House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) voiced her support for former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday, telling reporters that she does not think the two allegations of inappropriate touching against him should disqualify him from the presidency.
“I don’t think that this disqualifies him from being President,” she said per the Hill. “Not at all.”
She elaborated Tuesday morning during a Politico Playbook interview.
“It’s not about what you intended, it’s how it was received,” she said. “It comes down to communication — to say ‘I’m sorry you were offended’ is not an apology. It’s ‘I’m sorry I invaded your space,’ not ‘I’m sorry you were offended.'”
She added that she thinks Biden is a very lovely and affectionate man, beloved by her grandchildren, who just needs to realize that “in the world we’re in now, people’s space is important to them.”
Lucy Flores, former Lt. Gov. nominee in Nevada, said that Biden kissed the back of her head at a campaign event in 2014. Former congressional aide Amy Lappos said that Biden grabbed her head and rubbed her nose at a fundraiser in 2009.
Biden has said that he didn’t realize he had acted inappropriately, but that he would “listen respectfully” to any women who disagreed. His spokesperson accused “right wing trolls” of weaponizing “smears and forgeries” to bring down the possible 2020 contender.
Stephanie Carter, wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, wrote a blog post Monday to dispel insinuations that a picture of Biden with his hands on her shoulders was further proof of his lascivious behavior, saying that he was being a friend in a moment of comfort.