Politics

Biden: ‘I Will Be More Mindful About Respecting Personal Space’

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Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday released a video on Twitter to address the accusations that he made women uncomfortable by touching them, saying he will be "more mindful about respecting personal space in the future."

"Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying," Biden tweeted. "Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That's my responsibility and I will meet it."

"Today, I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I've made to women and some men and made them uncomfortable and in my career I've always tried to make a human connection," Biden said. "That's my responsibility I think. I shake hands. I hug people. I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, ‘You can do this.'"

Biden, who is expected to announce a presidential bid sometime later this month, went on to talk about politics and how he has never viewed it as "cold" or "antiseptic," but instead viewed it as "connecting with people."

"Boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and I get it. I get it. I hear what they're saying. I understand it and I'll be much more mindful. That's my responsibility, my responsibility and I'll meet it," Biden said. "I'll always believe governing quite frankly, life for that matter, is about connecting– connecting with people. That won't change, but I will be more mindful and respectful of people's space."

Lucy Flores, a 2014 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Nevada, published an essay last Friday accusing Biden of walking up behind her, smelling her hair, and awkwardly kissing her head without her consent.

Biden's office released a statement Sunday responding to the allegation.

"In 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. If it is suggested that I did so I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention," the statement reads. "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 that they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention, and I will."

Since the Flores essay, at least three women have made similar accusations against Biden.