Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rubio addresses baggage

On the kickoff of Bret Baier's "Running with Romney" series last night, Marco Rubio answered some of the questions that have raised concerns about a possible VP bid.

First, Rubio talked about using a Florida GOP credit card to pay for some personal expenses while he was Speaker of the House in the state.

He acknowledged it was wrong but not in violation of IRS rules, considering he paid back all those expenses.

"In hindsight, it looks bad, right, why are you using the party credit card, at all?

Well, some of these expenses were because the travel agent had the number -- the credit card number -- and they billed it to that card instead of the other card.

Sometimes it was just a mistake. I literally just reached for the wrong card. But it's important for people to understand I did not bill personal expenses to the Republican Party of Florida. T

he Republican Part of Florida never paid my personal expenses. Never. But look, I shouldn't have done it that way. Lesson learned."

He then addressed his relationship with the controversy-laden Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), a guy who was under investigation for 18 months for possible campaign fraud and falsifying financial disclosure forms. Ultimately, prosecutors decided not to pursue the charges, in part because of statute of limitations concerns.

"He's a friend. I mean, he's a friend I've known on a personal level even before I was elected or he was elected to office.

So look, I know he's going through a tough time, and we've all read the press reports and none of us like to see that about anybody, much less a friend, and he's going to have to deal with those issues."

He continued.

"I guess it's because I'm new to Washington, but I've never felt that-- I mean, maybe it's acceptable here.

It isn't to me to turn your back on friends when they're going through a difficult time.... in his case, he's a friend, and I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The rough fact for Rubio (that Baier brings up) is that he's hosting a fundraiser for Rivera this month.

Rubio defended the event.

"He's a friend, he's asked me to attend a fundraiser. He's accountable to the people of his district."

Vid via Fox News.