Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney ran into some microphone trouble at a campaign stop in Colorado on Tuesday. He promptly used the opportunity for a jab at his fall opponent at the expense of the image of federal workers.
“I think the Obama administration worked on it,” Romney joked about the faulty mic. “These batteries were made by Washington, D.C., bureaucrats, I can tell.”
The very next day, the subject of federally produced batteries was raised, coincidentally, by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute. “If we could get …a higher energy density battery, we would pay a lot for it, more than you would pay to put it in your flashlight,” Carter said. “And that would be a perfectly legitimate investment for our troops” because it would be lighter to carry.
It was an example, Carter said, of how research and development, though done foremost to meet defense needs, can have commercial spinoff potential down the line.