Friday, November 6, 2015

Marco Rubio's finances under scrutiny

AZBlueMeanie (Blog for Arizona) reviews the media attention paid to Rubio's financial dealings. Here's is one example of Rubio's monetary misadventures (covered by the NY Times).

A decade after he began using a Republican Party credit card for personal purchases like paving stones at his home, Senator Marco Rubio on Wednesday pledged to disclose new spending records from that account as he sought to inoculate himself against what could be his biggest liability as a presidential candidate: how he manages his finances.

The decision to release the records highlights the enduring potency of a controversy rooted in Mr. Rubio’s days as a young state representative in Florida that he and his aides thought had been put to rest with his 2010 election to the Senate.

His use of the card for a family reunion, flights and groceries was a recurring issue in that campaign.

Of course, his fellow candidates were quick to pounce - Trump, for example.

Fearing that Mr. Rubio could surpass him in polls, Donald J. Trump has started to mock Mr. Rubio’s use of the party account, calling him "a disaster with his credit cards" and suggesting that the senator struggled to live within his means. "He has a very bad record of finances," Mr. Trump said.

The risk for Mr. Rubio, who has acknowledged "a lack of bookkeeping skills," is that the credit card may become a symbol of a larger pattern of financial challenges in his recent past, including a brush with foreclosure on a second home in 2010 over late mortgage payments and the recent liquidation of a retirement account that prompted a large tax penalty.

To be sure, Rubio is not the only candidate being subjected to media scrutiny over financial matters.

Questions about personal finances have bedeviled several candidates in the 2016 presidential field, highlighting their vast differences in wealth — and in how they earned that income. Mr. Bush has raised eyebrows by earning millions from companies that did business with the State of Florida while he was governor. Mrs. Clinton has unsettled liberals by taking generous speaking fees from big banks that she would regulate if she became president. And Mr. Trump has drawn unwanted attention for relying on bankruptcy protections when his investments in casinos have faltered.

But Rubio is at present a very visible target because of his handling of the questions.

Mr. Rubio has at times seemed defensive about his finances. During the last Republican presidential debate, he batted away a question about his financial bookkeeping as a litany of "discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents."

The thing here is: the "discredited attacks" turn out to be true. Check out the post from the Blue Meanie.

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