At the Republican presidential debate on CNBC earlier this week, Senator Marco Rubio dismissed a series of questions about some serious skeletons in his closet as “discredited attacks.” But in reality Rubio’s history of mismanaging money and financial troubles will come to trouble him, either in the Republican primaries or if he survives and becomes the party’s nominee.
Politifact took issue with Rubio’s casual dismissal of the controversy, and rated his description of them as “false”:
Here’s what Rubio did that will cause Republican and general election voters to take pause before they pull the lever for the telegenic right-winger:
- When he was in the Florida legislature, Rubio commingled his personal finances with the finances if his political committees. A newspaper investigation found that Rubio paid his wife Jeanette $5,700 for “gas and meals” while giving his relatives another $14,000
- Rubio charged thousands of dollars worth of restaurant meals to a credit card issued to him by the Republican Party of Florida while the cost of his meals was being covered by Florida taxpayers
- Rubio bought a house in Tallahassee, Florida with his pal state Rep. David Rivera. Rivera failed to make mortgage payments on the house, and was sued by Deutsche Bank for $136,000 as foreclosure proceedings began, soon to be stopped by a quick payment from Rivera. Rivera ended up in an ethics investigation and Rubio shoved him out of his inner circle as he sought more power in Florida and on the national stage.
- Rubio claims that he can run the entire country’s finances, but he can’t seem to keep his own house in order. He liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund in 2014, costing himself thousands n taxes and penalties – apparently because he needed access to the cash despite his $174,000 Senate salary. When he was asked about this by Fox News, Rubio said he needed the money to replace an air conditioning unit and for “college” for his children (his oldest child is 15, the others are 13, 10, and 8)
Politifact looked at Rubio’s skeletons and concluded, “All of these events happened and have been well-documented. It’s not accurate for Rubio to refer to the issues as ‘discredited,’ whether his opponents have used them to attack him or not.”