Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, President Obama Issue Statements on Neil Armstrong

Former astronaut Neil Armstrong criticized the president for proposed revisions to the U.S. space program. (Photo: AP)

(The Blaze/AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said astronaut Neil Armstrong was an “American hero” during his statement today on the man’s death.

“Neil Armstrong today takes his place in the hall of heroes,” Romney said.  “With courage unmeasured and unbounded love for his country, he walked where man had never walked before.”

Romney noted that he met with Armstrong just “a few weeks ago,” and that his passion for space, science, and discovery will inspire him for the rest of his life.

“The moon will miss its first son of earth,” he said in the statement, and on Twitter.

President Barack Obama is also hailing the late astronaut as one of the country’s greatest heroes, despite the man’s “strongly worded rebuke,” as Politico phrased it, of the president’s handling of America’s space program.

In a statement issued by the White House, Obama said Armstrong and the rest of the crew of Apollo 11 carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation when they set out for the moon in 1969.

“They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable — that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten,” the statement reads.

The Associated Press has more:

President Obama’s statement continues: “His spirit of discovery lives on in all the men and women who have devoted their lives to exploring the unknown – including those who are ensuring that we reach higher and go further in space. That legacy will endure – sparked by a man who taught us the enormous power of one small step.”

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden perhaps summarized it best when he said: “As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them.”

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