Rubio Sells Bottled Water As Fundraiser, But Latinos Still Are Not Buying

Marco Rubio SOTU rebuttal 2013

Marco Rubio’s response to the President’s State of the Union address may have been roundly panned as a fresh face delivering stale old GOP ideas, but one stroke of inspiration seems to have emerged from it. As a result of his now-famous online grab for a drink, Rubio has started selling bottled water to raise funds through his Reclaim America PAC.


Reclaim America’s website declares, “Send the liberal detractors a message that not only does Marco Rubio inspire you … he hydrates you too.” For just $25, donors will receive a bottle of water prominently labeled “Rubio”.

The senator has been given high marks for two things about his speech: his sense of humor over the bottled water incident and the fact that, for the first time in history, he gave his speech in Spanish as well as English. As a matter of fact, it’s the latter circumstance that he blamed for his awkward grab for a bottle. He told CBS:

“I had already taped an 18-minute speech in Spanish. So I’m just glad the water was nearby. I don’t know what I would have done without it.”

While Rubio may think water and a speech in Spanish saved the day, Latino voters are hardly naive enough to be fooled by shallow words, even if they are spoken in two different languages. The GOP still needs a new approach and new ideas when it comes to reaching out to this portion of the electorate. As Julio Ricardo Varela wrote for NBCLATINO:

“Aside from the water, the substance of Rubio’s response didn’t really stray much from the pre-election message of the GOP… He was just too angry, coming off like a high schooler in a debate contest. It also didn’t help that the parts of the speech that he used to personalize the GOP brand bordered on the hypocritical…

“What about Rubio’s claim that his West Miami neighborhood is ‘the same working class neighborhood [Rubio] grew up in?’ Is this the same ‘working class neighborhood’ where Rubio is selling his ‘working class’ home for $675,000 so that he can move his family to Washington?…

“Rubio’s talking points were still stuck in 2012, minus the self-deportation. It was more reactive than proactive. What we will remember about last night? A president that closed a speech with strong emotions and a nervous Cuban-American senator who reached for a bottle of water on national TV.”

Hope you’re selling a lot of water to the Republican base, Marco, because Latinos just ain’t buying.

I’d be delighted if you joined me on Facebook or checked out my previous articles here.