform ever ought to be held hostage to America’s dependence on oil in the Middle East,” he said.
On the face of it, this appears to be a far stronger rejection of the Bush space initiative than what he told the AP.