Joe Biden was last week accused of kissing the back of Nevada Democratic candidate Lucy Flores at an event in 2014, and campaign volunteer Amy Lapos claimed the former US Vice-President rubbed nose with her at another event in 2009. Mr Biden addressed the accusations in a video he shared on his personal Twitter account, insisting he had not intended the gesture to be sexual but rather he sought to transmit a sense of support to the women. The US politician said: “I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I have made to women, and some men, that made them uncomfortable.
“In my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I help people, I grab men and women by the shoulder and say ‘you can do this’ – whether they are men, women, young, old.
“It’s the way I’ve always been and it’s the way I’ve always tried to show I care about them and I’m listening.”
Mr Biden pledged to be “more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space” but reiterated he will continue to “connect with people” he meets or works with.
The video sparked a frenzy on social media, with some social media users suggesting the decision to publicly address the claims was part of a strategy for the upcoming launch of Mr Biden’s bid for the Democratic primary ahead of the 2020 US elections against sitting President Donald Trump.
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Fox News reporter Brett Baier re-shared the video with a comment: “Biden video tweet addressing the accusations and the moment. Sounds like setting the groundwork for a bigger announcement soon.”
One member of the public wrote on Twitter: “While I don’t think you did anything wrong, I think this video proves that you really are what is best for the country. You listen, you learn, you try your best to unite people. That is what I love about you, sir. Now, do us all a favour, please? Announce already.”
Another user said: “Run VP Biden. Run. He knows how to campaign and win those rust belt voters. Comes right out of Scranton, PA.”
In a speech to a fundraising dinner for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Donald Trump twice alluded to the claims, which are hanging over Mr Biden as he weighs up whether to throw his hat in the ring for next year’s showdown.
The US President told the dinner, which raised £17.4million ($23million) for Republicans running for the House of Representatives, a story about wanting to kiss a general he met in Iraq who had promised an expedient end to a campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria.
He joked: “I said, ‘General: come here and give me a kiss.’ I felt like Joe Biden.”
Earlier, he told the crowd – which was dotted with members of the House – they would be “going into the war with some socialists” in the next election.
Mr Trump added: “I was going to call him – I don’t know him well – I was going to say, ‘Welcome to the world, Joe. You having a good time, Joe? You having a good time?”
Donald Trump is hoping to quash the growing Democratic bulwark by keeping his place in office but there are a number of undetermined factors which make forecasting the results of the election extremely difficult.
The first is a Democratic candidate and the second is reliable data.
So far, 12 senior Democrats have thrown their hat into the ring hoping to take up opposition against President Trump, and they are competing amongst each other.