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Biden jokes about hugs in first appearance since women complained of unwanted touches

Biden jokes about hugs in first appearance since women complained of unwanted touchesIn his first public appearance since allegations by women who say he touched them inappropriately surfaced, former Vice President Joe Biden twice made light of the claims.



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Joe Biden jokes about touching allegations at first public event, leading to criticism

Joe Biden jokes about touching allegations at first public event, leading to criticismJoe Biden spotted several children in the room and invited four of them on stage. After introducing himself, Biden joked as he draped his arm around a boy that "he gave me permission to touch him."



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Biden jokes about hugging in first speech since new accusations

Biden jokes about hugging in first speech since new accusationsDemocrat Joe Biden, who signaled Friday he was on the cusp of announcing a presidential bid, brushed off allegations of inappropriate conduct with women by joking about hugging in his first public appearance since the accusations broke. Over the past week, Biden has been accused of inappropriately touching women or making them feel uncomfortable with his affection.



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Biden jokes about accusations, targets union voters

Biden jokes about accusations, targets union votersWASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday made light of his recent controversy about crossing physical boundaries with women, and he signaled in a resolute speech to union activists that's he's ready to run for president as a moderate Democrat in party that has been drifting left.



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Amid complaints of unwanted touching, Biden jokes he got 'permission' to hug

Amid complaints of unwanted touching, Biden jokes he got 'permission' to hugBy James Oliphant WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, facing a growing swell of allegations that he has made women uncomfortable with his use of physical contact, made light of the controversy on Friday while continuing to lay the groundwork for a 2020 presidential run. Speaking to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington, Biden joked that he “had permission” to hug the union’s male president, Lonnie Stephenson. The welcoming, mostly male audience responded with laughter and cheers. …



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Amid complaints of unwanted touching, Biden jokes he got 'permission' to hug

Amid complaints of unwanted touching, Biden jokes he got 'permission' to hugBy James Oliphant WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, facing a growing swell of allegations that he has made women uncomfortable with his use of physical contact, made light of the controversy on Friday while continuing to lay the groundwork for a 2020 presidential run. Speaking to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington, Biden joked that he “had permission” to hug the union’s male president, Lonnie Stephenson. The welcoming, mostly male audience responded with laughter and cheers. …



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'He gave me permission': Joe Biden jokes about touching complaints

'He gave me permission': Joe Biden jokes about touching complaintsFormer vice-president’s comments came during first public appearance since allegations from at least seven women surfacedJoe Biden has twice made joking references to complaints from women that his physical behavior made them uncomfortable.The former vice-president’s comments on Friday came during his first public appearance since the allegations began to surface last week.Taking the stage in Washington at a gathering of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Biden was introduced by the president of the union, Lonnie Stephenson.Biden quipped: “I just want you to know – I had permission to hug Lonnie.”The crowd, which was mostly male, erupted in laughter. Later, Biden made a similar joke after inviting a group of children onstage and putting his arm round a young boy.“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” the former vice-president said, again to laughter.“Everybody knows I like kids more than people,” Biden said.Sign up for the US morning briefing Biden, who is widely expected to enter the 2020 presidential race, has faced allegations from at least seven women that they were troubled by physical interactions with him.Although he has not been accused of sexual assault or harassment, the women have said they felt Biden violated their personal space.On Wednesday, Biden pledged in a video to change his behavior.“Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying,” Biden said. “Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful of personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.”Speaking to reporters after Friday’s event, Biden was asked if he would apologize to the women directly.“I’m sorry I didn’t understand,” he said. “I’m not sorry for any of my intentions.”He added: “I literally think it is incumbent upon me and I think everybody else to make sure that if you embrace someone, if you touch someone, it’s with their consent, regardless of your intention.”The controversy began when Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman, alleged Biden put his hands on her shoulders, leaned in to smell her hair and kissed the back of her head at a political event in November 2014.Other women have shared similar accounts. Several prominent Democratic women have come to Biden’s defense, suggesting such behavior is part of his affectionate demeanor.Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 17 women, has sought to weaponize the issue.The president posted a derisive tweet featuring Biden’s apology video doctored to include an image of the former vice-president creeping up behind himself and grabbing his own shoulders.“WELCOME BACK JOE!” Trump tweeted.Biden hit back, tweeting: “I see that you are on the job and presidential.”



