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NYT’s ‘scoop’ on Sen. Rubio’s driving record backfires

NYT’s ‘scoop’ on Sen. Rubio’s driving record backfires

The lamest hit piece in the history of hit pieces?

Friday morning, the New York Times deemed Senator Rubio’s driving record news that fit to print. Though it reads like something from the annals of The Onion, the New York Times was completely serious about Sen. Rubio’s troubling speeding tickets from the 90s.

Senator Marco Rubio has been in a hurry to get to the top, rising from state legislator to United States senator in the span of a decade and now running for president at age 44.

But politics is not the only area where Mr. Rubio, a Republican from Florida, has an affinity for the fast track. He and his wife, Jeanette, have also shown a tendency to be in a rush on the road.

…A review of records dating back to 1997 shows that the couple had a combined 17 citations: Mr. Rubio with four and his wife with 13. On four separate occasions they agreed to attend remedial driving school after a violation.

Sen. Rubio took defensive driving?! IMPEACH.

Mr. Rubio’s troubles behind the wheel predate his days in politics… A dozen years later, in 2009, he was ticketed for speeding on a highway in Duval County and found himself back in driver improvement school.

Things got more complicated in 2011 when Mr. Rubio was alerted to the fact that his license was facing suspension after a traffic camera caught him failing to stop at a red light in his beige Buick. His lawyer, Alex Hanna, paid a $16 fee to delay the suspension and eventually it was dismissed.

What kind of elitist is Rubio that he paid a whopping $16 fee to avoid suspension of his driver’s license?

It is not clear how the numerous infractions have affected the Rubios’ car insurance policy or premiums. On at least one occasion, Ms. Rubio was cited for lacking documentation that her car was insured.

The Rubios have spent more than $1,000 paying traffic penalties over the years, but after Mr. Rubio was elected to the Senate in 2010 they took a different approach to handling their tickets.

Mr. Rubio hired Mr. Hanna, a Miami-based lawyer and donor, whose website sales pitch says, “Have you received a traffic ticket? Don’t pay it.” With Mr. Hanna’s help, Mr. Rubio’s last two citations were dismissed and seven of Ms. Rubio’s last eight were cleared.

Hilarious journalistic undertaking makes its way around the internet, is subjected to wholly justified mockery, and then the intrepid staff at the Washington Free Beacon began poking around.

We often jest that the NYT functions as a progressive mouthpiece because of their consistently liberal bent. In this case, it’s entirely true.

Early Friday afternoon, Brent Scher of the Washington Free Beacon published an article revealing who requested Rubio’s driving records.

Records show that each of the citations mentioned by the New York Times were pulled in person by American Bridge operatives on May 26, 2015.

Take for example the time Rubio was pulled over in 1997. “Mr. Rubio’s troubles behind the wheel predate his days in politics,” wrote the New York Times. “In 1997, when he was cited for careless driving by a Florida Highway Patrol officer, he was fined and took voluntary driving classes.”

A look at the docket for that infraction on Miami-Dade County’s website shows that American Bridge was in Miami to pull records on that case at 11:42 a.m. on May 26:

rubio driving record record request american bridge new york times rubio president 2016 free beacon oppo report

Neither of the reporters, Alan Rappeport and Steve Eder, appeared on the docket records for any of the traffic citations for Rubio and his wife. An additional researcher credited in the New York Times, Kitty Bennett, also does not appear on any of the court records.

American Bridge describes itself as, “a progressive research and communications organization committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions and helping you ascertain when Republican candidates are pretending to be something they’re not.” They boast of reseaching, “candidates’ records to ensure their rhetoric matches their voting record,” and claim they, “work to get this information to you through mainstream and social media, grassroots activism and our website.”

Thanks to the Free Beacon, the NYT — not Sen. Rubio’s driving record, is now the story.

Politico’s Dylan Byers entered the fray, asking the NYT how they obtained the records. The NYT denies they received them elsewhere:

However, in an email to the On Media blog on Friday, Times Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan denied that the information came from an outside source.

“We came across this on our own,” she wrote. “Steve Eder and Kitty Bennett noticed it on Tuesday while looking into something else – it is almost all on line. Eder planned to do it for First Draft next week. On Wednesday, another reporter, Alan Rappeport, got wind that others were looking at the same thing. He mentioned it to Eder, so we decided to get it in now. We hired a document retrieval service in Florida and got copies of the paper records ourselves. They came back yesterday.”

