Rubio, a Cuban-American who has reached out to the Latino community after it went strongly for Obama in the November elections, has been mentioned as a presidential candidate in 2016. The chance to give the Republican response to Obama was considered as a way to increase his visibility.
Rubio appeared to wipe away sweat during his rebuttal from the Speaker's conference room in the U.S. Capitol shortly after Obama's address. At one point, Rubio reached out with his left hand and took a quick swig of water from a small Poland Spring water bottle.
The brief sip of water lit up social media outlets such as Twitter, with people commenting on Rubio's thirst. The hashtag: #rubiowater.
Garrett Jackson, Mitt Romney's personal aide during his 2012 presidential bid, tweeted that he "would have had that water bottle closer, had it been the Gov. Haha. Marco needs an aide."
Joe Dennis @joekool1000 tweeted: "So much #liberalism to counter. Must take #waterbreak."
Bryan D. Brown @CoolMojo tweeted: "Like pretzels, this rebuttal is making me thirsty."
Larry Ryckman @iryckman tweeted:" #rubiowater just writes itself as an SNL skit."
Erick Mennel @EricMennel tweeted: "It wasn't the drink that threw me ... it was the continued gaze ... like kissing with your eyes open."
Rubio, apparently aware of the twitter storm that erupted, joined the jesting himself by tweeting a photo of the Poland Spring water bottle.
On ABC television's "Good Morning America" Wednesday Rubio explained: "I needed water. What are you going to do. God has a funny way of reminding us we are human."