Nancy Pelosi Offers Advice to Joe Biden

Speaker says he should join the 'straight-arm club' and shake hands instead of hug
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2019 10:55 AM CDT
Nancy Pelosi Offers Advice to Joe Biden
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a file photo.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Nancy Pelosi doesn't think Joe Biden's new controversy should keep him out of the 2020 race. "I don't think it's disqualifying," she told reporters Tuesday, reports Politico. But the House speaker, a strong backer of the #MeToo movement, passed along some related advice to Biden amid accusations from women that he's been way too touchy-feely. Stick to shaking hands, she suggested. "I'm a member of the straight-arm club," she said, reaching out her own by example, per the Washington Post. "I just pretend you have a cold, and I have a cold." She said she's known Biden for years and that he's naturally affectionate—"to children, to senior citizens, to everyone, that's just the way he is."

But she wasn't letting him entirely off the hook. "He doesn't understand—he has to understand—in the world that we're in now that people's space is important to them," she said, "and what's important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it." She also faulted his reaction to the accusations. Saying, essentially, "I'm sorry you were offended" doesn't cut it, says Pelosi, per the Hill. "That's not accepting the fact that people think differently about communication, whether it's a handshake or a hug." To Biden then, her takeaway advice is simple: "Join the straight-arm club with me." (More Joe Biden stories.)

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