Sen. Marco Rubio’s political team is pushing back hard against a New York Times report about his personal finances, escalating a feud that began last week, when conservatives lambasted the paper for reporting on the Florida Republican’s traffic violations.
On Tuesday, the Times ran a story called “Struggles with finances track Marco Rubio’s career,” reporting that the presidential candidate’s family finances are marked by “significant debts,” a “low savings rate,” a “penchant to spend heavily on luxury items” and “inattentive accounting that led to years of unpaid local government fees.”
The report says that while Rubio “struggled under the weight of student debt, mortgages and an extra loan against the value of his home.” It questioned purchases he made, including a lease on an Audi Q7 and $80,000 for a “luxury speedboat.”
“The New York Times today attacked Marco because he could not afford to pay for college, arrogantly describing his student loan debt as ‘a deep financial hole of his own making,’ ” Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said in a statement. “The attack from The Times is just the latest in their continued hits against Marco and his family.”
Last week, the Times reported that Rubio (R-Fla.) and his wife, Jeanette Rubio, have received a combined 17 citations for traffic infractions in Florida. Jeanette Rubio was responsible for 13 of those citations.
Twitter users mocked the report as trivial, while many conservatives held it up as an example of the liberal media seeking to derail the presidential hopes of a top GOP contender by any means necessary.
“First The New York Times attacked Marco over traffic tickets, and now they think he doesn’t have enough money,” Conant said Tuesday. “Of course if he was worth millions, The Times would then attack him for being too rich, like they did to Mitt Romney.”