WOLFEBORO, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says astronaut Neil Armstrong is an "American hero."

Romney told reporters Saturday that Armstrong's death was "very sad." In a subsequent statement, the Republican says the first man to walk on the moon takes his place in the "hall of heroes."

Romney notes that he met with Armstrong "a few weeks ago." And he says that Armstrong's passion for space, science and discovery will inspire him for the rest of his life, adding "the moon will miss its first son of earth."

Armstrong died Saturday from complications following cardiovascular procedures. He was 82 years old.