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Will this Credit Card Attack be a Fatal Blow for Marco Rubio?

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Posted on February 25 2010 9:42 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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From the St. Petersburg Times:

U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio charged grocery bills, repairs to the family minivan and purchases from a wine store less than a mile from his West Miami home to the Republican Party of Florida while he was speaker of the Florida House, according to records obtained by the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald.

Rubio said Wednesday that he paid for all personal expenses billed to an American Express card given to him by the party to use from 2005 to 2008, when he left public office. The rest of the charges, he said, were legitimate party expenses.

Those expenses include a $1,000 charge at Braman Honda in Miami for repairs to the family car in January 2008. Rubio said the minivan was damaged by parking attendants at a political function and that the party agreed to cover half of his insurance deductible. The party also paid $2,976 for him to rent a car in Miami for five weeks.

Rubio said the party allowed him to put personal expenses on the card and the party reviewed his bill monthly.

“I was as diligent as possible to ensure the party did not pay for items that were unrelated to party business,” Rubio said in a written statement. “There was no formal process provided by the party regarding personal charges.”

But party spokeswoman Katie Gordon said the card was not supposed to be used for personal expenses. “The RPOF American Express card is a corporate card and is meant to be used for business expenses,” she said when asked about the party’s policy.

Read the rest.

What does everyone think? Is Rubio in the wrong? If he can’t be trusted with the GOP credit card can he be trusted with the people’s tax dollars? Or is this just a smear from his opponents?

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