Rubio Will Release Records of GOP Credit Card He Used for Personal Expenses

Charles Krupa/AP

One of the big question marks hanging over Marco Rubio’s financial past may soon be answered. On Tuesday, the senator’s presidential campaign agreed to release records detailing his use of a Florida Republican Party credit card from his time in the state House.

For years, Rubio’s political career has been haunted by his misuse of a credit card issued by the state party—raising question about his finances and his ethics. When he ran for the US Senate in 2010, Florida reporters obtained his credit card records for 2007 and 2008, which showed that Rubio often used the party card to cover personal expenses, from a $7.09 charge at a Chick-fil-A to $10,000 for a family vacation in Georgia. Rubio has repeatedly contended that he paid the party back every month for any personal expenses he put on the party American Express card, but records show Rubio did not make monthly payments, including any repayments during a six-month stretch in 2007.

But two years of records, from 2005 and 2006, have remained secret. As he runs for president, questions about Rubio’s credit card use have mounted. “Marco Rubio has a disaster on his finances,” rival Donald Trump charged on Tuesday, urging the press to take a closer look at Rubio’s credit cards. “He has a disaster on his credit cards.”

So after years of hiding his 2005 and 2006 records, Rubio has finally agreed to release them. In response to repeated requests for the records from the Tampa Bay Times, the campaign said this week that it would release the missing records soon—possibly in the coming months.

Candidates often have to weigh whether the information contained in their records is more harmful than the bad publicity that comes from speculation over what they are hiding. (Think Mitt Romney and his tax returns in 2012, or Hillary Clinton and her emails this year.) Rubio has apparently made the calculation that whatever his credit card records contain is less harmful than weathering continued attacks about his secrecy. We’ll know soon enough.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.