In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Winter Meeting in Washington. Democratic presidential candidates are touting their support for Medicare-for-all, higher taxes on the wealthy and a war on climate change. But foreign policy is largely taking a back seat. Biden is seizing on that opening to position himself as the global policy expert if he decides to run for president. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Biden defends his behaviour with women

Doesn’t believe he ever acted inappropriately toward women but will ‘listen respectfully’

Former Vice-President Joe Biden said Sunday he doesn’t believe he ever acted inappropriately toward women but will “listen respectfully” to suggestions he did.

Biden, who is deciding whether to join the 2020 presidential race, released a new statement in response to allegations from a Nevada politician that he kissed her on the back of the head in 2014 and made her uncomfortable.

READ MORE: ‘My happy place’: Workspaces for women rise in #MeToo era

“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.”

The allegation was made in a New York Magazine article written by Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state representative and the 2014 Democratic nominee for Nevada lieutenant governor.

Going on the attack against the prospective 2020 contender, White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway said Flores was “quite bold” to “go up against the highest levels of her political party” with the allegations and suggested that Biden should consider apologizing to Flores.

“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.

Some of the Democratic presidential candidates have expressed support for Flores, but they haven’t said it disqualifies Biden 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.”

Speaking to reporters in Iowa over the weekend, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro said they believed Flores and indicated it’s up to Biden to decide whether he should join the race.

In the New York Magazine article published Friday, Flores wrote that she and Biden were waiting to take the stage during a rally in Las Vegas before the 2014 election.

“I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’” Flores wrote. “He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head.”

The rally’s organizer, Henry R. Munoz III, said in a statement Saturday that he spoke to several key people and staff who attended the rally and that they “do not believe that circumstances support allegations that such an event took place.”

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberni Valley fire departments hold car wash to raise funds for Wounded Warriors Run

Come out Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to learn more about the run

67th year for Port Alberni’s men’s open bonspiel

Public is welcome to cheer on teams throughout the weekend

Alberni Valley residents vent anger over proposed Beaver Creek cannabis project

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District grapples with limited authority to restrict operations

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

B.C. NDP’s throne speech speaks of benefits to B.C., says MLA Scott Fraser

Fraser agrees to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs over pipeline

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Most Read