Rubio’s Running, But He’s Not Rich

The New York Times’ assault on Marco Rubio continues. First it was the revelation that Rubio has received four traffic citations in the last twenty years. He’s got me beat; I’ve only gotten three. Although, to be fair, I might have forgotten one or two. Now comes an even more devastating line of attack–Rubio isn’t rich enough to be president!

It is easy to see why the folks at the Times and the leaders of the Democratic party might see this as an effective line of attack. Everyone they know is wealthy, except for the domestic help. Certainly all the politicians. But there is a whole world of non-rich Americans who might see the fact that Marco isn’t wealthy in a quite different light. This is the Times’ latest scoop:

For years, Senator Marco Rubio struggled under the weight of student debt, mortgages and an extra loan against the value of his home totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. But in 2012, financial salvation seemed to have arrived: A publisher paid him $800,000 to write a book about growing up as the son of Cuban immigrants.

In speeches, Mr. Rubio, a Florida Republican, spoke of his prudent plan for using the cash to finally pay off his law school loans, expressing relief that he no longer owed “a lady named Sallie Mae,” as he once called the lender.

But at the same time, he splurged on an extravagant purchase: $80,000 for a luxury speedboat, state records show. At the time, Mr. Rubio confided to a friend that it was a potentially inadvisable outlay that he could not resist. The 24-foot boat, he said, fulfilled a dream.

I think most of us can relate to that. But how about that “luxury speedboat?” Rubio’s staff quickly pointed out that this isn’t a very apt description. Politico headlines: “Rubio’s ‘luxury speedboat’ is a fishing boat.”

[W]hile 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 Politico article concludes:

Times political editor Carolyn Ryan and spokesperson Eileen Murphy did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the characterization of Rubio’s boat. We will update here if and when we hear back.

No response so far. It is no surprise that Times reporters don’t know any more about boats than they do about guns. But this thought occurs to me: if the Democrats sufficiently publicize the fact that Rubio had his first big payday and responded by buying a fishing boat that was a wee bit too expensive, he might carry Minnesota. Wisconsin, too.