Media Obsesses Over Republican Senator's Wet TV Gaffe (Video)

Rubio Drinking Water Screengrab - H 2013

Rubio Drinking Water Screengrab - H 2013

A rising conservative star, Marco Rubio was tapped to give the official GOP response to the State of the Union. His words, however, were drowned out by his water bottle.

President Barack Obama gave his fifth State of the Union speech Tuesday night, focusing on his plans to create jobs, reform taxes and pass gun control legislation. That news, however, has long since been buried by a bottle of Poland Spring.

Selected by the GOP to give the official response to the president's address, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio -- often mentioned as a potential presidential contender -- rebutted many of the proposals put forth by the White House. The transcript of his remarks presumably are available online, but a quick scan of the web will find a concentration not on his policy suggestions but the gulp of water he took in the middle of his nationally televised speech.

Rubio, lips smacking and dry-mouthed, leaned off-camera to pick up a small bottle of water, which he sipped quickly onscreen before returning to his planned remarks. It became an instant sensation online, with blogs, twitterati and TV commentators seizing on the moment.

The slurp was near-immediately turned into a GIF, written about in Politico, tweeted about by leading political aides and reporters (see: here, here and here) and even poked fun at by Rubio himself, who first tweeted a photo of the bottle and then took some water to a morning appearance on Fox News.

"My mouth got dry, and I had to get some water," Rubio said, in a segment that soon became big news. "I figured I would better off taking the water and taking the hit for it than being unable to pronounce my words. It had been a long day at work, we had already done an 18-minute recording in Spanish. My mouth got dry — what can I say?"

On MSNBC, the crew at Morning Joe took (verbal) shots at his expense; after Joe Scarborough knocked Rubio, Harold Ford Jr. said, "He looked last night as if he was running to be the head of a fraternity in college."

, I probably spent 10 seconds talking about the pilot and the rest on what the series would be on a weekly basis."