Most Presidential Candidates Will Be No-Shows at State of the Union

They're campaigning too hard for the Oval Office to listen to the current occupant

Updated on
President Obama's Legacy: Final State of the Union

President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address might be the hottest ticket in Washington on Tuesday night, but many of the candidates vying to succeed him will be no-shows.

Current and former members of Congress get free tickets to attend the national address, thanks to special House floor privileges that allow them to meander into the Capitol Hill chambers as they please (provided the former members aren't working as lobbyists). 

Two of the senators running for president—Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Marco Rubio of Florida—plan to attend the Obama's address, according to their spokespeople. 

Five others who could use their floor privileges to attend are taking a pass.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a former New York senator, will be fundraising in Detroit with singer Michael Bolton, according to her campaign. 

Ohio Governor John Kasich, a former Republican congressman, is in California fundraising, his campaign said.

An aide to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said he'll be campaigning in New Hampshire, site of the nation's first presidential primary on Feb. 9. And ABC News reported that Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is leaving Washington to hit the campaign trail.

“It’s not a snub. He’s going to be in New Hampshire, working hard to win New Hampshire,” Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler told The Dallas Morning News. “No disrespect. It just is going to work out this way.”

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum will be campaigning in Iowa, spokesman Matt Beynon said. Santorum won the Iowa caucuses in 2012, but polls suggest his 2016 campaign is struggling to gain traction.

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