Addressing the nation on Tuesday night, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio came with a simple message.
"More government isn't going to create more opportunities. It's going to limit them. And more government isn't going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs," Rubio said. "More government isn't going to help you get ahead. It's going to hold you back."
That might be true for you. But it's not true for Marco Rubio.
For Rubio, a rising star in the Republican Party, more government did indeed create more opportunities. As the Tampa Bay Times reported during his U.S. Senate run in 2010, it's hard to determine with Rubio where politics stops and the private begins:
As Rubio climbed the ranks, he began to use little-noticed political committees to fund his travel and other expenses and later had a Republican Party of Florida credit card.
What emerged, records show, is a pattern of blending personal and political spending. Over and over again Rubio proved sloppy, at best, in complying with disclosure requirements.
Virtually broke, the 31-year-old lawmaker began campaigning to be House speaker in 2003 and created a political committee -- Floridians for Conservative Leadership -- to help elect other Republican candidates and curry their support.
With his wife serving as treasurer, Rubio did not wait for the state to authorize the committee before accepting campaign donations.
The committee listed its address as Rubio's home, a modest place he and his wife bought in West Miami in 2002, but reported spending nearly $85,000 in office and operating costs and $65,000 for administrative costs.
Over 18 months, nearly $90,000 went for political consultants, $51,000 went for credit card payments and $4,000 went to other candidates. That's less than the $5,700 that went to his wife, Jeanette, much of it for "gas and meals.'' (Mrs. Rubio does not work and the couple file joint tax returns.)