Newt is a cynical hypocrite, and doubtless would use the space program as a cash cow for his cronies, like they've used the Osprey.
On the other hand, his rhetoric is correct on this.
Humanity has to expand itself off the surface of the planet if it wants to survive and evolve into something better. The essence of the problem is that real space exploration requires design and implementation of self-supporting independent colonization, which is a no-starter here on Earth.
On the other hand (and in the multiverse there's always another hand), with the track record of pushing aircraft that fall out the sky and pointless military bases even the Pentagon doesn't want, salamanders like Newt shouldn't be trusted when trying to unveil New Frontiers for pork.