Sen. Flake jokes about being censured for sitting with Dem

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeTop GOP chairmen investigating foreign visa program Pence rallies GOP before final stretch Libertarian nominee top choice among veterans MORE (R-Ariz.) announced Tuesday he would sit with fellow freshman Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinOvernight Defense: US attempted hostage rescue in Afghanistan | Defense hawks brace for spending fight | Trump slams 'lies' about Iraq war stance Senators want military separation policy to address trauma-related behavior Community development can help close the opportunity divide MORE (D-Wis.) during the State of the Union address, no matter what scorn it might bring.

In his announcement, Flake took a jab at Arizona Republicans who questioned Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump's new debate challenge: Silence Senate rivals gear up for debates McCain opponent releases new ad hitting his record MORE’s (R-Ariz.) conservative credentials by censuring McCain over the weekend.

Flake joked on Twitter he would sit with Baldwin even though “it might end up a whereas clause in a AZ GOP censure resolution.”

A number of Republicans have defended McCain after the censure from the state Republican Party at a weekend meeting, including Sarah Palin earlier in the day.

Flake will watch the speech Tuesday night alongside Baldwin as part of a tradition started four years ago that urged lawmakers to sit next to a member of the opposite party. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who spearheaded the move in 2011, have said they did so to remind lawmakers they are not serving individual states or parties.