Joe Biden pledges to respect women's 'personal space'

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards on March 26 in New York

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards on March 26 in New York. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Biden then pivots to newer social norms and makes a promise to be more aware of his own actions in the future: "the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset".

In his video, Biden appeared to try to downplay the claims made against him, saying that he makes "gestures of support and encouragement" to "women and some men".

Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide to Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., also came forward Monday with allegations of unwanted touching against the former vice president, claiming Biden touched her inappropriately and rubbed noses with her while at a political fundraiser in CT in 2009. And I get it, I get it.

"I've worked my whole life to empower women", Biden said.

His statement follows accusations against him of unwelcome touching from four women in recent days. I understand. And I'll be much more mindful. "I think whatever he did, it may have been inappropriate, but it was not driven by malice or misconduct".

Trump's willingness to engage with Biden on the issue nonetheless signals how Republicans will seek to weaponize the allegations, should the former vice-president enter the 2020 Democratic field, in the era of the #MeToo movement.

"The idea that I can't adjust to the fact that personal space is important, more important than it's ever been, is just not thinkable", he said in closing.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden is acknowledging his past behaviour with women has made some people uncomfortable following complaints over the past week that he touched some without their consent.

"Whether they're woman, men, young, old, it's the way I've always been", he said. "It's the way I've tried to show I care about them and I listen".

Former Nevada assemblywoman Lucy Flores claimed Biden put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair and kissed her on the head at a 2014 campaign rally supporting her bid for lieutenant governor in an op-ed published Friday.

"I felt like Joe Biden".

The reaction among Democrats has been mixed. But he said in a statement Sunday that he never believed he acted inappropriately.

A pro-Trump group released a minute-long advertisement titled "Creepy Joe Biden", featuring audio of Flores detailing her encounter and flashing images of Biden that include those disputed by the women in them.

Republicans have meanwhile seized on the allegations in an attempt to disqualify Biden before he formally launches what is expected to be his third run for the presidency. "What example will we set for them?" the narrator says.

"I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say 'you can do this, '" he said.

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