Former US vice president Joe Biden says he will be “more mindful and respectful” of women’s personal space after acknowledging making some feel “uncomfortable”.
The 76-year-old, who is tipped to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, responded to recent allegations of inappropriate behaviour in a video posted on his Twitter account.
Mr Biden said he wanted to address “gestures of support and encouragement” he made to women and some men “that had made them uncomfortable”.
He said he always tried to make a “human connection” by shaking hands, hugging people and grabbing men and women by the shoulders.
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
But he added: “Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset – and I get it.
“I hear what they’re saying. I understand. And I will be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility.
“I will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space.”
Mr Biden issued the video after Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state representative, claimed he gave her a “big slow kiss” on the back of her head in 2014.
She said the alleged incident at a rally in Las Vegas left her feeling “uneasy, gross, and confused” and that it was “demeaning and disrespectful”.
Meanwhile, a former Democratic congressional aide described how she thought Mr Biden was going to try to kiss her at a private fundraising event in 2009, but “rubbed noses” with her instead.
Amy Lappos said Mr Biden “wrapped both his hands around my face and pulled me in” during the incident.
However, Stephanie Carter, the wife of former US defence secretary Ash Carter, defended Mr Biden after a picture showing the politician holding her shoulders went viral.
She said the 2015 photo was taken at her husband’s swearing-in ceremony where she was “uncharacteristically nervous” and Mr Biden had placed his hands on her shoulders as “as a means of offering his support”.
US President Donald Trump – who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in the past – poked fun at Mr Biden during a fundraising dinner on Tuesday.
During the event, Mr Trump told a story about wanting to kiss a general he met in Iraq who had promised an expedient end to a campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria.
“I said ‘General, come here and give me a kiss’. I felt like Joe Biden,” Mr Trump joked.
Source: SKY NEWS