Byers pushed further:

And also this:

Byers pointed out that its entirely commonplace for news sources of all kinds to publish oppo research passed to them by campaigns, and he’s not wrong. The NYT did use Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash,” in an exposé, after all, Byers notes.

That the NYT would run with something so trivially banal? I’m not sure whether it’s lazy, agenda-driven, or some combination of the two (most likely), but it’s definitely weaksauce.

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Regardless, this is easily the dumbest story I’ve read this election cycle. And by dumb, I’m thinking somewhere along the lines of:


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Throwing the BS flag even though I am not a Rubio fan. The NYT would NEVER lump Bill’s citations in with Hillary’s. But – they feel compelled to lump Rubio’s Wife’s citations on him.

BS. Fifteen yards for Faux Reporting.

    Eastwood Ravine in reply to MattMusson. | June 5, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    This has Clinton oppo written all over it. Just another example that the GOP needs to nominate in both President and Vice President candidates who, without fear, challenge not just the Clinton machine, but the media as well, every minute of every day during the campaign. It’s good practice as well, because the Democrats and the media won’t let up after election either.

    As much as the Republicans despise and want to move beyond the permanent campaign, it’s not going to stop. It’s best they realize it, accept it, and nominate those individuals who have the tenacity and endurance to prevail against the odds.

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | June 5, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Isn’t it time that propaganda outlet was sued out of existence?

Byers now claims NYT provided name of service, details to come.

markofafreeman | June 5, 2015 at 4:38 pm

So what the NYT is saying that it IS okay to talk about Ted Kennedy’s driving record?

legacyrepublican | June 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Oh gee, guess I am going to have to rethink my vote for Rubio if nominated. What if Rubio wants to drag race Hillary instead of debating her? Then again, maybe Jeremy Clarkson can moderate their debate.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to legacyrepublican. | June 5, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I vote for Stephen Frye, with Alan Davies as a special third party candidate.

    But keep Hugh Laurie off . ( If you’ve ever seen the first episode. )

Marco: NOT the Lone Ranger, Florida Senator Dude!! This lifelong So.California Guy has had more moving violations(and two stints in driver’s school to keep the insurance fees down)since moving to Central Florida in ’06 than decades of L.A.County driving got me combined. Florida is a revenue machine for drivers. Nice to have company, Marco!!

Rubio could easily handle this with humor that would leave the NYT with even more egg on their face:

“If you elect me president, I promise to stop driving altogether…”

Or some such …

Breaking News from the New York Times, “Marco Rubio returned 2 books late at High School Library and paid fines of .15”

The NYT is showing itself to be a wholly owned property of the Democrat Party and especially of the Democrat Party leading political figures, their so-called leading lights.

Ain’t it great that we’ve got the 1st Amendment, except for that very nasty part where it allows hate speech, that speech which is not approved by Hilliary or Billiary!

Carlos Slim’s newspaper sucks.

I can just see the headlines if the roles were reversed and let’s just say this story was about a democrat…oh I don’t know…how about President (then senator) Obama and his wife. “Disregard for the law…lawbreaker….How many lives have they put in danger. Mrs. Obama is uppity…thinks she is about the law. blah blah blah….”
And yes…I agree it is a ridiculous article…however 13 speeding tickets in less than 20 years is a tad excessive.

    Ragspierre in reply to mwsomerset. | June 5, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    “I can just see the headlines if the roles were reversed.”

    Well, you’re either lying or you hallucinate.

    Or both.

      mwsomerset in reply to Ragspierre. | June 5, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Really Rags…you don’t think Fox News and Rush Limbaugh would have a field day with that news….who’s really lying here.

        Ragspierre in reply to mwsomerset. | June 5, 2015 at 9:09 pm

        Why you, honeeee. Always.

        Rush or Fox would find that beneath contempt. Less than a ticket for ANY moving violation a year between two drivers? In Florida?

        You aren’t just deluded. You’re stoooooooopid.

          mwsomerset in reply to Ragspierre. | June 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

          And you, as usual, resort to insults when you know you are wrong.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 5, 2015 at 10:00 pm

          But those are just more lies. Observations are not “insults”.

          Dear Rags:

          When will you ever learn? When being assaulted by a troll, just slap’em extra hard, metaphorically, across the chops, one such should be sufficient, in most cases.

