BIDEN DEFENDS INTERACTIONS WITH WOMEN AFTER POLITICIAN SAYS KISS ON HEAD MADE HER UNCOMFORTABLE
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who it's been widely reported is expected to enter the 2020 presidential race later this month, defended his interactions with women yesterday, after a Democratic strategist said that she felt uncomfortable when Biden kissed her on the back of her head at a 2014 event. The comments from Lucy Flores have led some Democrats to question whether Biden's well-known penchant for affectionately hugging, whispering and shoulder-squeezing women could be a problem for him in running for president in the #MeToo era.
Flores is a former Nevada state representative and the 2014 Democratic nominee for Nevada lieutenant governor, and the incident took place at a rally in Las Vegas where Biden was supporting her candidacy as they waited to go on stage. She said, "I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. 'Why is the vice president of the United States touching me?' He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head." A Biden spokesman said the former vice president doesn’t remember kissing Flores, and Biden himself said in a statement Sunday, "In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. 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."
Meanwhile, Stephanie Carter, the wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter (featured at the 39-second mark of the video) wrote a post on Medium against online characterizations as creepy of photos and video of Biden putting his hands on her shoulders and whispering in her ear during her husband's swearing-in ceremony during the Obama administration. She wrote, "The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful."