Joe Biden personal space video, made them feel uncomfortable.
Joe Biden doubled down on his defense as he faced fresh allegations from women who said their past physical interactions with him left them uncomfortable, foreshadowing the former vice-president’s perils as he weighs a bid for the Democratic Party’s 2020 nomination.
In a video and statement released to his Twitter feed Biden said that he had always seen politics as about “personal connection” and defended his habit of hugging and touching people he met. But he also added that he would change his habits in the future.
“Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it,” Biden said.
Biden’s remarks came a day after the allegations against him drew a rebuke from Donald Trump, who taunted the former vice president over claims of unwanted touching by suggesting the potential 2020 frontrunner was being taken down by his party’s left wing.
“He’s being taken care of pretty well by the socialists. They got to him,” Trump said of Biden at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner in Washington on Tuesday.
“I was going to call him. I don’t know him well,” the president added. “I was going to say, ‘Welcome to the world, Joe. You having a good time, Joe? Are you having a good time?’”
Trump, who bragged in a leaked 2005 Access Hollywood tape about groping and kissing women without their consent, has been accused of sexual assault by as many as 17 women. He denies the allegations.
The president weighed in as two more women came forward to say Biden touched them inappropriately. None of Biden’s accusers have alleged the former vice-president made unwanted sexual advances, stating instead that Biden’s unprompted physical contact was a violation of their personal space.
Trump’s willingness to engage with Biden on the issue nonetheless signals how Republicans will seek to weaponize the allegations, should the former vice-president enter the 2020 Democratic field, in the era of the #MeToo movement.