WASHINGTON, DC — Former Vice President Joe Biden, widely considered to be the frontrunner to win the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, has responded to accusations that he kissed and inappropriately touched a Nevada state lawmaker in 2014. Biden said in a statement to media outlets that he did not believe his actions were inappropriate.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort,” he said. “And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
Biden added that he might not remember the events happening as described by former Democratic Nevada state Rep. Lucy Flores, who represented District 28 from 2010 to 2014.
Flores said she was 35 years old when the encounter happened. Biden came up behind her and put two hands on her shoulders, she wrote in a piece published Friday in New York Magazine’s The Cut. She froze and asked herself why the vice president was touching her.
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fu—? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’ He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.”
Flores said on CNN Biden’s behavior was “completely inappropriate,” and voters should take his background into account when considering him for president.
“For me it’s disqualifying,” she said. “I think it’s up to everybody else to make that decision.”
Former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores alleges Joe Biden kissed the back of her head in 2014 at a campaign rally: “It was shocking because you don’t expect that kind of intimate behavior, you don’t expect that kind of intimacy from someone so powerful.” https://t.co/TPW11aKIGg pic.twitter.com/VS5SpV3N2L
— CNN (@CNN) March 31, 2019
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