Former GOP state Senate candidate accuses George H.W. Bush of groping her
A former Republican candidate for Maine’s state Senate on Friday accused George H.W. Bush of groping her years ago, making her the fifth woman to recently accuse the former president.
Amanda Staples said in an Instagram post reported by the Portland Press Herald that she visited the former president at his family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, during her campaign in 2006.
Staples claimed that Bush grabbed her from behind during a photo op, saying, “Oh I’m not THAT President.”
The episode is similar to stories shared by four other women accusing the former president of such behavior, coming amid a broader focus on sexual harassment in media and politics.
Actress Heather Lind was the first to come forward, accusing Bush of touching her inappropriately from behind during a photo op.
New York actress Jordana Grolnick then shared her experience, followed by author Christina Baker Kline and Liz Allen, a former journalist and Democratic candidate for city council in Erie, Pa. All the women said Bush touched them from behind during a photo.
Staples said she “couldn’t help but share” her experience in wake of other women coming forward, according to the New York Daily News.
Bush’s office released a statement following the initial allegations on Wednesday apologizing for the former president’s actions.
“At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures,” the statement read.
“To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate,” the statement from Bush spokesman Jim McGrath continued.
“To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely,” he said.