NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner and Republican Congressman Peter King have certainly had their differences of opinion.
The most notable moment of their testy relationship came in July of last year when Weiner blasted King and his fellow Republicans when they complained about procedure during a vote on the now passed 9/11 first responders bill.
Now, the two elected officials will be sitting along side each other at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.
“The things that unite Democrats and Republicans in this country are much more profound that things that divide us,” Weiner said.
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Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall had originally spurred the idea by sending an open letter to members of Congress asking them to break with tradition and sit next to colleague from the opposite party.
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King said the suggestion of him sitting next to Weiner actually came from his wife.
“She said why not have the two biggest loud mouths — who are always fighting — have them sit with each other,” King told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell with both King and Weiner on the bi-partisan gesture
When King asked his wife who she was referring to, the congressman said she replied “you and Anthony Weiner.”
“Anthony and I will sit together. Probably by the time the hour, hour-and-a-half is over, we’ll be happy to get away from each other. And we’ll probably go outside in the hallway and have dueling news conferences,” King told 1010 WINS.
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“Peter and I are going to be sitting together at the State Of The Union. If that date goes well, perhaps I’ll ask him to the prom,” Weiner joked.
Weiner said that despite the fact that he’ll be sitting on the Republican side of the aisle, it will not deter him from standing and applauding the president.
“I’m still going to be enthusiastic about much of President Obama’s agenda and I’m sure that Mr. King will be more skeptical. But just to be on the safe side, since I’m sitting on the Republican side of the aisle, I’m going to be dressed with enough padding to play linebacker for the Jets,” Weiner said.
King said that the gesture did not mean the political odd couple would “hold hands” or “love each other,” but that it could send a strong message.
“It shows that you can fight hard and still find a way to get along and get the job done,” King said.
Both men said that while they disagreed on many things, they are very much on the same page when it comes to trying to solve New York’s problems.