Former Nevada assemblywoman Lucy Flores said Sunday that she stepped forward with her kissing allegation against Joe Biden because he was considering a run for the presidency. State of the Union host Jake Tapper had brought up that she acknowledged in her article from The Cut that critics might suggest she was politically motivated to make this claim about the former vice president, and he asked how she might respond to them. Here’s how she answered.
“I would say politics was definitely the impetus,” she said. “The reason why we’re having these conversations about Vice President Joe Biden is because he’s considering running for president.”
Biden smelled her hair and planted a “big slow kiss on the back of my head” during a political event in 2014 when she was running for lieutenant governor in Nevada, she wrote in the article published Friday by The Cut. Flores said, however, that this didn’t rise to the level of a sexual assault.
The former vice president is considering a run for the presidency, but would be one in a crowded field of Democrats. Flores supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, and attended a Beto O’Rourke rally on Saturday. She told CNN that she hasn’t endorsed anyone for the 2020 race.
I appreciate the convo w/ @jaketapper this AM. I would add for those asking, “why didn’t u say something immediately or sooner?” Have u seen my mentions, lately?? 👀 #sillyquestion https://t.co/E4qHv3lvYZ
— Lucy Flores (@LucyFlores) March 31, 2019
The former vice president and his spokespeople are in damage control.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expression of affection, support and comfort,” he wrote. “And not once–never–did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
— Bill Russo (@BillR) March 31, 2019
“I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear,” he wrote. “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.”
Biden has a reputation for being handsy with women. It’s pretty easy to find pictures and video of him getting close and physical in professional settings. Flores argued Sunday that this was being left out of the discussion over whether he should be president.
[Screengrab via CNN]