More trouble for Joe Biden: A second woman has come forward to say the former vice president touched her inappropriately. Connecticut's Amy Lappos tells the Hartford Courant that Biden made her feel extremely uncomfortable at a 2009 fundraiser for Rep. Jim Himes. "It wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head," she says. "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." Lappos, who was an aide to Himes at the time, says she didn't complain at the time "because he was the vice president. I was a nobody." More:
- "Disgusting" statement. Lappos said in a statement Monday that she decided to speak out because of the "ridiculously dismissive" way that Democrats responded to former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores' allegation of inappropriate conduct from Biden at a 2014 event, the Washington Post reports. "Biden’s statement in response to Lucy’s article was not only disturbing, it was disgusting," Lappos said. "I stand by Lucy and any woman with the courage to come forward regarding inappropriate behavior by men."
- Pelosi's view. Biden's potential 2020 rivals didn't speak out in his defense after the allegations first surfaced, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday night that he shouldn't give up on running, AP reports. "I don't think that this disqualifies him from running for president, not at all," said Pelosi, who has been a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement.
- No new statement. There was no new statement from Biden in response to Lappos' allegation, though a spokeswoman offered his Sunday statement that he does not believe he ever acted inappropriately, but "will listen respectfully" to those who say otherwise.
- Biden "smeared." Biden spokesman Bill Russo said earlier Monday that photos being circulated online of Biden allegedly inappropriately touching women and children are "smears and forgeries," Axios reports. He said some, like a photo of Biden with his hands on the shoulders of Stephanie Carter, were taken out of context, while others were Photoshopped. "These smears and forgeries have existed in the dark recesses of the internet for a while," Russo said. "And to this day, right wing trolls and (others) continue to exploit them for their own gain."
- "Always a champion for women." Former Biden press secretary Elizabeth Alexander praises him as "always a champion for women and equality" in a USA Today op-ed. She says Biden strongly valued female staffers, taking the rare step of paying them through their entire maternity leaves, and she knows he would feel "horrible" if "he ever made anyone feel anything less than completely supported or empowered."
- A generational divide? The reaction to the Biden accusations has highlighted "generational differences," with older Democrats likening him to a "friendly grandpa" and younger ones to a "creepy uncle," reports Politico. Democratic operative Alyssa Miller-Hurley says that while a lot of people, including her, love Biden, the stories about the 76-year-old's behavior are drawing attention to his age and the generational divide.
- "Not his time." Biden was probably "more oblivious than predatory," but he is still "out of step with the mores of an increasingly progressive Democratic Party," Michelle Goldberg writes in a New York Times op-ed. "No one should judge the whole span of Biden’s career by the standards of 2019, but if he’s going to run for president, it’s fair to ask whether he’s the right leader for this moment," she writes. "He is a product of his time, but that time is up."
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