Sen. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeOvernight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform GOP senators press Treasury to withdraw estate tax proposal Obama defeat is Schumer victory MORE (R-Ariz.) announced Tuesday he would sit with fellow freshman Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinAnti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Dem senator: Dean's speculation about Trump cocaine use not 'useful' EpiPen investigation shows need for greater pricing transparency, other reforms 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 McCainGOP lawmakers slam secret agreement to help lift Iran bank sanctions Kerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria Trump, Clinton to headline Al Smith dinner 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.