          Then ignore that idiotic miscreant or else shove’em down the stairs, metaphorically, ala Dick Widmark.

          “Metaphorically:” trying to avoid being accused of being mean and vicious to said troll, and any like it; they might consider it to be “hateful speech” and call in their special shock troops, like the NYT.

          Signed: An admirer and loyal supporter, on good days.

    It’s Florida. It’s what they do. Lie in wait to nab speeders.

    Andy in reply to mwsomerset. | June 6, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Yeah- Like how we got all up tight when the NYT ran that story about Michelle Obama getting 300k/yr to run a patient dumping scam in Chicago… or how they hounded the Obama’s on the that sweatheart real estate deal…

    oh wait. the NYT wouldn’t publish either of those.

    4fun in reply to mwsomerset. | June 6, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Actually obama did have the same amount of parking tickets during his school years. IIRC he didn’t pay them until it was brought to light during his run for the Presidency.
    Usual dem rules, laws don’t apply to me, only to thee.

His lawyer, Alex Hanna, blah blah blah ….

They make it sound like Marco Rubio is some kind of big shot criminal with Mr. Hanna on retainer.

Here in Miami Alex Hanna is like, everybody’s lawyer when it comes to traffic citations. He has about 10 offices around South Florida, and owns a big chunk of Ad air time in several local TV stations in both English and Spanish.

Hiring Alex Hanna means just that Marco Rubio is like the rest of us. Another big fail for team MSM.

By the way, I have never hired Alex Hanna.

The last time a DemocRAT got in trouble with the media is when Gary Hart got caught with the bimbo. That would not have happened if he had kept his mouth shut.

in his beige Buick

Well, there’s the offense, right there. Beige. C’mon, Marco, get with the program—Keep America Beautiful.

On the plus side, Mrs. Rubio sounds like a real mover & shaker.

Henry Hawkins | June 5, 2015 at 11:14 pm

The NYT couldn’t have done a better job if they tried in making Marco Rubio look like just another American, a guy just like us. F**king dufuses, lol.

Remember that EVERYTHING the MSM publishes in the next year is designed to influence which candidate the GOP will pick.

Any REAL dirt on any likely candidate is being held until after one GOP candidate has locked up the nomination.

    platypus in reply to clintack. | June 6, 2015 at 1:05 am


    They WANT Babyface Marco to be the GOP nominee because they KNOW the tea party can’t stand him. Unlike Jeb the Lesser, the NYT KNOWS that the GOP needs the tea party to win so they are determined to get tea partiers to stay home on election day 2016.

    Ergo, Marco or Jeb for GOP nominee.

Apparently, y’all just missed the whole point of the NYT article: The moral equivalence of a half a billion Clinton Slush Fund and paying $1,000 for a slick Miami lawyer.

Get with the program, hicks.

We can credibly state that Queen Hilliavelli’s incompetent foreign policy has actually killed people, whereas Rubio’s driving has not. Why don’t the water-carrying, Leftist propagandists in the media focus on that little distinction?

My God, if this desperate rubbish is the worst alleged “scandal” that the media lapdogs can dig up on Rubio, he has nothing to worry about.

I understand that nobody got very excitably this story …

Obama Pays Parking Tickets 17 Years Late

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 8, 2007; 9:27 PM
BOSTON — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama got more than an education when he attended Harvard Law School in the late 1980s. He also got a healthy stack of parking tickets, most of which he never paid.

The Illinois Senator shelled out $375 in January _ two weeks before he officially launched his presidential campaign _ to finally pay for 15 outstanding parking tickets and their associated late fees.

Opposition research is a failure when it goes after minor traffic violations. Many years ago a team went after an Arizona democrat governor and found that his wife had one citation for avoiding a traffic control signal, she drove through a corner gas staion to bypass a traffic light. This had the effect on the voters of an endorsement for being squeaky clean.

Sammy Finkelman | June 7, 2015 at 11:52 pm

It could be that all the people doing the opposition research see is a “Gotcha” and they don’t understand the meaning, or non-meaning, that the “Gotcha” has, because all rules are equal, and everything is just arbitrary rules to them anyway.

And they themselves, or their favored candidates, break rules, more than most, but they hide it well, or have strategies to prevent anyone from making any of that an issue.