WASHINGTON: 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.
More than a tweet, there's also a video of Trump mocking Rubio's SOTU water moment. pic.twitter.com/dkKyrOIUGO— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 15, 2017
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.
This is Trump's Marco Rubio moment pic.twitter.com/WbDrrUqHTT— Kanisha Jackson (@Kanisha1Jackson) November 15, 2017
Again on the campaign trail in February last year, Trump imitated Rubio on stage, and called him a "choke artist" over his water woes.
In 2013, Trump tweeted at least 5 times about Rubio's water incident including that he should "drink his water from a glass as opposed to a bottle". (Today, Trump sipped from a bottle.) pic.twitter.com/z8RSTPl775— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) November 15, 2017
"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.
love that my president is a Working Class Blue Collar Man who drinks Fiji water like the rest of us Real Americans pic.twitter.com/Gbm693VQwV— Caleb Ecarma (@calebecarma) November 15, 2017
Rubio, who unsuccessfully challenged Trump for their party's presidential nomination, wasted no time turning the tables.
Trump pulls a Marco Rubio & slurps down water during his speech. But it’s worse than Rubio. Trump holds the bottle with two hands like it’s a baby bottle. Fitting.#ImpeachTrump #AMJoy pic.twitter.com/5CPKzSSCKq— Scott Dworkin (@funder) November 15, 2017
"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."
Similar,but needs work on his form.Has to be done in one single motion & eyes should never leave the camera. But not bad for his 1st time https://t.co/s49JtyRo3S— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 15, 2017