Sen. Marco Rubio's swig of water during GOP rebuttal goes viral

 

The Miami Herald

Sen. Marco Rubio was cruising along in his rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night when he couldn’t take it any longer.

The small bottle of Poland Spring water was irresistible. Eyes fixed on the camera, the Florida Republican interrupted his own speech to take a live swig.

It quenched his thirst, but sent Twitter ablaze. The small, live on-camera miscue helped throw cold water on his GOP response to the president’s speech. As if on demand, a tidal wave of mock handles flooded Twitter.

"I voted in favor of the Violence Against Water Bottles Act," @ThirstySenator, tweeted. BuzzFeed noted hundreds, if not thousands, of such accounts and jokes instantly sprang up on Twitter.

Rubio poked fun at himself, later tweeting a picture of the water bottle "#GOPResponse #SOTU #gop #tcot."

Former George W. Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer captured the GOP sentiment about the antediluvian and postdiluvian aspects of the speech.

"Go Marco!" he tweeted early on. Then came the sip heard round the world.

"Hint to Sen. Rubio: crank down the AC before a big speech under the lights. But this is still a very well delivered speech," Fleischer wrote.

CBS Chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer commented on national television that people were going to remember the sip more than the speech.

Rubio loves his water. Remember the strange Clint Eastwood speech at the Republican National Convention (where he yelled at a chair)? Rubio followed him and made a nervous joke — after he took a sip from a water bottle at the podium.

“I think I just drank Clint Eastwood’s water,” Rubio smiled. Rubio’s speech that night was solid, but he flubbed a line at the very end, accidentally calling for “more government instead of more freedom.”

From a theatrical perspective, the RNC address and tonight’s speech were a sign that Rubio isn’t at his best with a prepared speech. His rhetorical skills are better designed for the floor of the Senate, in a give-and-take debate or during an interview. Off the cuff, Rubio seems far less likely to come up short.... or thirsty.

Regardless, this on-camera incident was just inexplicably odd for a politician so accustomed to being under the media spotlight.

"In the short time I’ve been in government, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the ones the president laid out today," Rubio said Tuesday night, reaching for the water bottle.

One second.

Two seconds.

Three seconds.

"The choice isn’t just between big government or big business," he resumed after taking his swig. "What we need is an accountable, efficient and effective government that allows small and new businesses to create more middle-class jobs...."

I’m sorry, you were saying something?

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • 5 things to watch in final 2 months of election

    The final two months of campaigning in Michigan will determine if Republicans continue their four-year control of state government and who will succeed U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, a retiring Democrat who has held his seat for nearly 36 years.

  •  
FILE - In this April 3, 2014 file photo, Democratic candidate for governor Mark Schauer speaks during a news conference in Grand Rapids, Mich. Political TV ads are set to escalate in the final two months of the race between Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Schauer, as the campaigns and their deep-pocketed outside allies sharply focus their message to voters.

    Airwaves heat up in race for Michigan governor

    Political TV ads are set to escalate in the final two months of the race between Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Democrat Mark Schauer, as the campaigns and their deep-pocketed outside allies sharply focus their message to voters.

  •  
This March 23, 2008 photo provided by the Hennepin County, Minn. Sheriff's Office shows Douglas McAuthur McCain. The Obama administration has offered a wide range of assessments of the threat to U.S. national security posed by Islamic State extremists in an area straddling eastern Syrian and northern and western Iraq, and whose actions include last week’s beheading of American journalist James Foley. Some officials say the group is more dangerous than al-Qaida. Yet intelligence assessments say it currently couldn’t pull off a complex, 9-11-style attack on the U.S. or Europe.

    Intelligence nightmare: Extremists returning home

    The case of Mehdi Nemmouche haunts U.S. intelligence officials.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category