Trump, the water bottle, and Marco Rubio’s revenge
US President Donald Trump awkwardly reached for a water bottle during a televised speech Wednesday — in a scene that surely handed sweet satisfaction to Marco Rubio, the Republican senator and Trump’s one-time rival for the White House.
Trump — and many others — had relentlessly mocked Rubio for taking an indecorous swig four years earlier, as he delivered a speech rebutting Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
Now fate has come full circle.
Several minutes into a White House speech summarizing his just-completed trip to Asia, Trump bent down to reach for water on a lower shelf of his podium.
Realizing no bottle was there, he popped up to announce: “They don’t have water. That’s OK.”
When an aide signalled that there was a bottle to Trump’s right, the president leaned over, stared resolutely forward as he twisted off the cap, lifted the bottle to his lips with two hands, and took a sip.
Then the internet exploded.
Posts flooded Twitter to recall how Trump repeatedly ridiculed Rubio back in 2013 over his watery gaffe, and Wednesday’s footage quickly made it on to cable news.
“Next time Marco Rubio should drink his water from a glass as opposed to a bottle — would have much less negative impact,” Trump tweeted in February 2013.
Again on the campaign trail in February last year, Trump imitated Rubio on stage, and called him a “choke artist” over his water woes.
“Help me, I need water. Help!” Trump mocked, as he held up a bottle of water, took a swig, then casually threw it over his shoulder.
Rubio, who unsuccessfully challenged Trump for their party’s presidential nomination, wasted no time turning the tables.
“Similar, but needs work on his form,” Rubio quipped in a tweet. “Has to be done in one single motion & eyes should never leave the camera. But not bad for his 1st time.”
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