Marco Rubio Defends Himself Against Attacks Over Personal Finances

The Florida senator appeared on "Good Morning America" today.

ByABC News
November 4, 2015, 7:11 AM

— -- Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio defended himself today against attacks over his personal finances.

"I only have one debt in the world, which is my mortgage on a home for me and my family," the Florida senator told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America.”

He added that he’s also indebted to the United States “because of everything it’s made possible for me and my family.”

Rubio also addressed charges that he had pulled money out of his retirement account to pay living expenses, which he says is inaccurate.

And when asked about allegations that he used a Republican Party credit card for personal expenses, which he also said were inaccurate, he said, “Now, I recognize in hindsight, I would do it differently to avoid all this confusion. But the Republican Party never paid a single expense of mine – personal expense.”

“Every month, I’d go through it. If it was a personal expense, I paid it. If it was a party expense, the party paid it,” he added, saying that he would release the expense reports "soon."

A new national poll from Quinnipiac University today shows Rubio climbing to 14 percent support in the race for the GOP nomination, behind only Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who are neck and neck in the lead of the crowded Republican field. The Florida Senator is quickly becoming an alternative to his former mentor, Jeb Bush, who is sinking in the polls after a poor third debate performance.

Donald Trump had attacked Rubio at a news conference Tuesday, calling him "a disaster with his credit cards" and adding that he “certainly lives above his means; there’s no question about that."

But Rubio has aimed to use the topic to his advantage. "It will be good for this country to have a President that knows what it feels like to have your house lose its value because of irresponsible and reckless behavior by Fannie and Freddie, by the Federal Reserve," he said in a Fox News interview later this morning. "It would be good for this country to have a President that knows what it's like to owe money in student loans like I once did.”

Still, other questions have swirled around the Florida senator's finances, including his liquidation of a $68,000 retirement fund last year, raising questions from some about his qualifications to lead the U.S. economy.

And, in June, it was revealed that Rubio faced foreclosure on a Tallahassee, Florida, home he and a friend had bought together. Rubio, 44, eventually sold the home after missing mortgage payments for five months, the New York Times reported.

The Republican senator also said this morning that comprehensive immigration overhaul cannot pass Congress. "It's funny that Democrats attack Republicans for not doing what they themselves didn't do when they had the power," he said. "This cannot be done in one massive piece of legislation."