In Florida, McCain jabs Obama on NASA funding


Another issue of the day emerges. This on top of the "Cone of Silence," Bigfoot and VP speculation. The issue now? NASA funding.

Earlier this campaign, Barack Obama had received some criticism over his then-plan to delay funding for the Constellation man-on-the-moon program in order to pay for some education programs.

Back on August 2 in Titusville, Florida, Obama signaled a change of heart.

In fact, the Orlando Sentinel called the move a "dramatic reversal of policy." Obama didn't release any details then but said the U.S. "cannot cede our leadership in space."

"I told my staff we're going to find an entirely different offset, because we've got to make sure that the money going into NASA for basic research and development continues to go there," he told a group at Brevard Community College. "That has been a top priority for us."

Details, details

The details of Obama's new space plan were released on Saturday. The 7-page document outlines Obama's support for putting astronauts back on the moon and even further out.

"Human spaceflight is important to America’s political, economic, technological, and scientific leadership," the policy paper said. "Barack Obama .. .. . endorses the goal of sending human missions to the Moon by 2020, as a precursor in an orderly progression to missions to more distant destinations, including Mars."

Whoa there...

Not good enough for John McCain, however. Today, McCain was at another branch of Brevard Community College and said through a statement that there's some flip-floppin' going on.

"I know that earlier this year, Senator Obama proposed cutting the NASA budget and delaying the timetable for our return to the Moon and the Mars mission," McCain said. "I believe that he later repudiated his own plan. Sometimes it is difficult to know what a politician will actually do once in office, because they say different things at different times to different people. This is a particular problem when a candidate has a short, thin record on the issues as in the case of Senator Obama.

"Let me say, just in case Senator Obama does decide to return to his original plan of cutting NASA funding – I oppose such cuts," McCain said. "That position is a shortsighted approach that fails to recognize the benefits of space exploration and the technology and economic advantages that result from the space program."

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