- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 7, 2015

Marco Rubio’s campaign office released details Saturday about some of the personal charges the 2016 GOP presidential candidate made using an American Express card issued by the Republican Party of Florida.

New statements from 2005 to 2006 show Mr. Rubio used the credit card to pay for a portion of a trip to Las Vegas, auto repairs, tiling and charges at a children’s sports activity center.

His campaign stressed that Mr. Rubio paid all of the charges personally to American Express and that the Republican Party of Florida did not pay for any of Mr. Rubio’s personal expenses, nor did taxpayers.

Mr. Rubio had the credit card while he served as the speaker of the Florida House between 2005 and 2008.

According to Mr. Rubio’s campaign, there were two personal charges for a trip he took to Las Vegas, one for a hotel and the other for a rental car. Mr. Rubio was already in Nevada for a business trip at the time and decided to extend the trip to visit with family in the area. He paid $1,745 in the following billing period.

The largest charge on the previously unreleased statements was $3,756.24 to Iberia Tiles in October 2005. Mr. Rubio repaid the charge the next billing period.

There were two personal charges to Braman Honda, one for $500 on May 12, 2006, and another for $99.45 on May 19, 2006. Both charges were repaid.

On Dec. 7, 2005, Mr. Rubio charged $180 to the card at the Hoop It-Kick It-Let children’s sports activities center. He repaid the charge the following month.

Mr. Rubio made a total of 484 charges for $64,777.82 on the GOP card from January 2005 through October 2006. Eight of those charges were personal, totaling $7,243.74. 

Mr. Rubio came under fire this month when it was revealed he paid for movie tickets, groceries, Walt Disney World trips, and flowers and flights for his wife using the same credit card in 2007 and 2008.

In a 2010 Politifact article, a Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman said using the credit card for personal expenses was not “explicitly prohibited, but personal expenses were expected to be paid through a reimbursement.”

In 2012, Mr. Rubio admitted to ABC News that it was a “mistake” to use the card for personal expenses.

“If I had to do it over again, I’d do it very differently,” he said.


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