‘Lucky’: Biden was at first reluctant to apologize for touching allegation
President Biden was reluctant at first to apologize for an allegation from Lucy Flores, the 2014 Nevada Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, that he touched her in a way that made her feel uncomfortable, according to the new book “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency.”
Flores first accused Biden in March 2019 of standing behind her, sniffing her hair and kissing the back of her head before endorsing her 2014 campaign. However, Biden did not immediately comprehend that he made her feel uncomfortable.
“I thought I was doing the opposite,” he told aides at the time. “I’ve always tried to support women.”
Biden initially refused to apologize, with his campaign releasing a statement two days after the allegations were publicized that he never thought he “acted inappropriately.”
“I don’t think he understood it on some level,” said a longtime Biden ally. “He constantly thought ‘Yeah, so what? What’s the big deal?’ He needed a lot of convincing. Every time someone flagged that it was a problem, it went right over his head.”
“He won’t apologize because he thinks he did nothing wrong,” said another adviser.
It took Biden five days after the Flores allegations surfaced to release a video going halfway. In it, he maintained he hadn’t acted inappropriately but said he would be more respectful of people’s personal space.
“I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, ‘You can do this.’ Whether they are women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I show I care about them, that I listen,” he said. “Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted. And the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. And I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying, I understand it. And I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility and I’ll meet it.”
The Flores allegation was among the earliest controversies Biden faced in his campaign.
The issue seemed like it could potentially damage his campaign during the #MeToo movement but did not ultimately derail the now-president’s campaign.
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