Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE appeared momentarily rattled at a presidential campaign event Tuesday in Nevada when a woman shouted, “You can hug and kiss me anytime, Joe.”
Biden laughed and was silent for several seconds, eventually crossing himself and responding, “That’s very nice. Thank you.”
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Biden a bit flustered after a Nevada supporter says he can “hug and kiss me anytime.”
“That’s very nice, thank you,” he replies after crossing himself. pic.twitter.com/5TQFP7lMle
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) May 7, 2019
Biden has faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats after several women came forward with allegations that he inappropriately touched them while he was vice president. Lucy Flores, the first woman to come forward, described a 2014 incident that took place at a political rally a few miles away from where Biden was speaking Tuesday.
The former vice president released a video responding to the allegations in which he did not apologize but promised to be more mindful of people’s personal space.
“Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset, and I get it,” Biden said in the video. “I hear what they’re saying. I understand it. I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility, and I’ll meet it.”
Biden’s wife, Jill, addressed the controversy Tuesday morning in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show.
“There used to be a time when it was acceptable for people to, I don’t know, connect with one another with a touch on the arm. But now things have changed, you know?” Jill Biden said. “Joe heard what she said. I thought it was very courageous that she came out, spoke out, and like I said before, that has happened to me.”
Despite initial concerns that the allegations against Biden could derail his candidacy, the former vice president has emerged as the Democratic primary crowd’s pacesetter, winning several statewide and national polls and raking in $6.3 million in donations in his campaign’s first 24 hours.