Former Vice President Joe Biden responded to claims that he inappropriately kissed a Nevada political candidate in 2014.
Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state representative and the 2014 nominee for the Nevada lieutenant governor, alleged that Biden kissed her on the back of the head. She wrote about the alleged encounter for New York Magazine, titled, “An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden.”
“I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice president of the United States touching me?’” Flores stated. “I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified.”
She continued, “He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head.”
Biden spox statement on the NY mag piece pic.twitter.com/73IkByoosK
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) March 29, 2019
Flores said Biden’s behavior “made me feel uneasy, gross, and confused.”
“Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” she said of the former Democratic senator from Delaware.
Her claim comes as Biden, who has been described as an early Democratic frontrunner for the 2020 presidential election, is believed to be preparing to announce if he will run for office.
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
A spokesman for Biden, Bill Russo, said on March 29 that he doesn’t recall the 2014 incident that Flores had described.
“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 “Vice President Biden was pleased to support Lucy Flores’s candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada in 2014 and to speak on her behalf at a well-attended public event.”
Lucy Flores, the former Democratic nominee for Nevada lieutenant governor, on Friday accused former Vice President Joe Biden of what she described as an inappropriate encounter when he campaigned for her in 2014 https://t.co/HxMnT9ycv4
— POLITICO (@politico) March 29, 2019
Biden, he said, believes Flores “has every right to share her own recollection and reflections.”
“He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best,” his spokesman stated.
On March 19, Biden called six of his supporters and told them he is running for president while asking them to line up major donors so he can start gathering contributions, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.
Biden wants to outpace Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders in what some call the “money primary” to enhance his standing, the source said.
In an average of early 2020 Democratic primary polls from Real Clear Politics, Biden is polling ahead of 14 Democrats who have announced their 2020 bids for president.
Recently, he made a verbal slip during a speech at a Delaware Democratic Party dinner said, “I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the–anybody who would run.”
President Trump responded to Biden’s verbal gaffe.
“Joe Biden got tongue-tied over the weekend when he was unable to properly deliver a very simple line about his decision to run for President,” the president wrote on Twitter on March 18. “Get used to it, another low I.Q. individual!”
The Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.