Home / viral / Biden responds to allegations of touching: I’ll respect people’s “personal space”

Biden responds to allegations of touching: I’ll respect people’s “personal space”

Former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Pennsylvania’s Irvine Auditorium February 19, 2019, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The former vice president says his past behavior has been about “connecting” with people.

Former Vice President Joe Biden — who is expected to announce a 2020 presidential bid soon — says he’s ready to respect people’s “personal space” after new attention came to allegations he had acted inappropriately with women.

“I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, ‘You can do this.’ Whether they are women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I show I care about them, that I listen,” he said. “Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted. And the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. And I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying, I understand it. And I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility and I’ll meet it.”

Biden offered no direct apology for his past actions but said he would be mindful of changing norms around physical contact.

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

Biden’s statement seemed to suggest that he intended to adjust the way he behaved moving forward but did very little to acknowledge any specific experiences of the women who have come forward.

In an essay published in New York magazine’s The Cut last week, former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores said Biden had come up behind her, smelled her hair, and kissed the back of her head, making her feel uncomfortable in the process. Former congressional staffer Amy Lappos told the Hartford Courant that Biden had rubbed her nose with his nose at a fundraiser. On Tuesday, two additional women told the New York Times that he had touched them in way that made them “uncomfortable”: College student Caitlyn Caruso said he had put his hand on her thigh, while D.J. Hill said he had moved his hand from her shoulder to her back.

Biden addressed the allegations in very broad strokes.

He noted that there were “gestures of support and encouragement that I’ve made to women and some men, and I’ve made them uncomfortable,” but chalked up the behavior to his desire to connect with people while governing.

“I’ve never thought of politics as cold and antiseptic. I’ve always thought about it as connecting with people. Shaking hands, hands on the shoulder, a hug. Encouragement,” he said.

Biden also suggested that his career working on policy to advance gender equity — including the Violence Against Women Act — served as a testament to how committed he was to changing his behavior.

“I’ve worked my whole life to empower women, my whole life to prevent abuse. The idea that I can’t adjust to the fact that personal space is important … is just not thinkable.”

About Aaron Rupar

Check Also

How to get better at predicting the future

Forecasting world events is crucial for policy. A new study explores how to do it better. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see into the future? Imagine being able to estimate the effects of political events and every policy we considered. Raising interest rates, passing a bill, starting a war — if we could forecast their outcomes, we would all be so much better off. That’s one of the hopes experts hold about prediction markets. There’s a very simple idea behind them: Just like you can bet on sports, you can bet on, well, anything you want, from “fewer than 10 million Americans will be uninsured in 2025 if this bill passes” to “migration from Central America will increase” to “this new cancer study will fail to replicate.” The point is that you can make money by making good bets. And that incentive is what can make prediction markets a pretty good forecaster of what’s to come. That’s the idea anyway. Real-world prediction markets are interesting, but they don’t fully live up to tha..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *