Politics

Marco Rubio Got an $800,000 Advance on His Book, Finally Paid Off His College Loans

Throughout his rocket-ship ride to the top of the GOP, Marco Rubio has fought to keep some financial skeletons from tumbling out of his closet. There were thousands in questionable credit card charges, a six-figure student loan debt, the Tally house (shared with David Rivera) that went into foreclosure.

These days, Rubio's accountant can sleep a little easier. The Tea Party wonderboy just released disclosures that show he nabbed an eye-opening $800,000 advance on An American Son, his autobiography, and used the cash to finally pay off that student loan.

Rubio also stands to make a lot more from the book, which debuted at number 10 on the New York Times' nonfiction list last June. An American Son, got OK reviews, though the Times called it "long on rhetoric and short on policy" and mostly worth reading for Rubio's revelations of how Soul Train led him to a lifelong love of hip hop.

Interest was strong enough, though, for Penguin Publishing to top that hefty advance with 15 percent royalties on the hardcover, up to 10 percent on the paperback and a quarter of the audiobook revenues, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Rubio's already used the advance to finally shrug off his hefty college loans, which topped $100,000, the disclosures show.

He's still got 30-year loans on two houses, his home with Rivera in Tally and his West Miami house (which he's reportedly trying to sell). He also made just over $16,000 with his part-time teaching gig at FIU, and his wife earned an undisclosed amount with a consulting gig.

Rubio's book payouts may seem over-the-top, but the Times finds it's actually in-line with other top politicos. The significantly less interesting (and far less likely future presidential nominee) Scott Brown of Massachusetts got $700,000 for his autobiography three years ago, for instance.

And President Obama continues to rake in sizable royalties from several books, including Dreams From My Father.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink