Joe Biden met a 13-year-old girl before a campaign event and told her brothers to 'keep the guys away from her'

Getty Images/Sean RayfordDemocratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
  • After meeting the 13-year-old granddaughter of an Iowa voter on Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden turned to her brothers and said, “You’ve got one job here, keep the guys away from her.”
  • The interaction raised some eyebrows and added to a growing list of awkward encounters the 2020 front-runner has had with women both on and off the campaign trail.
  • Biden has also been accused by four women of inappropriately touching them or invading their personal space.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the 2020 Democratic front-runner, raised some eyebrows over an interaction he had with an Iowa voter’s granddaughter before a campaign event on Wednesday.

The Boston Globe reported that Biden met the voter at a coffee shop before the event. When Biden met the voter’s granddaughter, he asked her age. After she replied that she was 13 years old, Biden turned to her brothers and said, “You’ve got one job here, keep the guys away from your sister.”

Read more: Joe Biden told a 10-year-old she’s ‘good-looking’ and touched her shoulders a month after vowing to respect women’s space

The interaction adds to a growing list of encounters Biden has had with women and girls on the campaign trail, many of which made headlines in the wake of multiple accusations that he inappropriately touched women or invaded their personal space before launching his campaign.

Earlier this month, during a campaign event in New Hampshire, the former vice president repeated a joke about touching women after a female supporter leaned in to whisper into his ear.

“I want the press to know, she pulled me close,” Biden said, as the crowd – older and almost entirely white – laughed and applauded. The comment drew immediate backlash from feminists and left-leaning progressives, many of whom took issue with Biden’s cavalier attitude toward the allegations against him in lieu of a direct apology.

Read more: Joe Biden keeps joking about touching women on the campaign trail, and audiences are laughing about it

And last month, Biden was criticised for telling a 10-year-old girl, Vivi, she’s “good-looking” and placing his hands on her shoulders.

At a rally for his 2020 campaign in Houston in May, the girl asked Biden a question about the divided state of the country, The New York Times reported.

Biden in response touched on the nation’s immigrant heritage before saying, “I’ll bet you’re as bright as you are good-looking.”

The girl then told the former vice president her favourite subject is journalism, and he took her to the back of the room to the press area and placed his hands on her shoulders at one point.

The girl’s teacher, Lucia Moreno, released a statement after receiving several calls about the moment and said the girl’s mother said “she would treasure the experience of her daughter meeting a politician who believes in family values and understands the experiences of immigrants.”

“Today, when we returned to the classroom, Vivi was equally proud of the moment and excited to tell the entire school about the learning experience she had,” the statement added.

John Haltiwanger contributed to this report.

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