Politics

Joe Biden gives first speech after complaints about touching – live stream

Former Vice President Joe Biden is addressing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Friday, his first speech since several women over the past few days accused him of touching them inappropriately. He expressed contrition in a video posted to Twitter Thursday, saying that he would be more “respectful and mindful” of personal space without directly apologizing. The women allege that Biden — while he was vice president — made them feel uncomfortable at Democratic Party functions, sparking a debate about the possible 2020 presidential candidate‘s behavior. 

“Social norms have become to change, they’ve shifted. And the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. And I get it,” said Biden in the video posted Thursday. “I hear what they’re saying. I understand it. And I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility. My responsibility, and I’ll meet it.” 

While he still considers politics to be about personal connection, he said he “will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space.”

Biden is mulling a presidential campaign, although should he announce a White House bid, it’s not expected to be until later this month at the earliest.  

Lucy Flores, a Democrat who served in the Nevada State Assembly, wrote a piece for New York Magazine’s The Cut on Friday alleging that Biden “inhaled” her hair and then kissed her before a campaign rally in 2014, when she was pursuing a bid to be Nevada’s lieutenant governor.

Soon after former congressional aide Amy Lappos told the Hartford Courant that Biden reached for her face and rubbed noses with her during a 2009 fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The New York Times reported Tuesday night that two more women have accused Biden of touching that made them uncomfortable.

Biden’s supporters, including several women, have been quick to defend the former vice president. A spokesperson for Biden also sent a list to reporters of quotes from women affirming their support.

Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.


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