NEWS
05/06/2019 8:04 AM IST

Joe Biden Jokes About Inappropriately Touching Women — Again

At several 2020 events, the former vice president has turned allegations from multiple women that he invaded their personal space into a punchline.

Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to make a punchline out of allegations that he has a history of inappropriately touching women and invading their personal space.

“I want the press to know, she pulled me close,” the 2020 presidential candidate said Tuesday at a town hall event in Berlin, New Hampshire, referring to a woman at the event who whispered something in his ear after he handed her a chair.

The crowd laughed and applauded in response.

Earlier this year, multiple women alleged that Biden had inappropriately touched or kissed them and invaded their personal space during public events.

Biden defended his behavior as part of his style of campaigning. While pledging to learn from his conduct, he stopped short of issuing a formal apology on several occasions.

One of those times was at a union event on the eve of his campaign launch in April, when he twice joked about the accusations.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden brings a chair over for a woman in the audience during a campaign event on Tuesday in Berlin, New Hampshire.

“I just want you to know, I had permission to hug Lonnie,” Biden told the crowd, referring to Lonnie Stephenson, who introduced him at the event.

Later during the event, he invited a group of kids to appear with him onstage, shaking their hands and putting his arm around one boy’s shoulders.

“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” Biden said.

Asked about the accusations following the event, Biden told reporters he was “sorry I didn’t understand more,” before adding that “I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I’ve never been disrespectful, intentionally, to a man or a woman.”

Biden, whose behavior renewed attention on his mixed record on women’s rights, also failed on several occasions to issue a direct apology to law professor Anita Hill for his role in the shambolic 1991 Senate hearing on her sexual harassment allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.