By now I’m sure you’ve heard that Florida Senator and GOP rising star Marco Rubio was facing rocky waters in the Republican veepstakes because of pending ethics charges looming over his head like a 2012 Sword of Damocles. And why would Mitt consider someone as a running mate who is clearly in this much trouble?
The Florida Commission on Ethics dismissed a complaint against Sen. Marco Rubio that accused him of breaching the public’s trust and misusing his political position for personal gain.
The complaint, filed in 2010 by Michael Ryan, a Democratic donor from Fort Lauderdale, , charged that while he served as speaker of the Florida House, Rubio misused a state party credit card for personal expenses. Ryan also accused Rubio of using his political position to secure employment at a university and a hospital. Ryan based his claim on a number of newspaper reports.
So… never mind, I guess. Look, Rubio covered all of this during his Senate race. Why we’re going over it again (complete with ABC’s breathless declaration that the charges are “still considered among the controversies that could hurt Rubio’s political stock down the line”) is not much of a mystery, but it still defies reason.
Did Rubio make a mistake while still essentially a newcomer to the bloody battlefield of partisan politics? Yes, and he’s said as much. His major crime can be summed up by this description of his evil mastermind plot. He was so crooked as to believe, on some occasions, that:
… if I happened to charge something to the party card instead of my own, when the bill comes at the end of the month I can pay for it myself and it’s no harm no foul.
What an evil bastard. I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly vote for him after that.
Was it politically tone deaf? Well, after you’ve spent enough time inside the beltway, obviously. Your opponents will absolutely grasp onto a straw like that and try to spin it into gold. And if you want to judge Rubio for not anticipating that half the nation would leap for his throat over the simple act of paying his own bills spread over two accounts, feel free.
In the meantime… charges dismissed. Game on.