Biden declines to apologize to women accusers

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Castro swears off donations from oil, gas, coal executives Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' MORE on Friday declined to directly apologize to the women who have accused him of inappropriate touching in an interview with the women anchors on ABC’s “The View.”

Biden defended his behavior as innocent and described his public displays of affection as a means of connecting with people on the campaign trail.

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The former vice president was pressed on several occasions to directly apologize to the women who said he made them uncomfortable. Instead, he apologized if there was a misunderstanding about his intentions.

“I’m really sorry if what I did in talking to them in trying to console, if in fact they took it in a different way,” Biden said. “It’s my responsibility to make sure that I bend over backwards to understand how not to do that.”

“So I invaded your space and I’m sorry this happened,” he added. “But I’m not sorry in the sense I think I did anything that was intentionally wrong or did anything inappropriate.”

Biden had previously said he never “intended” to make anyone uncomfortable and that he’d be more mindful of women’s personal space. But he’s also joked about the matter — after hugging a man at a union rally earlier this month, Biden reassured the crowd he had permission to do so.

Biden officially launched his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday. He and former Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats join striking McDonald's workers Billionaire's M gift to Morehouse grads points way to student debt solution Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden MORE (I-Vt.) lead in most of the early polling of the race.