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Joe Biden: 'Social Norms Have Begun to Change'

The former VP explains his 'gestures of support and encouragement'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2019 4:58 PM CDT
Updated Apr 3, 2019 5:25 PM CDT
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(Newser) – Joe Biden tweeted a video Wednesday giving his side of the story—that is, reacting to accusations he gets too touchy-feely with women on the job. "Today I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I have made to women and some men and made them uncomfortable," he says in a folksy cell-phone video, per the New York Times. The former vice president adds that he likes to make "a human connection" with people: "I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, 'You can do this.'" Sitting in his Northern Virginia home, he goes on to say that "social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and I get it. I get it. I hear what they're saying."

With Biden close to announcing his presidential bid—and at least four women accusing him of inappropriate touching—friends and ex-advisers have been telling him to go beyond his recent written statement, per CNN. "Any reasonable person watching this can understand him and see how human he is," says a Democratic strategist who pressed Biden to speak up. Aides say he may also give a TV interview and will address the issue with reporters Friday at a union conference in Washington. Biden, who says he has worked his "whole life to empower women," vows to change: "I will be more mindful and respectful of people's personal space, and that's a good thing, that's a good thing." (See what President Trump has to say about Biden.)

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