Earlier today, the New York Times clucked its tongue over Marco Rubio’s “penchant for luxury,” embodied primarily in the purchase of an $80,000 “speedboat.” One man’s luxury is another man’s … fishing boat. The Rubio team sent Dylan Byers a link to the model of the boat Rubio bought, which ain’t exactly a yacht:
But while Rubio did indeed spend $80,000 on a boat, the vessel in question is not the glamorous “luxury speedboat” the Times article portrayed. It is, in fact, an offshore fishing boat.
On Tuesday, Rubio spokesperson Alex Conant sent POLITICO a link to a website showing the make and model of the boat Rubio owns: an EdgeWater 245CC Deep-V Center Console. The manufacturer, Edgewater, notes that the boat is perfect for “safety-minded family boaters and avid anglers.” In a place like Miami, home to billionaires and stars who have multimillion-dollar yachts, an “$80,000 luxury boat” can seem like a contradiction.
The Times reports that Rubio “splurged” on this “extravagant purchase” after receiving an $800,000 on a book deal. “At the time, Mr. Rubio confided to a friend that it was a potentially inadvisable outlay that he could not resist,” the article states. “The 24-foot boat, he said, fulfilled a dream.”
There is some irony in this pathway to Byers. The Gray Lady had made Byers their go-to guy on responses to inquiries from the Free Beacon. Maybe the Times will respond to this by sending a comment to The Blaze, or something.
Byers’ Politico colleague Blake Hounshell tweeted out a picture of the luxurious accommodations:
— Blake News (@blakehounshell) June 9, 2015
A “penchant for luxury,” eh? Compare and contrast:
— ol' Bill Deal (@chrismcm66) June 9, 2015
What else does the New York Times have on Rubio’s luxurious tastes? A two-can beer helmet?
Totally unrelated and completely coincidental update: Anyone know if the New York Times has acknowledged their correction on the Ford F-150 “sports utility vehicle” description yet?
Update: There’s another point to be made about the NYT’s description of the Rubio Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous life. The Rubios bought a house in West Miami near the peak of the housing bubble, and this is how the Times described it:
Then, by the end of 2005, the Rubios completed the purchase of a new home, twice the size of their previous one, for $550,000. The house, among the more expensive in West Miami, stood out from the aging homes nearby: It includes an in-ground pool, a handsome brick driveway, meticulously manicured shrubs and oversize windows.
An “in-ground pool” is the usual kind of pool installed in back yards, although some buy metal Doughboys. Contrast this description with earlier media coverage of the exact same house provided to Hot Air by a member of Rubio’s team. For instance, here’s Politico in 2012:
When he is not playing his increasingly large role on the national stage, he and Jeanette and their children, ages 4-12, live in this Hispanic enclave, a shielded bubble in a transient world. Their house is a stone’s throw from the recreational center where the couple met as teenagers 22 years ago. His mother and sister live three blocks away, in the house where he grew up. Her mother is a ten-minute drive away. Their children have a dozen cousins living within 5 miles. “At the end of the day, I have a network — I have my family, my friends that help me when I can’t do it,” says Jeanette about her husband being in Washington all week. “I don’t have a nanny or anything like that. I have my family.”
There is nothing opulent about their home, but it is warm and bright and simply decorated with white and brown furniture. In the driveway sits the senator’s black pickup truck that he uses for weekend errands. “By the way, sorry for the patches [on the wall],” he offers. “They’re painting here.”
The Sun Sentinel offered an even more humble assessment of the neighborhood:
In the case of his claim that he lives in a “working-class neighborhood,” score one for Rubio in the truth column. I went to his West Miami block for my Sunday print column, and it turns out he’s not stretching on this one, despite the fact that his home is currently listed for sale at $675,000. …
As I discovered, his block has some older, more modest homes (2-bedroom ranch homes built in the 1950s) and five newer, bigger homes built on a cul-de-sac in 2005. Rubio’s home has a pool, 4 bedrooms and 2700 square feet of living space.
I was expecting to ridicule his claims, but it turns out I have to back him on this.
Bill Sanderson tweeted out a comparison of “luxury” homes earlier today:
There’s nothing necessarily luxurious about 2700 square feet for a house. It’s not small either, but with four children, it’s hardly extravagant. Rubio has remained in the community in which he grew up, a working-class neighborhood in a house that only rises a little above the norm. He’s not buying mansions in Georgetown or New York, in other words.