WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden issued a video addressing multiple accusations from women. In his statement, Biden notably did not apologize, but suggested he is from another generation and will “be more mindful about respecting personal space 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. pic.twitter.com/Ya2mf5ODts
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 3, 2019
In the video Biden said his touching was not meant to make anyone uncomfortable and he will make it his responsibility to be more mindful of personal space. Biden played off his behavior as him having “always tried to make a human connection.”
NEW ALLEGATIONS, SEVEN TOTAL NOW
Since Wednesday, three more women have gone public and accused Biden of unwanted physical contact.
This brings the total to seven women who have publicly accused Biden of unwanted touching and groping.
One of the new women to accuse Biden of unwanted touching is Vail Kohnert-Yount, a former White House intern. She said Biden had “put his hand on the back of my head and pressed his forehead to my forehead while he talked.” Kohnert-Yount also said that Biden had told her she was a pretty girl.
Sofie Karasek, who was at a ceremony for sexual assault victims stated that Biden held her hands and put his head extremely close to hers as he spoke to her.
Ally Coll, a former Democratic aide met Biden at a 2008 reception during the election cycle. Coll stated that Biden “squeezed her shoulder and complimented her smile.”
Caitlyn Caruso said Biden placed his hand on thigh and hugged her for a very long period of time during a reception for a sexual assault awareness event in Las Vegas.
DJ Hill accused Biden of inappropriate behavior when she and her husband posed for a photo with him in 2012. She said Biden moved his hands from her shoulders to her lower back during the photo.
Amy Lappos said Biden rubbed noses with her during a 2009 fundraiser for a Democratic congressman.
The most notable accusation is from Lucy Flores, the former Nevada assemblywoman and Democratic nominee for Lieutenant governor of Nevada. Flores accused Biden of giving her a slow kiss on the back of her head during a campaign event in 2014.
Democrats who have championed the #MeToo movement and pushed on the notion that “accusations are facts” have not publicly said Biden shouldn’t run.
“I don’t think it’s disqualifying,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when asked whether accusations against Biden should not prevent him from seeking a presidential run.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “The voters will weigh the pros and the cons,” after praising women for coming forward against Biden.
To add to the mix, actress Alyssa Milano, who helped kick-start the #MeToo movement backed Biden and said she calls him a friend who has fought for women.
In a series of tweets she also stated, “He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them.”
Critics slammed Milano for her statement and bluntly pointed out that just because her encounters with Biden were pleasant does not mean others’ accounts aren’t true.
I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend. He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them. pic.twitter.com/cI0jsKlu3P
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 2, 2019
WILL BIDEN RUN IN 2020?
Biden has not formally announced if he will run for president in 2020, or who he will run with. Stacey Abrams former Georgia gubernatorial candidate who never conceded is speculated to be his running mate.
As more allegations come to surface against Biden, Abrams must make the decision if she will run as his mate or run to unseat Georgia Senator David Perdue. Another long-term possibility is for her to run in 2022 and take on Republican Governor Brian Kemp.