New data on Rubio pork spending should be great issue for Crist - if he were still in the game

Marco Rubio has come a remarkable long way in less than a year on the campaign trail.  Perhaps the best day of his year was yesterday, when the Democrat leaning (or so we are told) Public Polling Institute survey showed him a  walloping 32% ahead of Charlie Crist in their battle for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Florida.

That poll comes despite the negativity that Rubio encountered recently when there were some embarrassing disclosures ($133 haircuts for a man of the people?) in some credit card expenditures that were leaked to the Miami Herald.

Now the Herald/St. Pete Times are back, with a report by Mark Caputo on how the fiscally conservative touting former House Speaker pushed for more than $250 million in spending for his home district between 2005-2008.    Caputo writes:

The amount of budget money connected to Rubio attests to his skill as a lawmaker but also contrasts with his campaign image as a tight-fisted spending hawk crusading against "earmarks'' that have plagued the budget process in Washington.

Rubio wouldn't comment and his campaign referred questions to consultant Albert Martinez, who worked in the House under Rubio. Martinez said Rubio tried to cut taxes and spending, not increase them.

"Marco Rubio's a limited-government conservative," Martinez said. "He's not a no-government conservative."