BFF-01 Ex-lawmaker says Biden inappropriately touched her in 2014

248

ZCZC

BFF-01

US-POLITICS-DEMOCRATS-BIDEN-ACCUSATION

Ex-lawmaker says Biden inappropriately touched her in 2014

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Joe Biden, who is leading polls for
the Democratic presidential nomination, on Friday faced a misconduct
accusation by a Nevada ex-lawmaker claiming the then-vice president
inappropriately kissed her before a campaign event.

Lucy Flores, the state’s Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in
2014, said she was beside the stage awaiting her turn to address a rally when
Biden put his hands on her shoulders from behind, then leaned in and smelled
her hair.

“I was mortified,” Flores, 39, recounted in New York magazine.

“He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head,” she added.

“My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was
shocked. I was confused,” and “I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away
from me.”

It was unclear just how the accusation might impact Biden’s decision to
officially enter the race. Those close to the Democrat have reportedly said
Biden, 76, could announce his plans in April.

Biden’s spokesman Bill Russo said Friday that Biden was “pleased” to
support Flores’s candidacy, but does not recall the incident.

“Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the
time have an inkling that Ms Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor
do they recall what she describes,” Russo said in a statement.

He added that Biden “believes that Ms Flores has every right to share her
own recollections and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our
society that she has the opportunity to do so.”

Biden’s overly familiar approach with women has been a subject of
discussion for years.

He has had a reputation for awkwardly touching the wives, mothers or
daughters of senators during swearing-in ceremonies, and he came under
criticism for massaging the shoulders of new defense secretary Ash Carter’s
wife in 2015.

Biden’s behavior is receiving renewed attention in the #MeToo era, when the
movement against sexual assault has led to the downfall of dozens of
politicians, entertainment figures and businessmen.

At a Democratic Party dinner in Delaware this month, he acknowledged how
his physical style has raised questions.

“I’m a tactile politician, always have been. That’s what gets me in trouble
as well,” Biden said.

Flores wrote that the celebrated Democrat ignores the “power imbalance”
that exists between Biden and the women he touches.

“Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and
disrespectful,” she added.

BSS/AFP/SSS/0839 hrs