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

  • House Democrats' committee sitting on $40M fund

    Donors gave more than $10 million in March to the committee tasked with electing House Democrats and helped it amass a $40 million fund to fight skepticism that Republicans can be ousted from their majority in November.

  •  
FILE - This March 29, 2010 file photo shows Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio in Cincinnati. Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime? That debate makes its way to the Supreme Court next week as the justices consider a challenge to a controversial Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. The case began during the 2010 election, when the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, planned to launch a billboard campaign accusing then-Democratic Driehaus of supporting taxpayer-funded abortion because he backed President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

    Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies

    Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime?

  •  
FILE - In this April 9, 2013, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters about gun control at the Capitol in Washington. A year after the Senate scuttled President Barack Obama’s drive for new firearms restrictions, congressional gun control supporters are significantly winnowing their 2014 legislative agenda. That’s because of a lack of Senate votes, opposition by the Republican-run House and Democratic worries about this November’s elections. Reid says he needs additional votes before revisiting a proposed expansion of gun sale background checks that the Senate derailed in April 2013.

    A year after background check defeat, modest goals

    Democratic worries about this November's elections, a lack of Senate votes and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after lawmakers scuttled President Barack Obama's effort to pass new curbs on firearms.

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