WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Joe Biden’s sometimes too-affectionate politicking style is not disqualifying for a presidential bid but she has some advice for the former vice president and potential candidate: “Join the straight-arm club.”
In other words, keep your handshakes at arms’ length and don’t be touchy-feely.
Pelosi told a breakfast-hour crowd at a Politico event in Washington that Biden “has to understand that in the world we are in now people’s space is important to them.”
Pelosi also suggested that Biden’s apologies could have been better, telling the group that “what’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it.”
Biden has been accused of being overly familiar in his dealings with women – rubbing women’s shoulders in public, kissing the back of one woman’s head, and rubbing noses with another – but not of assault or harassment.
Biden spokesman Bill Russo blasted “right-wing trolls” for conflating images of Biden embracing colleagues and friends in his official capacity during swearing-in ceremonies with uninvited touching.
The move Monday came on a day when a second woman said Biden had acted inappropriately, touching her face with both hands and rubbing noses with her in 2009. The allegation by Amy Lappos, former aide to Democratic Rep. Jim Hines of Connecticut, followed a magazine essay by former Nevada politician Lucy Flores, who says Biden kissed her on the back of the head in 2014.
The developments underscored the challenge facing Biden should he run for president in 2020.
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