From MSBC's First Read: Incoming! This battle over Rubio's credit card expenses, as well as the news that he plans to travel to South Carolina next month, mark the first time that the conservative rock star has taken direct hits since becoming the front-runner in his race against Crist. And don't miss this statement from Rubio defending purchasing airplane tickets for his wife on the state party's credit card. "My wife was the first lady of the Florida House of Representatives, and it is absolutely appropriate for her to accompany me to official events and party functions," Rubio said. First lady of the Florida House of Representatives? Have you heard Harry Reid, Denny Hastert, etc. refer to their wives that way?
From The Hotline: Crist's campaign sees an opening to tear down Rubio's image as a hero of fiscal conservatives. Rubio, who finds himself on the defensive for the first time during the campaign, will paint the flap as an overblown product of Greer's mismanagement. Which line of argument carries the day in the FL press could drive the race over the next several weeks.
Talking Points Memo asks: Game Changer? Rubio Charged Grocery Bills And Car Repairs To GOP-Issued Credit Card
From Politico: Florida politics is abuzz today with the leak of the statements for a Republican Party American Express card held by Marco Rubio, which shows some charges for things that look like personal expenses. Rubio quickly denounced the story as a low blow from the Crist-controlled party, and he has the advantage that the sums he's accused of spending are far lower than those Crist's allies at the parties spent. But the way this kind of story can become truly damaging -- for him and for other Florida Republicans -- is if it emerges that they spent party money on their own and didn't pay taxes on the imputed income. It's often the taxing, not the spending, that brings pols down in situations like this. NOTE: Rubio says he paid back all the personal expenses which, if true would eliminate any problem. [Though it's unclear that he paid them back regularly, or with interest.]