MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Marco Rubio’s rise in the polls is drawing attention not only from Donald Trump but a new scrutiny from the national press – particularly on the issue of his personal finances.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Seeing COVID Rates 5 Times Higher Than Summer Delta Surge
Those questions began taking shape during last week’s CNBC debate when moderator Becky Quick asked Rubio, “You accidentally intermingled campaign money with your personal money. You faced foreclosure on a second home that you bought. And just last year, you liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund. That’s something that cost you thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties.”
Rubio’s response, “Well, you just listed a litany of discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents.”
But Rubio’s attempt to dismiss the story probably won’t satisfy his opponents or the press.
Trump has begun attacking Rubio consistently on the credit card issue.
“I think that really Marco is overrated,” Trump said. “All you have to do is look at his credit card.”
He added, “Marco Rubio has a disaster on his finances.”
While a member of the Florida House of Representatives, Rubio failed to disclose $34,000 in personal expenses charged to two separate political funds.
A home he owned with a fellow lawmaker at the time, former Congressman David Rivera, briefly fell into foreclosure when Rivera supposedly failed to make a mortgage payment. Rubio and Rivera sold the home at a loss earlier this year.READ MORE: Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick Sworn Into Congress
And in 2005, he started using a state Republican Party charge card for personal and party expenses. Rubio insists he paid off the personal charges as they arose.
Rubio spent the day addressing questions about his charge card.
“It wasn’t a credit card, it was an American Express charge card secured under my personal credit in conjunction with the party,” Rubio said on Good Morning America Wednesday. “Bills would be mailed to me at home. Every month I would go through it. If there was a personal expense I paid it.”
And later he told a group of reporters in New Hampshire that he knows he made a mistake.
“What I said was that I would do differently is I just wouldn’t have done any personal things on it,” he said, “because I would have avoided all of that confusion that it’s created in the minds of some but it’s been coming up for 5 years. It’s not a new issue.”
Rubio is learning however that when running for president, what’s old can become new again.
The attacks aren’t just coming from Trump. The Bush campaign leaked their own internal report, labelling Rubio a “risky bet” in part because of his financial problems.
And Rubio hasn’t helped himself. For years he has refused to release two years of detailed credit card statements from that Republican Party credit card which has caused people to wonder if he’s hiding something.
Under pressure, the campaign is expected to release those credit card statements in the coming days.MORE NEWS: Cleveland Browns DT Malik McDowell Bonds Out After Being Arrested In South Florida On Public Exposure Charge
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