Four women have publicly accused Joe Biden, who is a top choice of Democrats for president in 2020, of inappropriately touching and kissing them.
Lucy Flores, a member of the Nevada State Assembly, was the first woman to accuse Biden in an opinion piece for The Cut. She claimed that while running for Lieutenant Governor in Nevada, Biden approached her from behind, placed his hands on her shoulders, inhaled her hair, and kissed her on the back of the head.
Amy Lappos, who helped Biden campaign in 2009, claimed Biden rubbed noses with her. “It wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head," Amy Lappos told The Courant. "He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.”
Bob Natt, a Democratic contributor and who was in attendance at the fundraising event, did not see any questionable behavior.
The last two women, as reported by The New York Times, are Caitlyn Caruso and D.J. Hill. Caruso alleged that Biden rested his hand on her thigh and hugged “just a little bit too long.” Hill stated that Biden put his hand on her shoulder and started to drop it down her back. “Only he knows his intent,” she said. But norms are changing now, she said, and “if something makes you feel uncomfortable, you have to feel able to say it.”
Biden has responded quickly, hoping to address the concerns head-on. "In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once - never - did I believe I acted inappropriately," Biden said. “…But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”
President Trump took a jab at the former vice president, according to Politico. “I was going to call him — I don’t know him well. I was gonna say, ‘Welcome to the world, Joe. Are you having a good time, Joe?’”
Biden is gearing up for a potential 2020 presidential run. “People close to Biden say he and his team are taking seriously the experiences the women are sharing, and his aides are cognizant that the way Biden interacts with voters on the campaign trail will continue to be examined if he runs for president,” CNN reports.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.