On Saturday, coinciding with the release of the campaign’s space policy, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan mentioned space during a speech in Orlando. In the brief discussion of space, Ryan said that he and Mitt Romney “believe we need a mission for NASA” and criticized the “broken promises” of President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Obama’s Florida campaign has responded with a statement criticizing Ryan for his past votes and budget proposals. “Congressman Ryan has repeatedly voted against NASA funding, and the Romney-Ryan budget’s cuts – if applied across the board – would cut funding for space exploration programs by 19 percent,” campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said in the emailed statement. The latter is a reference to proposals by the House Budget Committee, chaired by Ryan, that would cut non-defense discretionary spending by 19 percent by 2014, according to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. The claim that Ryan “repeatedly voted against NASA funding” is a reference to votes cast by Ryan again NASA authorization acts in 2008 and 2010. These bills, though, were authorization bills, and did not directly providing funding for NASA, instead authorizing spending levels rarely met by later appropriations bills.
The statement also claims that the Romney campaign for being “mostly silent” on NASA, but does not mention the space policy document released yesterday by the campaign that contains the most detail to date on what a Romney Administration would do in space.