Government & Politics

This Just In: Marco Rubio Is an Average American

Democrats must be worried given the hit pieces on Rubio lately.

Lewis Morris · Jun. 11, 2015

Marco Rubio must have Democrats worried considering the coverage he’s received in The New York Times. The real scoop is that Rubio is a pretty average American.

First, there was the intrepid journalism on the Times’ politics blog Friday regarding Rubio’s driving record. According to a search of Miami-Dade and Duval county court records, the Republican presidential candidate and his wife have racked up a combined 17 driving infractions since 1997. Marco accounts for just four of them. Among the moving violations were incidents of “speeding, driving through red lights and careless driving.”

We’re not sure what prompted the Times’ search of Rubio’s driving record other than wanting to make an in-kind contribution to Team Hillary. His driving record hardly seems relevant to his qualifications for president; his wife’s driving even less so. It’s not like he’s going to be driving himself to speeches and international meetings should he become president.

And it’s not like Hillary Clinton has driven herself anywhere in about 30 years. More pointedly, Rubio didn’t drive a young woman off a bridge and leave her for dead like one rich guy who spent the next 40 years in the U.S. Senate.

Even better than the Times’ story about Mad Max Rubio was its story Tuesday about Rubio’s financial history. In “Marco Rubio’s Career Bedeviled by Financial Struggles,” the Times attempts to paint Rubio as a spendthrift who has made numerous irresponsible decisions with his money.

For instance, a lot of ink is spilled about some personal charges Rubio put on his Republican credit card, including home improvements and a family trip to Georgia. Not much ink is spilled about the fact that both charges were mistakenly applied to the party card and repaid in short order.

Then there’s the whole business about Rubio’s student loans and his withdrawing early from a retirement savings account. Yeah, nobody’s ever gone through that. His loans remained a financial burden for quite a few years. Rubio willingly chose a career in public service, which isn’t something he should be financially penalized for, but, just the same, an honest politician is not going to get rich while in office.

It wasn’t until Rubio received an $800,000 advance for writing about his family’s Cuban heritage that things turned around. He was able to pay off his loans and other mounting debts. This should be considered admirable, yet the Times tries to paint it in a questionable light by noting that he used part of the advance to buy a “luxury speedboat.”

Except that boat turns out to be an $80,000 fishing boat.

Some may consider Rubio’s boat an extravagant expense, but he lives in Florida and he came across a windfall. So what if he decided to treat himself? It’s not like he has a $7 million yacht that he docks in a neighboring state to avoid paying home-state taxes on it. Yes, John Kerry, we’re talking to you.

The Times hit pieces on Rubio are laughable. First, there’s an attempt to make him look like a reckless driver. Then within the space of one article, they try to make him look like a peasant with no financial acumen one moment, then a callous one-percenter the next. Which is it? Well, probably whichever one sticks.

The truth is, the Times did more to make Rubio look like most Americans than his own campaign maybe ever could. It’s political advertising money can’t buy. Rubio’s family struggled with financial problems and got through them, rewarding themselves for their hard work along the way. And for that, among other reasons, Marco Rubio has far more in common with most Americans than Hillary Clinton ever did.

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