Editor Note: Scroll down to see the videos and judge for yourself.
On Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden responded to accusations he’s inappropriately touched women over the years.
His argument? He doesn’t “believe” he did… but he could be wrong. And he’s willing to “listen respectfully” to suggestions he did.
Biden, who is considering a run for president in 2020, released a statement in response to allegations from a Nevada politician that he crossed the line.
“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,” he said. “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
Biden finds himself in quite the predicament, as do Democrats who have been excited about his potential run.
While some are expressing support for Flores, they aren’t saying it disqualifies him from joining the race.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a candidate for president, said she had “no reason not to believe” Flores’ allegations.
“And I think we know from campaigns and from politics that people raise issues and they have to address them and that’s what he will have to do with the voters if he gets into the race,” Klobuchar told ABC’s “This Week.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conways seized the opportunity to go on the attack against the prospective contender against Trump, saying Flores was “quite bold” to “go up against the highest levels of her political party” with the allegations.
“If anybody just types in ‘Creepy Uncle Joe Videos’ you come up with a treasure trove,” Conway told “Fox News Sunday.”
“I think Joe Biden has a big problem here because he calls it affection and handshakes. His party calls it completely inappropriate,” she said.
Biden and that same party sure seem to be pulling complete u-turn from the “MeToo” movement, especially after the unfounded allegations and savage attacks against the now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“She deserves to be treated with dignity,” Biden said of Ford. “It takes enormous courage for a woman to come forward under bright lights, with millions of people watching, and relive something that happened to her, assert that something happened to her, and she should be treated with respect.”
Those were the words of former Vice President Joe Biden about Christine Ford, the woman who made unfounded accusations against Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
Those words are coming back to haunt him.
In an article written for New York Magazines The Cut on Friday, a former Democratic candidate in Nevada has accused Biden of inappropriate conduct during a 2014 campaign event.
According to Lucy Flores, the incident happened at a campaign rally in early November 2014.
That’s when she was trying to become the state’s lieutenant governor. Biden showed up to help round up support for Democrats in Nevada.
Flores says she was in line, waiting to go on stage at the rally when she claimed to have “felt two hands on my shoulders”.
“Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?” she recalled.
She then goes on to say that Biden sniffed her hair and “proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head.”
I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?”
She said that’s when the kiss happened.
My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience.
In a tweet today she said writing about it “was an incredibly difficult thing to do, but something that felt necessary. It took awhile before I found the words and the support that made me feel like this was finally a story I could tell”.
This was an incredibly difficult thing to do, but something that felt necessary. It took awhile before I found the words and the support that made me feel like this was finally a story I could tell. https://t.co/Sr5Go3xuTe
— Lucy Flores (@LucyFlores) March 29, 2019
She said it left her motionless and lost on what to do or how to feel.
“The vice-president of the United States of America had just touched me in an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners,” Flores wrote, adding that she “felt powerless to do anything about it.”
She went on to state that while the legal line might not have been crossed, the ethical line sure was.
“Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” she wrote. “I wasn’t attending the rally as his mentee or even his friend; I was there as the most qualified person for the job.”
She said she talked about what happened with some members of her team, but mentions in the article that she had no intention of bringing it up further.
“Is it enough of a transgression if a man touches and kisses you without consent, but doesn’t rise to the level of what most people consider sexual assault?” she wrote. “I did what most women do, and moved on with my life and my work.”
So why now? Flores says she had to speak up, considering that it looks like Biden will be making a run for President.
As reported by Fox News, Biden spokesman Bill Russo said Joe Biden “was pleased to support” Flores’s 2014 campaign “and to speak on her behalf” at the rally.
“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,” the statement said. “But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so. He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best.”
But was Flores the only one? She writes that not only was she NOT the only one, but says America has been witnessing it for years:
Time passed and pictures started to surface of Vice-President Biden getting uncomfortably close with women and young girls. Biden nuzzling the neck of the Defense secretary’s wife;
Biden kissing a senator’s wife on the lips;
Biden whispering in women’s ears;
I saw obvious discomfort in the women’s faces, and Biden, I’m sure, never thought twice about how it made them feel. I knew I couldn’t say anything publicly about what those pictures surfaced for me; my anger and my resentment grew.
Twitter exploded shortly after the article, with video clips and photos being spread far and wide.
