Senator Rubio or candidate Rubio?
When Marco Rubio visits Costa Del Mar, a polarized sunglass maker in Daytona Beach, Tuesday afternoon, he'll be doing so in his capacity as a U.S. senator, highlighting another advantage he is pressing against his GOP opponent Carlos Beruff.
The visit, plus one Monday in Clearwater and others, raise the question whether Rubio's campaigning for re-election on official resources. He's not, a spokesman said.
The Senate Ethics Manual allows a mixed purpose trip to be "pro-rated between expenses of (i) official travel paid with Senate funds and (ii) campaign travel paid with campaign funds, to appropriately reflect the travel expenses associated with each purpose of the trip."
Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos said "to save taxpayer money," the campaign picked up all the costs for the Clearwater visit on Monday and today in Daytona Beach. He did not respond to a question about what other political activity Rubio did in Tampa Bay, though a fundraiser is probable.
Rubio begins Tuesday in Orlando for a private (no press allowed) meeting with business leaders. Then he's off to Daytona Beach, wearing his Senate hat.
Rubio has used his stature to get free TV time, jumping on national cable TV news to comment on various issues. He'll hold a media availability after touring Costa Del Mar -- ensuring he'll get local airtime at the same time Tim Kaine is in Daytona Beach.
Chris Hartline, a spokesman for Carlos Beruff, said there was still official staff time that goes into events.
"Considering Marco campaigned for president while receiving a taxpayer funded salary and not showing up for work, it’s no surprise that he would now campaign on the taxpayers’ dime as he learns about issues he’s ignored for the last six years. "