Video: Fed launch inquiry into Florida GOP

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    >>> award-winning design starting under $28,000.

    >>> the irs is now looking into the tax records of florida senate hopeful marco rubio to see whether the candidate used a republican party credit card for personal expenses. how damaging will that federal inquiry be? other republicans in florida may also be involved. at least in the investigation. politico joins us now. josh, let's talk about this. the whole focus on florida , now we've got marco rubio is going to have to defend himself in the irs case which could also as they look at party spending indicate that charlie crist could be involved as well. we don't know yet where it's going. what is the impact so far on the race?

    >> it affects both florida republicans . charlie crist hand picked chairman jim greer is the one at the head of the investigation. that he overpent hundred marco rubio has been portrayed as the consummate outsider, candidate, golden boy . we've already heard the revelations he's spent money on his own personal gain and used a state party credit card for personal expenses. this looks like with the irs investigating and possibly having him in the cross hairs this could certainly tarnish his image as he tries to campaign for the republican nomination.

    >> of course , the deadline is april 30th for charlie crist to decide what he's going to do. every indication is that he's not going to end up running against rubio because he's so far outdistanced. this was what happened when eric cantor on morning joe today was asked about his decision to support marco rubio ahead of charlie crist .

    >> when you look at what happened last week with his veto of the education bill , i think that strikes the core of really what our party is about, trying to put kids first and straighten out the schools.

    >> so you couldn't support charlie under these circumstances?

    >> no. i think he has really i think made his bed. and he'll have to live with it.

    >> do you think charlie crist is going to end up running as an independent? what's the future, political future for charlie crist who himself was the golden boy of florida republican politics for quite some time, a potential presidential nominee that was talked about for vice president at one point? what is his future in the republican party ?

    >> he has no future if the poll numbers stay as they are. he's trailing rubio by 30 points . took him for granted throughout much of 2009 . now rubio has this brand as the conservative candidate. the only thing with this investigation and the scandal, perhaps, surrounding the state party , charlie crist may want to reconsider. he only has about ten days. but he may want to reconsider whether he wants to leave the republican party . because if rubio finds ethical problems facing him, he may -- krist may have a chance for a comeback.

    >> only ten days and counting. we'll have to see what they can figure out about this irs thing and the impact of that in the next ten days. thank you very much , josh.

    >>> coming up, the skies over

updated 4/21/2010 4:50:07 PM ET 2010-04-21T20:50:07

Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio says he has nothing to hide about his use of a credit card issued through the state GOP.

Gov. Charlie Crist, his rival in the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate, had asked federal prosecutors to investigate credit cards used by more than two dozen party and elected officials.

The scrutiny comes at a crucial time in this year's race for the U.S. Senate, with polls showing Rubio with a substantial lead in the primary against Crist.

The Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that investigators are looking into credit card use for a number of GOP leaders in Florida to determine if they were used for personal expenses.

Rubio said he has not been contacted by any investigators.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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