When John McCain picked Sarah Palin to run with him, we quickly learned that her teenage daughter was pregnant — and then even more stories started piling up. What will the rest of America learn the day after Mitt Romney selects his vice-presidential nominee? What are the skeletons in the closets his team is prying open as they try to find the best debate opponent for Joe Biden? To answer those questions, we bring you The Day After Tomorrow, a new series previewing the veep scandals everyone may soon be talking about.
UPDATE: According to reports, Rubio is not being vetted as a potential running mate by the Romney campaign.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been among the eager front-runners waiting to be picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate almost since the day that he was elected in 2010. He’s young, charismatic, admired by conservatives, and many Republicans hope that his status as the most prominent Hispanic member of their party will help close Romney’s 40 point deficit among Latino voters.
But a scandal in Rubio’s past would make him a very risky choice. If Romney does choose Rubio as his running mate, then a deep dive into questions of corruption would instantly ensue. In short, Marco Rubio has shady friends and an unfortunate habit of confusing his wallet with the public purse.
During Rubio’s U.S. Senate bid, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Rubio had used a Florida Republican Party credit card for over $100,000 of personal purchases.
Rubio billed the party for more than $100,000 during the two years he served as House speaker, according to credit card statements obtained by the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald. The charges included repairs to the family minivan, grocery bills, plane tickets for his wife and purchases from retailers ranging from a wine store near his home to Apple’s online store. Rubio also charged the party for dozens of meals during the annual lawmaking session in Tallahassee, even though he received taxpayer subsidies for his meals.
Rubio said the billings all related to party business — the minivan, for example, was damaged by a valet at a political function — and that he repaid the party for about $16,000 in personal expenses.
In his defense, Rubio has offered the lame excuse that “sometimes, it was just a mistake, you know, literally just reached for the wrong card.”
“I shouldn’t have done it that way,” Rubio admitted in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier. “It was lesson learned.”
The credit card spending isn’t the only controversy over Rubio’s finances, however.