Donald Trump files for New Hampshire primary

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump filed Wednesday for the New Hampshire Republican primary
  • Trump also took shots at Marco Rubio's personal finances

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump has officially filed for New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary -- and he took more shots at Marco Rubio's personal finances while he was at it.

Trump, a Republican front-runner, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democratic long-shot, were the first two major candidates to file for a primary expected to be slated for February 9, submitting their paperwork Wednesday.
Trump supporters started arriving hours ahead of his arrival and far outnumbered O'Malley's, but both candidates took the opportunity to critique their opponents -- with O'Malley saying Democratic rivals Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton represent "the past."
    The real estate mogul used his appearance at the New Hampshire statehouse to bash one of his chief rivals: Rubio, the Florida senator who has surged in the polls on the heels of strong debate performances and is due to file in the state on Thursday.
    Trump pointed to Rubio's use of a Florida GOP credit card during his tenure as the state's House speaker, as well as Rubio's personal finances, which were also the subject of a New York Times article in June.
    "Marco Rubio has a disaster on his finances -- he has a disaster on his credit cards," Trump said.
    "When you check his credit cards, take a look at what he has done with the Republican Party when he had access, what he had to put back in, and whether or not something should have happened," he said. "You'll understand it. Marco Rubio has a basic disaster on finance."
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    Rubio defended his credit card use Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America," saying it was a charge card -- with its balance paid off each month -- and that he paid for his own expenses.
    And later on Fox News, Rubio pointed out that his use of the card was also the subject of attacks in his 2010 Senate race against Charlie Crist.
    "I was secured under my personal credit and it was in conjunction with the Republican Party, and every month, I would go through the bills and if there was something on there, I'd pay it to American Express, and if it was the party's, the party paid for it," Rubio said. "And the media convoluted all of this and it creates these stories."
    Trump's trip to Concord was a symbolic nod to the state's importance in the presidential nominating process.
    Anyone can run in the state's primary -- as long as they have $1,000 plus the necessary paperwork saying they are qualified to be president as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and are a registered Republican or Democrat. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, in office since 1976, has tentatively set February 9 as the state's election date but is waiting to be sure no other states will move their primaries earlier to challenge the Granite State's prominence.