Does Marco Rubio have the financial discipline to handle the US budget? That's the question critics from both parties are asking this week as the GOP presidential candidate's past financial decisions continue to make headlines. The Tampa Bay Times reports Rubio "routinely" made personal charges on a Republican Party of Florida credit card during his time as a state lawmaker from 2005 to 2008. According to the Guardian, those charges included a $10,000 vacation, repairs for the family minivan, and a single movie ticket. A Republican strategist tells the Times Rubio once admitted to using the card for "flooring" in his home. And in his 2012 book, Rubio says he "pulled the wrong card from my wallet to pay for pavers." He also allegedly double-billed for plane tickets.
While Rubio was cleared of an ethics violation in 2012, an investigator called the lawmaker's apparent confusion between his personal MasterCard and the party's American Express "disturbing," the Times reports. At a campaign stop Wednesday, Rubio called the Times story inaccurate and its claims "discredited," according to the Guardian. He says his use of the party credit card for personal charges was a mistake, and he reimbursed the state GOP $16,000. But those charges all come from 2006 and 2007. Despite years of requests, Rubio still hasn't released records from his earlier use of the card, the Times reports. According to the Guardian, Rubio believes his struggles with money—which include taking huge penalties for liquidating a retirement account to pay for home repairs last year—will only help him with regular Americans.