Rubio's past includes political vulnerabilities

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., center, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., center, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

MIAMI (AP) -- Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has close ties to a colleague accused of questionable financial dealings. The freshman senator from Florida once was enmeshed in a controversy over the use of the state party's credit card for his personal expenses.

Rubio has faced increased scrutiny over his personal background since bursting onto the national scene, including conflicting details of his parents' immigration from Cuba and his ties to the Mormon faith.

Will issues like those hold back one of the GOP's fastest-rising stars?

That's a question being debated in Republican circles in Washington, Florida and elsewhere as the charismatic Cuban-American senator with rock-ribbed conservative credentials works to raise his profile beyond Florida, if not position himself for a national role within the GOP.


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