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.”
While it might end up a whereas clause in a AZ GOP censure resolution, I will sit next to Democratic Sen @tammybaldwin at tonight's SOTU— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) January 28, 2014
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.