Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., a man who is likely on the short-list of possible vice presidential candidates, said on Monday that he regretted using a Republican Party credit card for personal expenses when he was speaker of the Florida House, but also said that he paid the expenses out of his own pocket at the end of every month if they were not party-related.
“Obviously, in hindsight, it looked bad, right? I mean, why are you using a party credit card at all?” Rubio said on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier. He said that when he used the card, “Some of these expenses were because a travel agent had the number — you know, the credit card number — and they billed it to that card instead of the other card. Sometimes it was just a mistake … just literally reached for the wrong card.”
The Tampa Bay Times reported in 2010 that the IRS was investigating Rubio’s tax records to see if he misused the card. Earlier that year, The Times reported that Rubio sent payments to American Express that totaled $13,900 between 2005 and 2008 , but payments were not made monthly and there was one six-month stretch in 2007 when he made none at all.
Some of the expenses, according to The Times, included $1,000 to repair the family minivan; $765 at Apple's online store for "computer supplies;" $412 for "supplies" at a music equipment store; and $68.33 at a wine store for "beverages" and "meal." Six plane tickets were also booked for Rubio's wife using the card, according to the newspaper.
“I shouldn't have done it that way. It was lesson learned,” he said, adding: "It was a mistake. If I had to do it over again, I'd do it very differently."