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Joe Biden defends his interactions with women according to "kiss" requirements



WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday defended his interactions with women and said he did not believe he had ever acted inappropriately. But a Nevada politician's assertion that Bid's kiss on the back of her head made her feel uncomfortable caused some Democrats to question whether the 76-year-old is also out of step with his own party for to run a successful 2020 presidential campaign.

The episode, which is told by Democrat Lucy Flores, highlighted one aspect of Biden's persona that has been publicly known for many years. He has long wiped out the loving whispers, hugs and shoulder clamps for women, often on camera and on high-profile public events. In a moment of national expense of sexual harassment and treatment of women by powerful men, some Democrats said that Bid's actions have taken a new light.

"It looks different in 2019," said Maria Cardona, a democratic strategist. Cardona said that while Bid's behavior does not automatically disqualify for the presidency, "it all depends on how he continues to respond to this. He must recognize that his behavior made some women unpleasant."

In a statement on Sunday, Biden was told that it was never his intention to make women feel uncomfortable, and if he did, I would listen with respect. "

Several women who worked for Biden went on the weekend to guarantee their character. And Stephanie Carter, wife of former Defense Minister Ash Carter, disputes characterizations of her interactions with Biden during her husband's difficulty ceremony. Vice President whispered in Carter's ear and laid his hands on her shoulders at some point. "" Joe Biden on my picture is a close friend who helps someone get through a big day for which I will always be grateful, "wrote Carter in a post on the Medium site

Flores & # 39; report on the 2014 event comes at a crucial time for Biden, struggling for months with a final decision on whether to run for president, blowing through more self-imposed deadlines Advisors now monitor a message later in April

But the democratic primary has spit without him with more than a dozen candidates including the record number of women and minorities. Veterans like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has shown surprising strength while newer white houses are hopeful like California Sen. Kamala Harris and Texan Beto O & # 39; Rourke has drawn large crowds and exhibited early fundraising pauses.

Biden still leads most early polls, buoyed by wide-name recognition and the good will he generated over eight years as President Barack Obama's No. 2. Due to his experience and appeal with white working class voters in Midwestern battlefields, He also by some Democrats as the best-placed candidate to defeat President Donald Trump.

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Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden together over the years

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US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) attend a ceremony to reveal a portrait honoring the withdrawal of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Capitol Hill in Washington, USA on December 8, 2016. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst

State Secretary Hillary Clinton (L) is with her husband, the Former US President Bill Clinton (R) and US Vice President Joe Biden, when she was ceremonially sworn by the Washington State Department on February 2, 2009 REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton welcomes Vice-President Joe Biden, leaving from Air Force Two for a joint campaign event in Scranton, Pennsylvania on August 15, 2016. REUTERS / Charles Mostoller [19659017] PORTSMOUTH, NH – May 11: Democratic Presidential didat Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) welcomes Presidential candidate Joe Biden (D-DE) in the lobby of the Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth after addressing the International Association of Fire Fighters Convention (IAFF) on May 11, 2007 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. IAFF is a US and Canada firefighters' union that was formed in 1918 and consisted of 280,000 members. (Photo by Darren McCollester / Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden campaign together during an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania on August 15, 2016. REUTERS / Charles Mostoller

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden dared to neighbors when they stopped visiting Bids childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania on August 15, 2016. REUTERS / Charles Mostoller

US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) attend a ceremony for to reveal a portrait honoring the withdrawal of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Capitol Hill in Washington, USA on December 8, 2016. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden campaign together during an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania on August 15, 2016. REUTERS / Charles Mostoller

US Secretary of State Hillary Cli nton (C) addresses a lunch meeting in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L), whom US Vice President Joe Biden looks at the state department in Washington on June 7, 2011. REUTERS / Stelios Varias (USA) – Tags: Politics [19659022] USA – August 15: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden hold a campaign rally at Riverfront Sports in Scranton, PA, August 15, 2016. (Photo by Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

Scranton, PA – AUGUST 15: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Vice President Joe Biden recognize the crowd at the Athletic Riverfront Sports Center on August 15, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton focused his talk on the economy and brings jobs to Pennsylvania's main swing. (Photo by Mark Makela / Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement on the Afghanistan-Pakistan annual report of the White House Briefing Room with Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looking in Washington on December 16, 2010. The review said "remarkable operational gains" were made and the Taliban momentum had been "arrested" in much of the country and reversed in some areas, but any gains were fragile and reversible. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque (USA – Labels: CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)

Combination images show US Vice President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) who share a laugh at Lilly Ledbetter's Fair Pay Act's signing ceremony in the Eastern Room of the White House in Washington, January 29, 2009. REUTERS / Jason Reed (USA)

Orangeburg, USA: Hopeful (LR) United States Senator Joe Biden, US Senator Barack Obama and US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives at the Democratic Party's Presidential Primary debate on April 26, 2007 at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO / Stan HONDA (Photo Credit to be Read STAN HONDA / AFP / Getty Images)

