Retired NASA astronaut Eileen Collins skipped over a planned endorsement of Donald Trump during her speech to the Republican National Convention Wednesday.
As Business Insider’s Josh Barro pointed out, Collins’ prepared remarks included praise for Trump. Here’s the text of her prepared remarks provided by the convention committee:
We need leadership that will challenge every American to ask, “What’s next?” We need leadership that will make America’s space program first again. We need leadership that will make America first again. That leader is Donald Trump.
Thank you and God bless the United States of America!
What Collins actually said didn’t explicitly mention Trump, although it did give a nod to the GOP nominee’s campaign slogan:
We need leadership that will ask Americans, Americans will ask again, “What’s next?” We need leadership that will make America’s space program first again. We need leadership that will make America great again.
I want to thank all of you. Thank you for what you’re doing. God bless America.
Watch a clip of Collins’ speech above.
Collins was the first female commander of a NASA space shuttle. Her speech largely focused on the importance of space exploration, urging the next president to make NASA funding a priority.
“Nations that lead on the frontier, lead in the world,” Collins said. “We need that visionary leadership again. Leadership that will inspire the next generation to have that same passion.”
Prior to her speech, Collins said her appearance at the Republican convention was not intended to be partisan.
“My message is meant to NOT be political,” Collins told Mashable. “This is a chance I could not pass up: we can raise awareness of how the U.S. human space program has slowed over the years.”