Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman who has accused Joe BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE of inappropriately kissing her in 2014, said Sunday that she wants the former vice president "to acknowledge that it was wrong."
"I'm glad that he's willing to listen," she told CNN's "State of the Union" minutes after Biden released a statement saying he does not believe he has ever acted "inappropriately" but "will listen respectfully" to his accuser.
"If he is saying that he never believed that that was inappropriate, then frankly I think that's a little bit of a disconnect," she said.
"I want him to change his behavior, and I want him to acknowledge that it was wrong," she continued.
Lucy Flores: “Part of the reason why I decided to finally say something is because those behaviors were not being taken very seriously. … I just can’t imagine that there was never a situation where someone said to him, ‘Mr. Vice President, you probably should stop doing that’” pic.twitter.com/6Vt5m5DHrE— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 31, 2019
Flores wrote in an op-ed on Friday that while Biden was vice president, he came up to her from behind, put his hands on her shoulders, inhaled her hair and kissed her on the back of her head at a campaign rally supporting her bid for lieutenant governor in Nevada.
"What I am saying is that it's completely inappropriate, that it does not belong in any kind of a professional setting, much less in politics, and that is something that we should consider when we are talking about the background of a person who is considering running for president," she told CNN after describing the alleged incident.
She added that she believes the alleged behavior is "disqualifying" for Biden's potential 2020 presidential bid. The former vice president has not yet announced his candidacy but is expected to do so in the coming weeks.
Former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores alleges Joe Biden kissed the back of her head in 2014 at a campaign rally: “It was shocking because you don’t expect that kind of intimate behavior, you don’t expect that kind of intimacy from someone so powerful.” https://t.co/mgUK3jZBfF pic.twitter.com/1wXq8XMSOv— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 31, 2019
Biden on Sunday said in his "many" years in public life, "I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately."
"If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention," he said.
"I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear," Biden continued. "But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will."
Flores argued that her incident was not the "first time" that Biden interacted with women inappropriately and that his "intentions" matter less than the uneven power dynamic between the vice president and most of the women allegedly at the "receiving end" of his unwanted attention.
"I just can't imagine that there was never a situation where someone said to him, 'Mr. Vice President, you probably should stop doing that. You should probably stop touching women in that way. You should probably keep your hands to yourself,'" she said on CNN.
"I want this to be a bigger discussion about how there is no accountability structure within our political space," she added. "We are not protected in politics. And frankly, on a much larger scale, we also need to have a conversation about powerful men feeling that they have the right to invade a woman's space whenever they'd like."
Lucy Flores: “Of course I want him to change his behavior. And I want him to acknowledge that it was wrong. And I want this to be a bigger discussion about how there is no accountability structure within our political space. ... We are not protected in politics” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/WgrPz6iPzk— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 31, 2019
Updated at 11:05 a.m.