Washington, USA: American Democratic Senator from Nedw York Hillary Clinton (R) greets a member of Congress next to the Democratic Senator from Delaware Joe Biden (C), arriving at US President George W. Bush's annual EU state, approaching a joint conference at the Capitol in Washington on January 23, 2007. AFP PHOTO / Larry Downing / Pool ( Photo Credit to be Read LARRY DOWNING / AFP / Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama (2nd L) and Vice President Joe Biden (L), along with members of the National Security Team, receive an update of the mission against Osama bin Laden in The White House Situation Room on May 1, 2011. Also the picture is the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd R) and Defense Secretary Robert Gates (R). Note: A classified document seen on this photograph has been hidden at the source. Picture taken May 1, 2011. A pivotal moment in the long, tortuous quest to find Osama bin Laden came years before US spy agencies discovered its hermetic composition in Abbottabad, Pakistan. REUTERS / White House / Pete Souza / Handout (UNITED STATES – Tags: Policy CIVIL UNREST MILITARY PICTURES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADMISSION OF CAMPAIGN. This image is provided by a third party. It is distributed, exactly as received by reuters, as a service to customers
To Match Special Report BINLADEN / KILL (SPECIAL REPORT)

Orangeburg, USA: Democratic Presidential Hopeful (LR) US Senator Joe Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives at the Democratic Party's presidential primary debate, 26 April 2007, at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO / Stan HONDA (Photo Credit to be Read STAN HONDA / AFP / Getty Images)

Orangeburg, USA: Hopeful (LR) US Senator Joe Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives at Democratic Party presidential primary debate on April 26, 2007 at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO / Stan HONDA (Photo Credit to be read STAN HONDA / AFP / Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate US Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (L) and US Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) speak after their debate at Howard University in Washington, June 28, 2007. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque (USA)

US Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (R) is met by US Senator Joseph Biden (D-De) on a Democratic Presidential Forum sponsored by AFSCME in Carson City, Nevada February 21, 2007. REUTERS / Kimberly White)

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US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks while Senator Joe Biden (D-DE ) Listens under the AFL-CIO Presidential Forum at the Soldier Field in Chicago o August 7, 2007. REUTERS / John Gress (USA) [19659036] German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) presents a US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who oversees US Vice President Joe Biden, during a lunch meeting in Merkel's honor at the Washington State Department on July 7 June 2011. REUTERS / Stelios Varias UNITED STATES – Tags: POLICY)

US Vice President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak during a meeting of US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, December 7, 2009. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES POLITICS)

US Vice President Joe Biden (C) talks about the third annual strategic and economic dialogue between the US and China at the Interior Ministry in Washington on 9 December. May 2011. Flanking Biden is Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan (L) and US Secretary General Hillary Clinton.
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US. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to Vice-President Joe Biden when the US Middle East envoy George Mitchell (R) looks at a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House Oval Office in Washington May 28, 2009 REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque (USA)

US Vice President Joe Biden (C), Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toast during a luncheon at the Washington State Department on November 24, 2009. REUTERS / Yuri Gripas (USA) [HIDECAPTION

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Nancy Bobo, an Iowa activist who was among Obama's earliest state supporters, shares this view. She fears the episode with Flores suggesting that Democrats can try to tear their most qualified candidate.

"I can only see what's coming for him," Bobo said. "And it's going to come to him from the Democrats."

None of Bid's potential rivals defended him after Flores' allegations. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she believed in Flores and that Biden "must answer" about what happened. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said, "Lucy Flores felt dimmed and it is never okay. If Vice President Biden becomes a candidate, this is an issue he will have to move on with." Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said, "I think it's important to listen and take seriously any event like this."

White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway said that Flores was "quite brave" to "go up to the highest levels of her political party" with the allegations and suggested that Biden should consider apologizing to Flores. Conway declined questions about the many women who have accused Trump of sexual abuse, claims he refuses.

Flores, a former Nevada state representative and the 2014 democratic candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor, told The Associated Press on Sunday that she had mulling coming up for years. She said she was approaching New York Magazine to publish her story and that the magazine had checked its piece after she had submitted it.

According to Flores, the episode with Biden occurred in 2014 as they waited to take the stage during 2014 a rally in Las Vegas.

"I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze." Why does the US Vice President touch me? "" she wrote. "He continued to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head."

Biden spokesman Bill Russo said the former Vice President does not remember kissing Flores.

AP attempted to contact several advisors and assistants from the Flores & # 39; 2014 campaign, but could not get any independent control of their account.

Flores, who approved Sanders in the 2016 campaign, said that Bid's team has not been in contact with her since her story was published. She said she would be happy if Biden simply recognized the discomfort the episode caused her.

Biden has been warned by advisers that his previous statements and actions, including his long history of hugging and showing love for women, would be exposed to fresh control in the 2020 campaign. In some cases, Bid's political attitudes, such as His support for the 1994 criminal offense, due to masses of minorities, ineffective with a party moved to the left. But in other moments, as he trains his ability to compromise with the Republicans, he may seem to be talking about a political era that many democrats no longer believe exist.

Karen Finney, a democratic strategist working at Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, said Biden's team had to answer a key question before launching a white house bid: "They feel confident to their ability to understand this voter and campaign by 2020, which is already different from 2016? "

Even before Flores made Her claims, some Democrats wondered if Biden was meant for this moment. His team was widely panned after reports that they are considering beating a younger democrat or a minority like the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams as a running buddy early in the primary in an attempt to counteract Biden's age issues.

While Bid's team refused to consider this move, Biden floated the thought of Abrams over a recent lunch, according to a Democrat-aware discussion. The Democrat was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and insisted on anonymity.

Democratic strategist Rebecca Katz said that while Flores & # 39; descriptions may feel familiar to those who have seen Biden Kram and hold hands with women for years, she focuses on the women who were on the receiving end of his feelings.

"What Lucy Flores did so boldly says," That's how he made me feel, "Katz said." No one has ever done that before with Joe Biden. "


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