- Former Georgia gubernational candidate Stacey Abrams defended Joe Biden on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in light of allegations that the former Vice President inappropriately touched women.
- “The responsibility of leaders is to not be perfect but to be accountable, to say, ‘I’ve made a mistake. I understand it and here’s what I’m going to do to reform as I move forward,’ ” Abrams said. “And I think we see Joe Biden doing that.”
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Former Georgia gubernational candidate Stacey Abrams came to Joe Biden’s defence on Thursday, telling MSNBC that “we cannot have perfection as a litmus test,” in response to allegations that the former Vice President inappropriately touched women.
Lucy Flores, a Democratic politician in Nevada, first alleged last week in a New York Magazine piece that Biden smelled her hair and inappropriately kissed her neck during a campaign event in 2014. Since then, six other women have come forward describing situations in which Biden made them feel uncomfortable.
In response to the allegations, Biden took to Twitter on Wednesday in a more than two-minute video to acknowledge that “social norms have begun to change” and that he would alter his behaviour to respect others.
“The boundaries of producing 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,” he said in the video. “That’s my responsibility. My responsibility, and I’ll meet it.”
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Abrams said that she believes Biden has shown remorse for his actions and will be more aware moving forward.
“The responsibility of leaders is to not be perfect but to be accountable, to say, ‘I’ve made a mistake. I understand it and here’s what I’m going to do to reform as I move forward,’ ” Abrams said. “And I think we see Joe Biden doing that.”
Other Democratic politicians have come out in support of Biden. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the incident should not disqualify him from seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020, and former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told CBS News that his apology was “a step in the right direction.” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also said the recent allegations are “not disqualifying” for the 2020 election.
While Biden has yet to officially throw his hat in the ring for the 2020 Democratic nomination, the recent allegations have raised questions about his overly touchy-feely interactions with women.
“I think the vice president has acknowledged the discomfort that he’s caused. He’s created context for why that is his behaviour and he has affirmed that he will do something different going forward,” Abrams told MSNBC. “We have to as a people be ready to forgive, but forgiveness does not mean you accept it unless what you see is accountability and an attempt at reformation so that more people can feel included and believe that their needs will be met.”
On Friday afternoon, Biden appeared at theInternational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) construction and maintenance conference in Washington D.C., and appeared to joke about the incidents.
“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” he said of shaking the hand of a small child who came up on stage to meet him.
- Read more:
- Joe Biden jokes about getting permission to hug and touch people at his first public event since 7 women alleged he touched them inappropriately
- Former Defence Secretary’s wife says photo of her with Joe Biden was misinterpreted: ‘as the sole owner of my story, it is high time that I reclaim it’
- Trump mocked Joe Biden’s apology for inappropriately touching women with a ridiculously edited video
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