Tea Party Hero Marco Rubio Charged Personal Expenses to Party Credit Card

If there's one defining feature of the Tea Party movement it's that members hate freeloaders who let taxpayers, the government, or political money pick up their expenses (read: welfare, the stimulus, bailouts, etc.). Wonder how they'll respond to the revelation that their current poster boy charged personal expenses to a Republican Party of Florida-issued American Express card when he was speaker of Florida's house?

The Miami Herald reports Marco Rubio charged groceries, car repairs, and purchases from a wine store to his AmEx. Rubio responded that when he left public office, he paid any charges that weren't for political purposes.

Except he allowed the RPOF to pick up half the expenses to repair his family minivan after it was damaged by parking attendants at a political event. The party also picked up the $2,976 tab for Rubio to rent a car for five weeks.

Donations to political parties, under law, are supposed to go toward influencing elections, but Rubio also racked up charges at Apple, Winn-Dixie, Farm Stores, a place called Happy Wine, an electronic store, and $133.75 at an upscale barbershop.

Rubio couldn't immediately explain all the charges, and he claims other people had access to the cards. He also insinuates Charlie Crist's old friend, former party chairman Jim Greer, leaked the documents.

"It is clear these internal documents were taken from the RPOF by former chairman Jim Greer or someone working for him and were leaked to the media by the Crist campaign," Rubio's letter to the Herald said, sticking to his anti-"establishment" campaign theme, even though as a holder of a GOP credit card, he clearly was a member of said establishment. "These actions are an appalling act of political desperation."

Crist, who claims he does not have a party credit card, says the charges are "pretty disturbing."

"A clear pattern is emerging in Speaker Rubio's unfortunate behavior. The lobbyist-politician whines and plays the victim while continuing to make every effort to hide the facts surrounding his personal financial gain while in office," a Crist campaign press release states.