Marco RubioThe New York Times recently followed up its weird story on Marco Rubio’s traffic violation history with another on his personal finances. At the end of the day the newest piece essentially boils down to: Marco Rubio is unfit to be president because he’s just like the vast majority of responsible adults with large student loan bills. If Marco Rubio was like most politicians, who mysteriously become millionaires soon after arriving in Washington, D.C., then he might have the chops to be the next commander in chief.

The New York Times reported June 9:

Mr. Rubio entered public life in a deep financial hole of his own making.

Soon after he was elected to the Legislature in 2000, he reported a net worth of zero, about $150,000 in student loan debt, and $30,000 in what he called assorted credit and retail debt.

It was the inauspicious start to a decade of big financial ups and downs. In interviews, friends and advisers describe Mr. Rubio as a young politician entering public life just out of law school, whose charisma and stardom quickly outstripped his financial acumen, leaving him unprepared to manage the expensive campaigns and lucrative career opportunities that came his way.

How dare Mr. Rubio, the son of a Cuban immigrant bartender and a hotel worker, not have the financial acumen in his 20s of Tony Robbins in his 40s.

Do you see how it works with The New York Times? If a (Republican) man from humble beginnings claws his way into successful circles, then he has put himself into a “deep financial hole of his own making.” If a (Republican) man with a large bank account runs for office, then he’s out of touch and cannot be trusted (e.g., Mitt Romney).

Question: Am I in a “deep financial hole” that should cause employers to question my ability to handle money? I currently owe $52,328.16 in student loans that were raked up as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California and a graduate student at American University in Washington, D.C.

Student LoanAnswer: No. The reason is because, like Marco Rubio and millions of other Americans, I used my education and work experience to obtain human capital. I have never missed a payment. If I lost my job tomorrow, then I would still find employment capable of paying the bills. I have saved money for a “rainy day,” and have a retirement account. It is absurd to suggest that a sitting U.S. senator with a law degree and a winning personality is somehow a financial liability because he has a mortgage, student loan debt, and car payments.

On some level, The New York Times’ coverage of the Rubio campaign comes across less as a hit job and more like a warning to Hillary Clinton: this guy is going to be tough to sink through the traditional means of personal destruction. Tell your A-Team to get creative with the slime tactics.

If parking tickets and student loan bills are the best The New York Times can come up with on Mr. Rubio, then he has positioned himself quite well. Regardless, he should expect the coverage to get even worse as desperation sets in. Democrats cannot afford to have a good-looking, well-spoken, bilingual minority become the face of the Republican Party. Partisan media hacks will do their best to destroy him, no matter how much sleaze the effort requires.

Update: Reader Patrick brought up the idea of a “Speed Rubio” poster in response to The New York Times’ traffic ticket story. I think that would be an amazing idea.

Go Speed Rubio

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

10 comments

  1. It sounds like a hatchet job, so if you are in debt and are a liberal the world owes you something because you are hard working and honorable. If you have debt and you are considered a conservative you are not fit?
    This screams poor old Hilary hypocrisy.

    1. This story really irks me because of my own history. There are a lot of things I would do differently if I had it to do over again. However, I did the best that I could at the time. I put myself through undergraduate and graduate school. It was my money and my credit on the line — not mom’s and dad’s. I made some mistakes that I attribute to youth, but I always knew that I would work my butt off to get to where I wanted to be.

      If I ran for office and some jerk from The New York Times tried to say that I didn’t know how to manage my finances at 36 because of choices I made at 21, then I’d be rather annoyed.

  2. The NYT is grasping at straws. The guy had student loan debt and a mortgage. He lost money on the sale of a house when the market was bad. He got four traffic tickets in 18 years (0.22 a year), and his wife got 14 in the same period of time (0.33 a year). And about half of those tickets were dismissed.

    Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary came out of the White House “dead broke and in debt.” And the Clinton Foundation has millions of dollars missing and unaccounted for.

    1. I liked when Bill Clinton was asked about his $500,000 speaking fees and he said he had to “pay the bills.” Nothing says “in touch with most Americans” like $500,000 speaking fees. Haha. 🙂

  3. It just shows you how petty the NYT is, and how they think this is more important than reporting on the Clinton Foundation’s misdeeds.

    1. Also, they think Rubio’s mortgage and parking tickets are more important and newsworthy than Iran getting nukes, Russia re-emerging as a major (and hostile) world power, and terrorists shooting down a US Border Patrol aircraft.

  4. This just made me laugh, if this is the best the ny times could dig up (or pay someone else to dig up) then Rubio is looking good. At this stage of the 2016 game almost any press is good in the sense of name recognition. Cruz/Huckabee/Jindal et al wish someone was paying attention to them.

    Did not Obama have to receive his book royalties before he paid off his school loans? I think Rubio has used his education as a good stepping stone for success, this is a silly story by the nyt.

    Hillary said she hasn’t driven herself since the 90s. Is the nyt seriously implying that driving ability is a prerequisite for the presidency? I’ll place my bet on Rubio out driving Hillary despite the tickets.
    If I was Rubio, I’d have a little fun with this, he kind of resembles Speed Racer- that’d be the best campaign poster ever! 🙂

    1. “Speed Rubio” Photoshop is done. Great idea, Patrick! Ask and you shall receive. He even has an “M” for Marco on his helmet! Instead of Mach-5, we’ll call it the Marco-5. 🙂

  5. Note to Vunderguy (aka: Emmanuel, aka PersonIsPerson): You were banned — for one year. I didn’t put you on the spam list because then I’m tasked with remembering to take you off the list on June, 12, 2016. That is not likely to happen. If I do remember, then it will probably be months afterward.

    I will not extend your ban this time. If you comment again before your ban is up, then I will certainly do so.

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