Biden declines to apologize to women accusers

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Iowa governor suggests immigrants partially to blame for rising COVID-19 cases Biden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on 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 SandersWomen's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Democrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan MORE (I-Vt.) lead in most of the early polling of the race.