GOP lawmaker to skip State of the Union as protest

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Mortenson is the first GOP member to announce that he's skipping the speech. The last time the president addressed a joint session of Congress - September of last year - multiple Republicans opted out, with some choosing instead to watch the NFL's kickoff game or live-tweet the address from their offices.

But Lamborn said that he's opting out of this speech because he "wants to send a strong, clear message that President Obama’s deficit spending cannot continue."

"Congressman Lamborn is protesting Obama’s recent 'recess appointments' to the National Labor Relation’s Board and newly-created Consumer Protection Board. He is protesting Obama’s decision to reject the job-creating Keystone Pipeline. He is protesting the President’s draconian cuts to defense," Mortenson said.

But his office emphasized that Lamborn was not skipping the address as part of a larger protest movement or trying to coordinate his absence with any other members.

Lamborn created controversy last summer when he said that being associated with the president would be akin to "touching a tar baby."

"I don’t even want to have to be associated with him,” Lamborn had said, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. “It’s like touching a tar baby, and you get it — you know, you’re stuck, and you’re part of the problem now, and you can’t get away.”

Lamborn later apologized to Obama, saying he intended no offense.