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Marco Rubio’s Water Break refers to a blooper video clip in which Florida’s junior senator drinks from a bottle of water while delivering the Republican party’s rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in February of 2013.
On February 12th, 2013, Marco Rubio delivered the GOP’s rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. While speaking to the camera, Rubio nervously reached over to drink from a bottle of water before continuing on with the speech. Rubio’s awkward “water break” was broadcast live across the country and an isolated clip of the blooper was subsequently uploaded online by YouTuber dkostv (shown below). Within the first 24 hours, the video received over 184,000 views and 840 comments.
Shortly after the speech was delivered, Twitter users began joking about the water drinking clip using the hashtags “#waterbreak,” “#watergate” and several parody accounts referencing Rubio’s water bottle were created.
The same night, the viral content site BuzzFeed published a post featuring an animated GIF of Rubio drinking water (shown below) and a screenshot of 15 different related parody Twitter accounts.
Also on February 12th, the tech news blog CNET published an article criticizing the bottled water company Poland Spring for failing to capitalize on the incident, citing Nabisco’s Oreo cookie ad that was created in response to the Super Bowl XLVII blackout. On February 13th, Poland Spring posted a photoshopped image to their official Facebook page, featuring a water bottle in front of a dressing room mirror with the caption “Reflecting on our cameo. What a night!” (shown below). Within five hours, the post received over 920 likes, 420 shares and 65 comments.
“Reflecting on our cameo. What a night!”
The same day, Christian Science Monitor published an article highlighting several notable tweets mentioning the water-drinking incident. Also on February 13th, Twitter released a graph on their official @gov feed revealing there were an average of 9,200 tweets per minute (TPM) during Senator Rubio’s water sip.
— Twitter Government (@gov) February 13, 2013
On February 13th, Rubio published a tweet which announced he had gained over 13,000 new Twitter followers in the past 24 hours, joking that he should continue to drink water in all of his speeches.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 13, 2013