Reuters’ hit on Rubio contains errors

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Reuters is out with a tough story on Sen. Marco Rubio today, arguing that, the senator “has had significant financial problems that could keep him from passing any vetting process as a potential vice presidential choice…”

Unfortunately, it appears many of the facts are either wrong or exaggerated.

By my count, there were at least 7 errors or exaggerations:

1. “Rubio also voted against Sonia Sotomayor, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee who is of Puerto Rican descent…”

(Rubio wasn’t even in the senate then.)

2. “He soon had [his house] appraised for $735,000 and took out a second mortgage for $135,000.”

(Rubio did not take out a second mortgage. He took out a home equity line, which is a line of credit secured by the value of the home.)

3. “In 2008, despite earning a declared $400,000 – including his $300,000 salary from the Miami law firm Broad and Cassel – Rubio failed to make a payment on his home for several months”

(Rubio never failed to make payments on his mortgage on his home. He did miss a payment on a second house that he co-owns in Tallahassee because of miscommunication with the bank and the other owner; but it was remedied immediately and was not caused by any financial problems.)

4. “During the same period he did not make payments on a $100,000-plus student loan from his days at the University of Miami, the disclosures said.”

(As far as I can tell, this is simply untrue. He has never missed a payment on his student loans.)

5. “He frequently had used his party credit card for personal use, and later reimbursed the party for about $16,000.”

(Rubio paid American Express directly. The party never paid any expenses, and therefore there was no need to reimburse them.)

6. “Before joining the Senate last year, he was caught up in an Internal Revenue Service investigation of the Florida Republican Party’s use of party-issued credit cards.”

(Rubio’s office tells me they have never been contacted about an IRS investigation.)

7 “Rubio owes far more on his $384,000 Miami home than it is worth, and at times has had difficulty paying his mortgage”

(Senator Rubio has never missed a payment on his Miami home.)

Aside from the inaccuracies, it is interesting to note that Rubio’s debt is seen as a liability. Mitt Romney is frequently criticized by the media for being so wealthy that he’s out of touch with the common man. Meanwhile, Rubio — like most Americans — has faced financial difficulty — and yet that is also somehow a liability?

Is there a magic amount of wealth that is just right?

Update: A Twitter follower asks: “isn’t Reuters statement about Health Care Law wrong too? Passed in 2010. Rubio took office 2011.”

UPDATE: Reuters has issued five retractions.

Matt K. Lewis