AOC Refuses To Condemn Touchy-Feely Biden: ‘It’s Not About Right Or Wrong’
Eight women came forward earlier this year to accuse former vice president Joe Biden of unwanted touching, but newcomer Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is barely concerned about the accusations.
“I don’t think voters think he’s necessarily guilty of sexual misconduct or anything like that,” she said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
The former bartender said Creepy Joe’s behavior — and the reaction to it of late — is part of the “cultural evolution we’re having as a country.”
“People tend to interpret these situations as one way or another — is he a bad person or is he a good person? I don’t think it’s about that,” she said. “It’s not about right and wrong sometimes, it’s just about whether feeling like someone gets it or not.”
"I do think that there may be some discomfort," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells @jonkarl when asked if she thinks Joe Biden gets the allegations of inappropriate touching against him
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 16, 2019
AOC was also asked if Democrats “gave Bill Clinton a pass over his treatment of women” in the 1990s. She answered: “Probably,” but then shifted the topic to her efforts to increase pay for women.
“I wouldn’t look at this through a partisan lens, I think this is part of the evolution we’ve been having as a country,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC hos Jonathan Karl.
Biden was back in the news last week when he met an Iowa voter’s granddaughter some advice. The Boston Globe reported that he asked her age, then — after she said 13 — turned to her brothers and said, “You’ve got one job here, keep the guys away from your sister.”
Joe Biden meets a voter’s granddaughter in an Iowa coffee shop and asks her age. She says she’s 13. He addresses her brothers. “You’ve got one job here, keep the guys away from your sister.”
— Liz Goodwin (@lizcgoodwin) June 12, 2019
“I do think there may be some discomfort,” Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged. “I think there may be some things with females that are just not quite locked down.”
Lucy Flores, a Democrat and former Nevada assemblywoman who ran for lieutenant governor in 2014, in April accused Biden of inappropriately touching her during a campaign rally, saying she felt uncomfortable and demeaned by his touching. She said Biden grabbed her shoulders from behind, leaned in close and smelled her hair, then kissed her head without permission.
After staying silent for more than a week, Biden put out a video on Twitter in which he explained his touchy-feely “expressions of affection,” but did not apologize. A few days later, delivering a speech at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Biden hugged union president Lonnie Stephenson, then joked: “I just want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie.”
Numerous women said Biden did the same thing to them. Amy Lappos told The Hartford Courant that “Biden touched her inappropriately and rubbed noses with her during a 2009 political fundraiser in Greenwich when he was vice president.”
“He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth,” she told the paper.
A few days later, two more women came forward. “Caitlyn Caruso, a former college student and sexual assault survivor, said Mr. Biden rested his hand on her thigh — even as she squirmed in her seat to show her discomfort — and hugged her ‘just a little bit too long’ at an event on sexual assault at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She was 19,” The New York Times reported.
Biden has defended his actions as “expressions of affection,” saying he didn’t believe he “acted inappropriately.”
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully,” he said in a statement.
“But it was never my intention. I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”
In his later Twitter video, he explained — but did not apologize for — his touchy-feely ways in the past. “Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset, and I get it,” Biden said. “I hear what they’re saying. I understand it. I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility, and I’ll meet it.”