Fact Checker: Rubio Critics Off Base Over Credit Card
'Washington Post' blog: 'So far, a mountain's been made out of molehill'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2015 11:58 AM CST
Sen. Marco Rubio during a campaign event at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(Newser) – Marco Rubio is facing new scrutiny over his use of a corporate credit card issued by the Republican Party when he was a legislator in Florida, but he receives some good news on the matter today via the Fact Checker blog at the Washington Post. "Rubio's carefully worded explanation doesn't quite rise to the level of a Geppetto Checkmark, but it is accurate enough that it does not warrant even a single Pinocchio," writes Michelle Ye Hee Lee. "Based on the information released so far, a mountain's been made out of [a] molehill, by the media and Rubio's opponents." She adds that could change once Rubio fulfills a promise to release card statements from 2005-06, but he'll remain Pinocchio-free until then. As for that "carefully worded explanation," Lee references an interview Rubio gave to ABC on Wednesday in which he says his critics are misrepresenting what happened.

"It wasn't a credit card," he said. "It was an American Express charge card secured under my personal credit in conjunction with the [Republican] party. Bills would be mailed to me at home. Every month I would go through it. If there was a personal expense, I paid it. If it was a party expense, the party paid it." He says he would do things differently in hindsight but insists that the "Republican Party never paid a single personal expense of mine." The Post notes that Rubio himself used the phrase "credit card" in his memoir and seems to have honed his response over the years. A charge card is a credit card, Ye Hee Lee clarifies, one that has to be paid in full monthly, but there is "a technical difference between the two." The blog examined previous coverage of the matter and followed up with its own questions to Rubio's camp and is satisfied that this "isn't really a scandal," as the headline puts it. The full post breaks things down in impressive detail.