Former Vice President Joe Biden has promised that he "will be more mindful about people's personal space" in the future, as he faces multiple accusations of inappropriate contact with women.
What is Biden accused of?
Two women, former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores and former congressional aide Amy Lappos, have accused Biden of making them uncomfortable with unwanted touching and kissing. Two more women leveled accusations Tuesday.
Biden has been criticized over the years for not respecting the personal space of women, including in a now infamous example during the swearing-in ceremony for former Defense Secretary Ash Carter when he stood behind Carter's wife, Stephanie, and held his face close to hers. Stephanie Carter would later defend Biden, saying that the picture was of "a close friend helping someone get through a bit day" and that it had been "misleadingly extracted" from its context.
Biden, who has yet to definitively announce, is currently leading in the polls among Democratic presidential hopefuls, according to RealClear Politics.
What did he say?
In a video posted to Twitter, Biden said that he wanted to address "gestures of support and encouragement that I've made to women, and some men, that made them uncomfortable."
Biden said that he always tried to "make a human connection." He said that this can come in many forms: "I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say 'you can do this'." He says this is the way he's "always been."
He acknowledged that "social norms have changed," offering that he would be "much more mindful. That's my responsibility and I'll mean it."
"I will be more mindful and respectful of people's personal space. And that's a good thing. That's a good thing," Biden said.
He concluded by saying that he has worked his "whole life to empower women" and "prevent abuse," and that "the idea that I can't adjust to the fact that personal space is important — more important than it's ever been — is, is just unthinkable. I will. I will."
Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always… https://t.co/OGubjbOniI— Joe Biden (@Joe Biden)1554317849.0