One user pointed out:
“As former VP, Biden had a habit of smelling the hair of women and (particularly) little girls. In this clip, he fixes the hair of a little girl, conveniently placing his hands near her chest area. Her and the other young girl beside her clearly seem uncomfortable by it all.”
As former VP, Biden had a habit of smelling the hair of women and (particularly) little girls. In this clip, he fixes the hair of a little girl, conveniently placing his hands near her chest area. Her and the other young girl beside her clearly seem uncomfortable by it all. pic.twitter.com/fpER7WB604
— Richard Armande Mills (RAM) (@RAMRANTS) November 13, 2017
That same user also tweeted a video saying:
In this clip, Biden swears-in (R) Senator Jim Risch. During photographs, Biden touches Risch’s daughter, specifically asking to take a photo alone with her. You can hear Risch say “Dad’s going to stand pretty close.” (I wonder why?) Biden even jokes and says, “If I was young…”
In this clip, Biden swears-in (R) Senator Jim Risch. During photographs, Biden touches Risch's daughter, specifically asking to take a photo alone with her. You can hear Risch say "Dad's going to stand pretty close." (I wonder why?) Biden even jokes and says, "If I was young…" pic.twitter.com/LLqJ4guU0q
— Richard Armande Mills (RAM) (@RAMRANTS) November 13, 2017
That same user pointed out that there’s even a montage about it:
Think about it. “You’re turning 11. You’re beautiful. Just remember: No dates till you’re 30.” Is it a joke? A rule. A requirement. A demand? Why shouldn’t a young women be able to date until she’s well-past maturity? Former VP Biden has said it so much, a montage exists.
Think about it.
"You're turning 11. You're beautiful. Just remember: No dates till you're 30."
Is it a joke? A rule. A requirement. A demand?
Why shouldn't a young women be able to date until she's well-past maturity?
Former VP Biden has said it so much, a montage exists. pic.twitter.com/SdWqn8mSIa
— Richard Armande Mills (RAM) (@RAMRANTS) November 15, 2017
Lucy Flores goes on to say there’s no questioning it – even the media has joked about it:
“Had I never seen those pictures, I may have been able to give Biden the benefit of the doubt. Had there not been multiple articles written over the years about the exact same thing — calling his creepy behavior an “open secret” — perhaps it would feel less offensive.”
She points out that despite the steady stream of pictures and occasional article, Biden still gets to keep the title of America’s Favorite Uncle.
“On occasion that title was downgraded to America’s Creepy Uncle but that in and of itself implied a certain level of acceptance. After all, how many families just tolerate or keep their young children away from the creepy uncle without ever acknowledging that there should be zero tolerance for a man who persistently invades others’ personal space and makes people feel uneasy and gross?” said Flores.
“In this case, it shows a lack of empathy for the women and young girls whose space he is invading, and ignores the power imbalance that exists between Biden and the women he chooses to get cozy with,” said Flores.
Late last year, Republicans invoked the words of Joe Biden from nearly three decades ago to shoot down the opposition’s call for an FBI probe into Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, when it became clear they were trying to delay a vote.
On Twitter, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell encouraged “my Democratic friends (to) consider” Biden’s admonition back when he was chairing the Supreme Court confirmations for Clarence Thomas in 1991.
My Democrat friends might want to consider this from then-Judiciary Committee Chairman JOE BIDEN (D-DE) In 1991: The ‘FBI Explicitly Does Not, In This Or Any Other Case Reach A Conclusion, Period’ pic.twitter.com/NvAI3RqevL
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 25, 2018
“The next person that refers to an FBI report as being worth anything obviously doesn’t understand anything,” Biden said during a hearing where Anita Hill was accusing Thomas of sexual harassment. “FBI explicitly does not – in this or any other case – reach a conclusion. Period.”
Biden’s words were repeated at a hearing days later by Republicans during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s attempt to shoot down requests by Democrats for a delay until the FBI investigated the sexual assault allegations, which the 53-year-old federal appeals court judge forcefully denied.
Ronald Klain was Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president under Barack Obama. He claimed Republicans were taking his former boss’ words out of context.
His point was that the fbi does not make conclusions. That’s for the Committee.
But it does investigate. And take statements (as Biden noted).
And that would be super useful in this case. https://t.co/Z59o4ax7PX
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) September 26, 2018
Oh, the irony.