Marco Rubio, the Cuban-American Republican senator from Florida, was the first senator to speak to the country both in English and Spanish in his televised rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address this past Tuesday, February 12. But his dry mouth played a trick on him, as his taking a sip of water, on-air in the middle of his speech, unleashed a wave of commentary on social media networks.
Rubio had made news in the previous few days thanks to his appearance on the cover of Time magazine, which described him as “savior” of his party. That same party entrusted him with the task of responding to the president following his address, but just 10 minutes after beginning his speech, as he began to approach the topic of foreign policy, he ducked down in order to drink from a bottle of water, without taking his eyes off the camera. For this simple act, Rubio has been the target of jokes across social media networks, such as in this video, entitled “Pásame la Botella” [Pass Me the Bottle]:
Speaking to ABC, Rubio said that it was just a moment when he was thirsty, like any human might be. However, some think that the incident with the water bottle demonstrated Rubio's nerves and ineffectiveness at speaking about the politics separating Republicans and Democrats, since he relied heavily on trite phrases to explain the fiscal deficit and problems arising from “big government.”
These same observations were shared on Twitter by people like Andrés Oppenheimer:
@oppenheimera: No le fue muy bien a Marco Rubio esta noche. Parecia [sic] nervioso, y su salida de pantalla para buscar una botella de agua no quedo muy bien.
@oppenheimera: It didn't go well for Marco Rubio that night. He seemed nervous, and exiting the screen to look for a bottle of water didn't look good.
Others like Pedro Navarro (@pedronavarrol) think that the whole “water bottle” issue has been blown out of proportion:
@pedronavarrol: Todo por un poco de agua… Vía @ABC: Marco Rubio's ‘Watershed’ Means He is Ready (Or Not) for Spotlight http://abcn.ws/X52RXD ” [Marco Rubio y su Incidente del Agua Significa que Está Listo (O No) en el Foco de la Atención]
Jaime Villasana D. (@jvillasanad), despite praising Rubio's speech, also agreed that his exiting the screen to take a sip of water was a bit bizarre:
Eduardo Fernández (@Eduardo18255638) offered his support to Rubio: