Santorum: Biden, Sanders are 'tone deaf' on allegations raised by women

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) on Sunday said both Joe BidenJoe BidenAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Volatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties British Bookmaker: Warren has replaced Biden as Democratic primary favorite MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersVolatile presidential polls spark new round of anxieties GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' British Bookmaker: Warren has replaced Biden as Democratic primary favorite MORE (I-Vt.) come across as "tone-deaf" on allegations raised by women.

Both Biden and Sanders are “of a different era,” Santorum told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “As much as they try to sound like they get it, they don’t, and it’s clear to those of us who have an ear for this that they don’t get it.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign faced accusations by several women who said they'd experienced sexual harassment by an aide that was not handled well by supervisors. Sanders has promised his 2020 campaign will do better.

Former Vice President Biden has been accused of making several women feel uncomfortable by touching them or entering their personal space without consent.

Sanders said last weekend, addressing accusations from former Nevada assemblywoman Lucy Flores that Biden sniffed her hair and kissed the back of her head, “I’m not sure that one incident alone disqualifies anybody." Several more women have since accused Biden of similar conduct.

Biden has not yet announced a run for president but has consistently led the field of candidates and likely candidates. While he initially promised to be more “mindful” of women’s personal space, the controversy began anew on Friday when he joked he “had permission” to hug two people at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers conference.

Democratic strategist Symone Sanders, who served as Sanders’ press secretary during his 2016 presidential campaign, told Tapper the jokes had likely exacerbated Biden’s problems.  

“That does not make people feel as though you actually understand,” Sanders said. “I think this is going to be something he has to, unfortunately, continue to address.”