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Ex-Lawmaker: Biden's Actions During Rally 'Mortified' Me

Lucy Flores says ex-VP put hands on her shoulders, kissed her head at 2014 event in Nev.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2019 7:00 AM CDT
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards on Tuesday in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(Newser) – In 2014, then-Vice President Joe Biden helped Lucy Flores campaign in Nevada for a shot at becoming the state's lieutenant governor. But something Flores says happened between the two at a Nov. 1 campaign rally that year left Flores feeling "embarrassed," "shocked," and "confused," and now she's speaking up about it. Writing in the Cut, Flores, who was a state assemblywoman for four years, writes that while she was on the side of the event stage, prepping to make her speech, "I felt two hands on my shoulders." She notes that while she remained frozen and "mortified," Biden "leaned further in and inhaled my hair," then "proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head." "I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me," she writes. "My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience."

Politico, which notes Biden's "reputation for overly familiar physical contact with women"—including whispering in their ears and touching their faces, per Vox—has a statement from Biden rep Bill Russo, who says neither the ex-VP nor his staff had "an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes." Still, Russo adds, "Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so." Flores tells the Daily Beast she believes Biden wouldn't remember that incident, as "he is so used to behaving in that way that it is no big deal." She adds in the Cut that while she's not saying Biden broke any laws, "the transgressions that society deems minor (or doesn't even see as transgressions) often feel considerable to the person on the receiving end. That imbalance of power and attention is the whole point—and the whole problem." (Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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