Democratic VP nominee Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) addressed a campaign crowd in Melbourne, Florida (on Florida's Space Coast) Tuesday night, responding to Sen. John McCain's comments about the economy and promoting the Obama-Biden policy plan to invest $2 billion in America's space program.
"The Bush Administration has left our space program in a very difficult position, and John McCain, as chairman of the (Senate) Commerce Committee, has not helped," remarked Sen. Biden. "He oversaw the plans to retire the Space Shuttle before a replacement was ready."
Here is a portion of his speech:
(More on the flip...)
"When John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to go to the Moon, he noted that the space industry not only demanded the best minds, it also created the best jobs...
"When the Shuttle is retired, NASA estimates that 3,500 jobs could be lost - and that doesn’t count the impact on local businesses, or the long-term cost of allowing our global leadership to atrophy. The Bush Administration has left our space program in a very difficult position...
"Barack Obama and I have a different idea. We’re going to work with Bill Nelson (U.S. Senator, D-FL). We’re going to invest an additional $2 billion in NASA to reduce the gap between the Shuttle's retirement and when the next generation of space flight is introduced.
"We want to reinvigorate our national space program and that includes creating an environment for a vibrant commercial space program. (!!!)
"What John F. Kennedy said 46 years ago, still resonates with us today: 'Now it is time to take longer strides... for this nation to take a... leading role in space achievement.' That’s as true today as it was then. Folks, that’s the goal that Bill Nelson, Barack, and I share.
"As it did in the Kennedy Administration — it will help create a new generation of engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and a few more astronauts - like Bill Nelson, as well. It’s a goal that will not only inspire the nation, it will also create jobs."
Last week, Senator Biden was a guest on the Denver TV station KUSA. A Lockheed Martin employee's question asked of Sen. Biden was about how her fellow coworkers were convinced that an Obama Administration would mean "budget cuts for NASA and other science-based research". Here is the senator's response:
"Absolutely the opposite. I was just in Florida, and we were talking about what we’re going to do, how we’re going to make jobs available within the space program. We think there should not be this hiatus between the present vehicle we have and the new vehicle. We think we should be investing right now.
"John McCain’s the guy that’s going to interrupt this flow. So the fact of the matter is, as it relates to our NASA programs, (aerospace) will do much better under Barack Obama and Joe Biden than they’re going to do under John McCain, and he has so stated."
According to CNN's "Political Ticker," today will be the last day of Sen. Biden’s three-day bus tour through Florida. Each of his events are called an "Early Vote for Change Rally," and in addition to asking Floridians Tuesday night to vote early, Biden noted that Florida’s governor – and McCain backer – Charlie Crist -- had extended the hours for early voting, declaring a literal "state of emergency" as voters turn out in record numbers.
Sen Biden will be in Jupiter, Florida today, at the Abacoa Town Center, for a 10:15 am campaign event.
Go Joe, Go!!!