House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the mounting allegations of inappropriate touching against former Vice President Joe Biden should not disqualify him from the 2020 presidential race.
“No. No, I do not,” Pelosi told reporters Monday when asked if the allegations against Biden should force him out of the race, according to The Hill.
“I don’t think that this disqualifies him from being president,” added. “Not at all.”
Pelosi’s comments came after a second woman accused Biden of making her feel uncomfortable by touching her inappropriately at a Democratic fundraiser in 2009.
Amy Lappos, who worked as an aide to Democratic Connecticut Rep. Jim Hines, said Biden approached her in the kitchen of the home where the event was held and grabbed her.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told The Hartford 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.”
“I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody,” she explained. “There’s absolutely a line of decency. There’s a line of respect. Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It’s not cultural. It’s not affection. It’s sexism or misogyny.”
Former Dem candidate says Biden made her feel “uneasy, gross”:
Lappos’ allegations came after former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores said that Biden left her feeling “embarrassed” and “mortified” when she says he touched and kissed her during an event while she was running for lieutenant governor in 2014.
“As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’” Flores wrote in an essay at The Cut. “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?’ He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
“I had never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before. Biden was the second-most powerful man in the country and, arguably, one of the most powerful men in the world. He was there to promote me as the right person for the lieutenant governor job. Instead, he made me feel uneasy, gross, and confused,” she added.
Biden denies touching anyone inappropriately:
While Biden has yet to comment on Lappos’ allegations, he responded to Flores’ essay by insisting it was never his intention to touch anyone inappropriately.
“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 in a statement. “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention. I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. 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.”