MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell added to the chorus criticizing the New York Times for its attempted hit pieces on Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) Thursday, saying "this treatment did certainly look like an opposition dump."
The Times ran a story Tuesday that dove into Rubio's personal finances and his "struggles" with student debt, mortgages and low cash flow during his young political career.
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Comedian Jon Stewart, whom Mitchell called an "unlikely ally" for the Republican, got in on the fun Wednesday night, jokingly criticizing Rubio for daring to own a home with "oversize windows."
"What's the matter, Senator?" Stewart asked sarcastically. "The normal amount of light isn't good enough for you? I'm Senator Marco Rubio! I like to roll around in giant patches of sunlight!"
"How is this front-page news?" Stewart added wistfully.
"So that's the question, how is it front-page news?" Mitchell asked. "There are issues about his backer and his debts, but this treatment did certainly look like an opposition dump."
The story also laughably referred to a 24-foot fishing boat Rubio had bought as a "luxury speedboat."
USA Today‘s Susan Page said that a lot of Americans would identify with the financial issues for Rubio in the Times article.
"This is the kind of criticism or skeptical look that I think makes a lot of voters say, ‘Hey, I can see myself in this area,’" Page said. "This is not a rich guy who has inherited a lot of money from a famous family. This is a guy who is living the life of a lot of Americans."
Mitchell also said that "a lot of us could relate to" Rubio's four traffic tickets in 18 years, referring to the much-derided Times story about Rubio and his wife's driving records that had Democratic opposition fingerprints all over it.