Comedian Chelsea Handler told Hill.TV this week that the allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden by Lucy Flores seem like a “silly” thing to apologize for, adding that the accusations should not disqualify him from entering the 2020 race.
“That’s a really silly thing to have to apologize for,” Handler told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons during an interview that aired Tuesday.
“I understand she was uncomfortable, I don’t dismiss that,” she said, referring to the former Nevada state assemblywoman.
Handler went on to say that she doesn’t like it when people compare the Flores incident to sexual assault.
“I don’t like the comparison to that, to sexual assault — it’s not, and there are real victims of sexual assault who’ve been through hell,” she said. “That diminishes real stories, so it’s a tricky time.”
Flores last month accused Biden of inappropriately touching her at a political event in 2014. Other women have came forward since Flores with similar allegations of inappropriate behavior by the former vice president.
Biden, who has yet to announce a 2020 presidential bid, later said he will be “much more mindful” and respectful of people’s “personal space.”
“Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted. And the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset,” he said, while stopping short of apologizing.
Handler added that the accusations shouldn’t disqualify Biden from running for president in 2020, saying no candidate is perfect.
“He’s known for making gaffes all the time — we should expect it,” she said. “He’s not going to be perfect, no candidate is.”
The comedian said that Democrats need to stick together and focus on taking back the White House.
“I don’t think any of these people should be apologizing for anything, let’s just get somebody in there,” she said, referring to the White House. “We have a man whose acting like a lunatic and the Democrats are being really, really too soft and apologetic about every little thing. That’s not a winning attitude.”
“We have to fight this with some power and some gusto and not eat each other alive,” she added.
When asked for comment by The Hill, Flores said Handler’s remarks “reflect a total lack of understanding of how Mr. Biden behaved with me, and about consent in general.”
“It wasn’t silly to me and it isn’t silly to millions of women who have to endure this kind of invasive behavior throughout their entire lives,” she said. “Neither I, nor the six other women who spoke out, have ever said this was sexual assault, but we are doing a disservice to women everywhere if the only thing we are going to take seriously is assault and rape, and ask women to just take one for the team so we can ‘get someone in there.'”
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