Rubio's enemies play an early trump card against him 

Gov. Charlie Crist's prohibitive lead in Florida's GOP Senate primary over conservative former Speaker Marco Rubio has evaporated in recent months, and Crist now trails by double-digits. And conveniently, someone has chosen this moment to play a trump card against Crist's conservative challenger very early in the game.

The card happens to be an AmEx, the Miami Herald reports:

Senate candidate and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio released a torrid letter Wednesday accusing Gov. Charlie Crist's campaign of leaking Rubio's state Republican Party American Express statements showing nearly $110,000 in charges over 25 months.

Usually, you save this kind of embarassing, negative stuff until the very end. The release of the information came just after Crist's hand-picked chairman, Jim Greer, stepped down amid charges of more scandalous spending:

Greer resigned from the party under pressure after reports of lavish spending on jet planes and extravagant meals and entertaining. Greer's executive director, Delmar Johnson, was given a secret contract that pumped his compensation up to $408,000.

Rubio, for his part, defends the charges. In a letter to the new party chairman, John Thrasher, Rubio says that he personally paid AmEx for more than $16,000 in personal charges that he made with the card, and that the rest was used as he traveled the state on the party's behalf, helping raise some $12 million for the state GOP and its candidates. From the letter, which was obtained by The Examiner:

No one other than the previous RPOF administration and myself had access to this information. It is clear these internal documents were taken from the RPOF by former Chairman Jim Greer, or someone working for him, and were leaked to the media by the Crist Campaign.

These actions are an appalling act of political desperation. The idea that the former chairman of the RPOF, or those working for the Governor, would selectively leak internal RPOF documents is disturbing.  But sadly it is not surprising because these are the very men who put the party in the mess it is in today.  The Florida GOP under Jeb Bush was never run with this sort of arrogance, mismanagement, lack of integrity and lack of leadership.

GOP National Committeewoman Sharon Day defended Rubio in the Herald and made this accusation against Greer:

Day said Greer told her and other party leaders in a private meeting that if he went down, he would take others down with him. Greer didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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