The pro-Rubio group, Conservative Solutions Project, has engaged in “excessive campaign activity on Senator Rubio’s behalf”, that may violate federal tax law for social-welfare organizations, which are supposed to serve broader community purposes, Democracy 21 and Campaign Legal Center said in a letter Thursday to the Justice Department.
“In many respects, what is happening today is an effort to transform the Republican Party itself to one that is closer to its face of hard-working Americans”, Rubio said. “Second, Marco Rubio presents the clearest contrast to these twin socialists…He has truly lived the American dream that we all know America holds”. The two Republican presidential hopefuls are now locked in a third-place tie according to a national Los Angeles Times poll ahead of Tuesday’s debate in Milwaukee.
In 2010, a Florida man filed an ethics complaint against Rubio for his misuse of the state party card, but two years later, the state ethics commission tossed out the case.
There was no criminal investigation into the actions.
“I do pretty good when I’m out with real people interacting with them, have fun doing it. But the debate process is different”, he said. His 2007 and 2008 records showed he paid $16,052 in personal expenses incurred on the card to American Express, and the party picked up $93,566 in charges related to party business.
Top Rubio campaign aides point to a February 2010 statement from a party spokeswoman who said at the time “there are no formal party rules or bylaws that govern credit card expenses”. Numerous charges on the card looked like legitimate business expenses – the drumbeat of schmoozing by a rising politician. Rubio, again, dismissed it as an unfortunate mistake, and promised to repay the party what he owed. There’s also the odd liquidation of Rubio’s retirement account – even after the senator received a seven-figure book deal. “I just want people to be consistent”, Christie said in reference to Rubio’s position. Rubio’s camp noted that the senator was on hand for a fund-raising event but added that he eventually paid 30 percent of that bill “to reflect … that part of his trip was personal”.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Christie criticized Rubio’s shift on legal protections for so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S.as children.
Rubio, 44, said that if he could go back in time and change the way he handled the charge card, he would not have made any personal purchases with it to avoid all the “confusion it’s created in the minds of a few”. “The Republican Party of Florida did not pay for any of Marco’s personal expenses”. But what readers should remember is that Rubio’s total charges – about $160,000 total on the corporate card – were relatively small compared to other state party officials who ran up $500,000, even $1.3 million, on their party cards.
Rubio also told ABC News that he would be releasing the charge card records.
Rubio, who worked with Democrats in 2013 on a failed comprehensive immigration reform bill, has since tried to distance himself from the legislation.
Two political neophytes, neurosurgeon Ben Carson and realty baron-cum-reality TV star Donald Trump, lead the race and commentators attribute this to resentment among Republican supporters towards its more entrenched leadership.