Rubio Will Release Records of GOP Credit Card He Used for Personal Expenses

Charles Krupa/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


One of the big question marks hanging over Marco Rubio’s financial past may soon be answered. On Tuesday, the senator’s presidential campaign agreed to release records detailing his use of a Florida Republican Party credit card from his time in the state House.

For years, Rubio’s political career has been haunted by his misuse of a credit card issued by the state party—raising question about his finances and his ethics. When he ran for the US Senate in 2010, Florida reporters obtained his credit card records for 2007 and 2008, which showed that Rubio often used the party card to cover personal expenses, from a $7.09 charge at a Chick-fil-A to $10,000 for a family vacation in Georgia. Rubio has repeatedly contended that he paid the party back every month for any personal expenses he put on the party American Express card, but records show Rubio did not make monthly payments, including any repayments during a six-month stretch in 2007.

But two years of records, from 2005 and 2006, have remained secret. As he runs for president, questions about Rubio’s credit card use have mounted. “Marco Rubio has a disaster on his finances,” rival Donald Trump charged on Tuesday, urging the press to take a closer look at Rubio’s credit cards. “He has a disaster on his credit cards.”

So after years of hiding his 2005 and 2006 records, Rubio has finally agreed to release them. In response to repeated requests for the records from the Tampa Bay Times, the campaign said this week that it would release the missing records soon—possibly in the coming months.

Candidates often have to weigh whether the information contained in their records is more harmful than the bad publicity that comes from speculation over what they are hiding. (Think Mitt Romney and his tax returns in 2012, or Hillary Clinton and her emails this year.) Rubio has apparently made the calculation that whatever his credit card records contain is less harmful than weathering continued attacks about his secrecy. We’ll know soon enough.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate