In a strange move as distinctly visual as a sweating Richard Nixon circa 1960, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the Republicans’ Hispanic hope for 2016, dipped and went almost off-camera for a swig of bottled water during an uneven speech for the nationally-broadcast State of the Union rebuttal speech on Tuesday.Rubio, who the GOP hopes will court Hispanic voters to their side, is a conservative Cuban who appeared nervous, literally leaves the frame for a moment as he bends down for a bottle to drink mid-speech.
It was the act that sparked a flurry of stories noting the odd moment: Politico ran a story on Rubio’s awkward water-bottle grab under the headline “Rubio’s drinking problem,” while the CBS News website carried the story under the headline, “Marco Rubio’s ‘water bottle-gate’ moment.”)
The 41-year-old Cuban-American senator recently appeared on Time magazine’s cover as “The Republican Savior,” but failed to impress after his big TV moment.
Regarding illegals becoming citizens, Rubio mentioned an eventual permanent-residency status without the path to citizenship.
“We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally,” Rubio said. “But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws.”
Rubio sidestepped any comments on women’s issues and gay and lesbian rights.