Marco Rubio photo

Rubio Campaign Press Release - Here Are the Facts about Marco Rubio's Credit Cards

November 07, 2015

Marco Rubio participates in CNBC's

Earlier today, we released 22 months of previously unreleased statements from Marco's Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) American Express. The newly released statements cover the period from January 2005 to October 2006. In all, Marco had an RPOF American Express for approximately four years, from January 2005 to December 2008.

January 2005 — October 2006

Newly Released Statement Period (January 2005 — October 2006):

Total Charges: 484
Total Amount Charged: $64,777.82
Number of Personal Charges: 8
Amount of Personal Charges: $7,243.74

Total Four-Year Period (January 2005 — December 2008):

Total Charges: 1,307
Total Amount Charged: $182,072.55
Number of Personal Charges: 73
Amount of Personal Charges: $22,003.19

Marco paid his personal charges directly to American Express. The Republican Party of Florida did not pay for any of Marco's personal expenses. Further, taxpayer funds were not used for any political or personal charges on the card.

In fact, earlier this week, the Washington Post fact-checker reviewed the previously released credit card receipts and determined "the information released so far, a mountain's been made out of molehill, by the media and Rubio's opponents."

In addition, the Florida Ethics Commission thoroughly investigated Marco's use of the American Express card and other false attacks against Marco, and dismissed them.

Further, an independent audit committee of the Florida GOP did its own investigation and determined that Marco did nothing wrong, stating, "We reviewed all of the credit card charges that were incurred by or on behalf of Mr. Rubio on his RPOF American Express Card between 2007 and 2009. We asked to obtain additional information from Mr. Rubio about certain charges. Mr. Rubio provided us with that information and a sufficient explanation to allow us to confirm that the charges we questioned were, in fact, related to RPOF business" ("The Report of Investigation to the Republican Party of Florida," Alston and Bird LLP, 9/11/2010).

Additional Background

  • Between 2005 and 2006, Marco Rubio served as speaker-designate of the Florida House of Representatives. During this time, he led the Florida House's Republican campaign operation (the equivalent of the National Republican Congressional Committee), which included an aggressive travel and fundraising schedule.
  • Between 2007 and 2008, he served as Speaker of the Florida House. During this time, he continued fundraising for the state party, and also traveled around the state advocating for the major policy initiatives in his agenda — for example, property tax reform.
  • Throughout this entire four-year period, he was one of the state party's chief fundraisers and party builders, and the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) provided him and other top party leaders and officials with an American Express card to pay for expenses.
  • According to the RPOF: "Using the card for personal expenses was not explicitly prohibited, but personal expenses 'were expected to be paid through a reimbursement, or in some cases directly to American Express,' Betta said. There was no written policy on the use of the cards, Betta said." (Statement By RPOF Spokeswoman in Politifact, 3/11/2010)
  • Nonetheless, despite the fact that Marco paid for his personal expenses, he has acknowledged that, "It was a mistake. If I had to do it over again, I'd do it very differently."
  • As he wrote in An American Son, "Nevertheless, in hindsight, I wish that none of them had ever been charged. When the statements were later leaked during my Senate campaign, they invited press skepticism, confused some of the public and allowed an opponent to suggest the party had paid for personal expenses. As often as it is remarked, it always bears repeating: in politics appearances are as important as reality."

Specific Credit Card Charges

From newly released 2005-late 2006 statements:

Las Vegas Trip: There were two personal charges on this trip — one for hotel, the other for car rental. Rubio was in Nevada for political business and extended his trip for personal reasons, given that he has relatives living there. He paid American Express directly for his portion of the charges he incurred on the trip. These charges were made during the billing period that closed on August 16, 2005, and paid by Rubio during the following billing period.

?Rubio paid $1,745.00 in the following billing period while the RPOF paid the $3,343.58 for days he stayed at the same hotel for party business.

Iberia Tiles: The largest charge from the previously unreleased statements was a charge of $3,756.24 made on October 16, 2005. A personal payment for this full amount was made the following month by Rubio to American Express on November 15, 2005. Rubio has already written about this charge in 2012. This charge was made during the billing period that closed on October 16, 2005 and paid by Rubio during the following billing period.

?Rubio paid $3,756.24 to cover the expense in the next billing period.

Braman Honda: There were two personal charges to Braman Honda, a full service auto dealership and repair shop near Rubio's West Miami home. The first was in the amount of $500 on May 12, 2006; a personal payment was made in this exact amount to American Express within weeks on June 3, 2006. A second charge of $99.45 was made on May 19, 2006 and paid soon thereafter as well.

Hoop It-Kick It-Let: On December 7, 2005 Rubio charged $180 to this children's sports activity center; the following month, a personal payment for this full amount was made by Rubio to American Express on January 14, 2006.

Our campaign is providing copies of the receipts to media who request them.

Marco Rubio, Rubio Campaign Press Release - Here Are the Facts about Marco Rubio's Credit Cards Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives