Santorum: Gingrich moon plan "crass politics"

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the First Baptist Church in Naples, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012. AP

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
AP

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday accused rival Newt Gingrich of "crass politics" for visiting Florida's NASA-dependent "Space Coast" and promising to build a permanent U.S. base on the moon in eight years.

Santorum said he saw no way for the deficit-strapped country to undertake a moon colony in the near future.

"The idea that anybody is going out and talking brand new, very expensive schemes to spend more money at a time when we do not have our fiscal house in order, in my opinion, is playing crass politics," the former Pennsylvania senator told students at a town hall meeting at Florida State University.

Gingrich, who described his moon plan at a campaign event on Wednesday, is "not being realistic with the people of this country as to the nature and threat of the (fiscal) problem," Santorum said.

"NASA and the Space Coast and Houston, Alabama, all of those places that have done remarkable work are huge assets to the country but there are other huge assets in the country too."

After his double-digit win over Mitt Romney in South Carolina's primary on Saturday, Gingrich has come under heavy fire from his two main rivals in Tuesday's Florida primary.

  • Rodney Hawkins On Twitter»

    Rodney Hawkins covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

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