(CNN) – Florida Senate hopeful Marco Rubio said Wednesday he has not been contacted about a reported federal investigation into his use of a state party credit card and proclaimed himself innocent of any wrongdoing.
The St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald reported late Tuesday that the IRS has opened a "preliminary" investigation into whether Rubio, former House Speaker Ray Sansom and former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer "misused their party credit cards for personal expenses." The papers cited an anonymous law enforcement source for their story.
News of the investigation interrupts several weeks of momentum for the surging Rubio, who is consolidating GOP support as his primary rival for the Republican nomination, Gov. Charlie Crist, considers abandoning the contest altogether.
Questions about Rubio's use of a state party credit card are not new. The Times and Herald reported in February that Rubio, while serving as House speaker, used his party-issued credit card for personal charges, including grocery bills and repairs to his family's minivan. Rubio has said he re-paid those personal charges out of his own pocket.
Last week, Rubio said he did not believe he needed to amend his tax returns to reflect any party money that may have been used for personal expenses.
Responding to news of the IRS inquiry, Rubio said that "getting this information out in the open will be the best way to deal with it."
"As far as my spending is concerned, it was for legitimate political purposes," he said in a statement. "When I made personal charges, I paid for them directly to American Express. I have not been contacted and don't know anything about any potential inquiries, but I welcome the chance to set the record straight once and for all."
A spokesman for Rubio, Alex Burgos, made the point that an investigation has not been publicly confirmed. He re-iterated that his candidate has not been contacted by the IRS or federal officials.
Meanwhile, Crist spokeswoman Amanda Hennenberg said in a statement, "This speaks to a wider issue that undercuts Speaker Rubio’s credibility when it comes to his fiscal conservative credentials, as well as raises questions about this political insider’s use of public office for his own personal enrichment."
As we have said before, when it comes to Speaker Rubio, it’s not what we know, it’s what we don’t know YET," she also said.
Rubio is a dishonest crook. As soon as most people in Florida realize that he is just an ignorant extremist teenager wearing his fathers suit, they will drop him like a hot potato.
That is what they all say! We shall see.
what a surprise the barack obama circus is tryin to setup sombody else so he looks good.
This should be a cause for concern for those that support Rubio. If he can't spend the party's money wisely or control what he does with it, how much better could he be as a Senator in DC? I would worry.
Sometimes it boggles the mind at the flailing ignorance that can be seen...Rubio has the lead and will probably win. A man who obviously has issues with finances and credit cards. What gives?
Marco Rubio is a sleazy crook and he, along with many of the Florida GOP who treat campaign contributions as personal bank accounts, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
This guy is a crook and i am one florida republican that will not vote for him.
all the attacks on the conservatives is starting to get old and look very desperate and chicago thuggish!
.....Before you right-wingers, get your tin-foil-hats-in-a-bind. Remember, Ken Starr?....How, he went after Bill Clinton......
I just want to slap the guy straight in his OraGel smile. Dude's scum.
W/e...FL has by far the highest per capita rate of dementia in the country...and it shows.
Rubio as well as Michael Steele need to be audited. Their spending habits are wreckless and far from conservative. Spending donor money for personal use is unacceptable and should be condemned.
If floridians make the mistake of sending Marco Rubio to the Senate his credit card spending spree addiction will only get worst, the Senates credit card is way bigger and I'm not sure Rubio can handle the temptation, he already has shown if not criminal behavior at least very poor judgement in using donor money for his own benefit.
This should be fun.
Leave it to the Republican's to yell and scream about too much un-needed spending and then miss-use contributions.
Another case of "Do as I say and not as I do".
The only way Democrats can win is to smear their competition. But it won't work - the people of Florida are fed up with big government and will support Rubio by overwhelming numbers.
Perhaps the Democrats should spend time updating their resumes because they'll all be out of a job come November.
exactly, it is what we do not know YET, keep denying until charged, in the mean time, keep spending party money, marquito
As usual, these politicians are crooks. How can we allow this man to get in the senate. Once he gets there the dishonest acts will increase. He cannot be trusted. Get rid of this man before its too late
it frightens and disgusts me to think that Rubio could end up being my Senator... he is a crook.
The Florida GOP are a shady bunch. They are continually funneling money hand over fist into their pet pork projects, and when the money runs out they ask us to increase taxes on bought goods. Now we hear that these same clowns have been supplementing their lifestyles using tax exempt money is truly telling ....
Rubio needs to remember that over half the people in prison are innocent.
Rubio shouldn't speak so fast, the IRS will look under the bottom of his foot and between his toes and he'd better be squeaky clean.
Marco Rubio has won every straw pole conducted in the State of Florida The Alliance between Rubio and the Tea Party has the left leaning press in full panic. They have tried to paint Rubio as a person who can't be trusted with a creidt card. Rubio is the State House Majority Leader. His popularity has grown as he has the full suppport of those who believe in a smaller more efficient government. Rubio is admired for his ability to manage in a fiscally responsible way. Rubio is a great supporter of individual freedom and opposes unfunded government mandates. Go Rubio!!
"Florida Senate hopeful Marco Rubio said Wednesday he has not been contacted about a reported federal investigation into his use of a state party credit card"
YET, Rubio, YET! Vote for this crook at your own peril, Floridians . . .
Why did Rubio use the GOP credit card to pay personal expenses in the first place? Didn't he have his own credit card? Sounds very shady. I'll be very curious to know when he (if indeed he did) paid back the charges. If it was when the statement came in, I would cut him some slack. If he paid it back months or years later, then it seems to me he only paid it back after he was caught. This guy seems like a sleazeball to me.
Marco Rubio is the best candidate out of the three.
Kendrick Meek voted for the pork-filled Stimulus Bill that Americans hate.
Charlie Crist has been a self-serving empty-suit governor.