Joe Biden Accused of Inappropriate Behavior by Former Assemblywoman
|thenorthstar||Mar 31, 2019|
Former Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores has penned an article that details an awkward encounter with former Vice President Joe Biden in 2014, who is also considering a presidential bid in 2020. In a piece for The Cut, Flores described Biden’s visit to Nevada when she was running for lieutenant governor for that state in 2014. Though she said she had felt gratitude when the vice president showed up for support, things began to feel a bit uncomfortable.
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f***? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’” Flores added that she was feeling embarrassed, shocked, and confused. She said she never experienced “anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before,” noting that he made her “feel uneasy, gross, and confused.” Her article stated that she only shared her experience with few staff members, but did not share it with anybody else. Flores also explained Biden’s closeness with other women.
“Biden nuzzling the neck of the Defense secretary’s wife; Biden kissing a senator’s wife on the lips; Biden whispering in women’s ears; Biden snuggling female constituents,” she said. “Despite the steady stream of pictures and the occasional article, Biden retained his title of America’s Favorite Uncle. On occasion that title was downgraded to America’s Creepy Uncle but that in and of itself implied a certain level of acceptance,” she added.
Following the article’s publication, she wrote on Twitter: “This was an incredibly difficult thing to do, but something that felt necessary. It took awhile before I found the words and the support that made me feel like this was finally a story I could tell.” https://twitter.com/LucyFlores/status/1111717902087004160 In response, Biden’s spokesperson said in a statement that the then-vice president was pleased to support Flores’ candidacy at the time, but that “neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes.”
Nevertheless, the spokesperson said Biden believes Flores has “every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so,” wishing her “only the best.”
The article comes amid Biden’s reckoning with his political past. He said at a recent event in New York that he regretted not giving Anita Hill “the hearing she deserved” in 1991, when she shared her testimony about then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’ sexual harassment while he was her supervisor at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also urged Americans to change a “white man’s culture,” referring to domestic violence cases in the early 1900s.
About the Author
Robert Valencia is the breaking news editor for The North Star. His work as editor and reporter appeared on Newsweek, World Politics Review, Mic.com, Public Radio International and The Miami Herald, among other outlets. He’s a frequent commentator on foreign affairs and US politics on Al Jazeera English, CNN en Español, Univision, Telemundo, Voice of America, C-SPAN, Sirius XM and other media outlets across Latin America and the Caribbean.