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Biden Jokes About Consensual Hugging in First Speech Since Creepy Touching Allegations

Biden Jokes About Consensual Hugging in First Speech Since Creepy Touching AllegationsAPIn his first public remarks since more than half a dozen women accused him of inappropriately touching them, former Vice President Joe Biden warned a raucous crowd of union workers in Washington, D.C., that their warm reception “may go to my head!”A few moments later, Biden proved himself right.Less than one minute into his speech before the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Biden joked that “I just want you to know, I had permission to hug Lonnie,” referring to union president Lonnie R. Stephenson, and making light of charges made by seven women that he touched, hugged, kissed and physically handled them in ways that made them uncomfortable.The audience of union workers, nearly entirely male, reacted to the joke with hoots, cheers, and whistles.“I don’t know, man,” Biden continued over the laughter. “Anyway.”The former vice president then continued with his address, making no further mention of the allegations against him until making another joke, this time after having approached the children of some union workers who had assembled on the podium and wrapping his arm around the neck of the boy closest to him.“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” Biden said, to further applause.Speaking to reporters after the speech’s conclusion, Biden said that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if other women came forward with allegations that he crossed a line in touching, caressing or kissing them, but suggested that the onus was on the women to make it clear before he touched them.“It is important that I and every one else is aware that any woman or man who feels uncomfortable, should have the right to say ‘I’m uncomfortable with that’ or hopefully get to the point before and say ‘I’m uncomfortable with that, no matter what.’ I really do understand it.”Biden also denied that he had joked about the issue of consensual touching in his speech.“I wasn’t joking,” Biden said. “The president of the union put his arms around me. That’s how it’s always been. That’s how people react.”Asked if he felt that he owed the women an apology, Biden initially dodged the question before allowing that while he was “sorry I didn’t understand, I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything I’ve done.”Biden’s decision to make mockery of the issue of consensual physical contact on the campaign trail—sparked by former Democratic candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor Lucy Flores, who wrote about an alleged incident in a piece for New York Magazine’s “The Cut”—is a departure from a video he released hastily on Thursday, in which he offered qualified contrition for making any women feel uncomfortable.“In my career I’ve always tried to make a human connection, that’s my responsibility,” Biden said in the video. “Whether they’re men, women, young, old—it’s the way I've always been. It’s the way I try to show I care about them and I’m listening… It’s just who I am.”Flores, of course, was not impressed with Biden’s comments Friday, tweeting: “It’s clear @JoeBiden hasn’t reflected at all on how his inappropriate and unsolicited touching made women feel uncomfortable. To make light of something as serious as consent degrades the conversation women everywhere are courageously trying to have.” Asked by The Daily Beast if this helped solidify her rationale for coming forward, Flores said: “Yes. Until his type of inappropriate behavior, which to be clear, isn’t friendly hugs, is taken seriously, women will continue to feel disempowered to speak out against inappropriate behavior.”Biden, who is approaching a potential third run for the Democratic presidential nomination, acknowledged in the video that “social norms” have changed, and that he would be more “mindful” in the future. “They’ve shifted, and the boundaries in protecting personal space have been reset. And I get it,” Biden said. “I’ll be much more mindful and will respect it.”Biden has styled himself as a champion for women’s rights, pointing to his authorship of the Violence Against Women Act, but skeptics have pointed to the charges against him, as well as his mishandling of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings, as evidence that he does not adequately understand the post-MeToo political climate.“As human beings, we all make mistakes,” said Sukari Hardnett, who Biden refused to allow to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Anita Hill, who in 1991 accused Thomas of sexual harassment. “But what’s critical is that we learn from those mistakes.”The former vice president’s nascent presidential campaign has struggled to shake the allegations, in part because there is no official campaign organization to do so. On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that some of Biden’s advisers have become convinced that the stories of women having been made to feel physically uncomfortable around the former vice president as “all coming out of Bernie World,” insinuating that Flores’ allegations were made to support the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).Sanders’ campaign fervently denied that implication.“Neither the Bernie Sanders campaign nor anyone involved in it, planted, planned, persuaded, cajoled or otherwise urged Lucy Flores or anyone else to tell their story. Full stop, period, end of sentence. I don’t want to hear it. We didn’t play a role,” Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir told The Daily Beast.—With reporting by Gideon Resnick.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here



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As Biden faces 2 more accusations of improper conduct, Trump jokes, 'You having a good time, Joe?'

As Biden faces 2 more accusations of improper conduct, Trump jokes, 'You having a good time, Joe?'Speaking Tuesday night, Trump said Biden would not pose a threat to him if he entered the 2020 presidential race.



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As Biden faces 2 more accusations of improper conduct, Trump jokes, 'You having a good time, Joe?'

As Biden faces 2 more accusations of improper conduct, Trump jokes, 'You having a good time, Joe?'Speaking Tuesday night, Trump said Biden would not pose a threat to him if he entered the 2020 presidential race.



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