|Newt Gingrich 
Speaking to a crowd of some 700 people, in Florida, Gingrich is reported as saying:
" 'By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the Moon and it will be American' (...)Furthermore, according to dispatch by The Sydney Morning Herald/The Telegraph (London), "he even proposed that, when the colony's population reached 13,000, it could apply to become the 51st State of the Union."
" 'We will have commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism and manufacturing, because it is in our interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching,' he said". (See here)
Observers further said that Texan Republican nomination candidate, Ron Paul, although initially reluctant, perhaps could be made to support Gingrich's lunar colony initiative. Asked during a recent televised debate, Paul said: "I'd like to send some politicians up there".
Local observers had mixed reactions to the Gingrich announcement.
"The new colonists could even call themselves lunatics", said local space exploration enthusiasts, who eagerly support the initiative.
Coming weeks after Gingrich's contender for the Republican nomination, Rick Santorum, ruled out "Australian school" economists in his advisory team, some observers, however, saw this as another snub to Aussie right-wingers and free-marketeers.
"Now, ANZUS or no ANZUS, even the Moon comes before Australia", said a distraught observer who opposes the Gingrich proposal and who asked his identity to be withheld.
Nevertheless, not all hope is lost for local right-of-centre fans, said the analyst.
Mitt Romney, leading candidate for the nomination, during the subsequent televised debate ruled out the project:
"I've spent 25 years in business. If I had a business executive come to me and said they want to spend a few billion dollars to put a colony on the Moon, I'd say you're fired."Romney is known for enjoying firing people, in the best Donald Trump style.
 Newt Gingrich. Wikipedia.