Former US Vice President Joe Biden (File poto)
Former US Vice President Joe Biden (File poto)

Joe Biden jokes about physical contact at first public address after sexual misconduct allegations

ANI | Updated: Apr 06, 2019 01:35 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 6 (ANI): In his first public address since facing sexual misconduct allegations, former US vice president Joe Biden on Friday joked about physical contact and hugging people "with consent." 
Biden, while addressing the gathering at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers conference here, brushed aside the allegations saying he was "not sorry" as he had not been "disrespectfulintentionally to a man or a woman."
"I’m sorry I didn’t understand more. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I’ve never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman,” New York Times quoted Biden, as saying.
After taking the stage, Biden hugged Lonnie R. Stephenson, the union’s president. “I just want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie,” he said, leaving the crowd in splits. 
Biden then invited a few children onstage who were present among the audience. He hugged a young boy and said, “By the way, he gave me permission to touch him.”
“Everyone knows I like kids more than people,” he added.
The controversy over Biden’s sexual misconduct began after a former Nevada assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, told CNN he made her feel "uneasy, gross and confused" when he came up from behind and kissed the back of her head in 2014.
In an online video, the 76-year old former vice president on Wednesday justified his approach of “connecting” to people by saying, “I've never thought of politics as cold and antiseptic. I've always thought it about connecting with people, as I said, shaking hands, hands on the shoulder, a hug, encouragement, and now, it's all about taking selfies together. You know, 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."
Biden described himself as a “tactile politician” who tries to comfort people with "hugs, kisses and touches on the shoulder when they appear nervous or upset."
However, Biden promised to “be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space” in the future. 
On Thursday, President Donald Trump mocked Biden over the allegations by tweeting a 15-second video that mocked Mr. Biden, accompanied by the text “WELCOME BACK JOE!”
Biden served as the US vice president from 2009 to 2017. (ANI)