Joe Biden‘s spokesman said Friday that the former vice-president does not recall kissing a Nevada political candidate on the back of her head in 2014.
The allegation was made in a New York Magazine article written by Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state representative and the 2014 Democratic nominee for Nevada lieutenant governor.
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Flores’ claim comes as Biden, the early leader in national Democratic presidential polls, is in the final stages of deciding whether to seek the 2020 nomination. Biden has been taking steps to assemble a political team in early-voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina.
In the article published Friday, Flores wrote that she and Biden were waiting to take the stage during a rally in Las Vegas before the 2014 election.
“I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?”‘ Flores wrote.
“He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head.”
Flores said Biden’s behaviour “made me feel uneasy, gross, and confused,” adding, “Even if his behaviour wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful.”
Biden spokesman Bill Russo said in a statement Friday, “Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes.”
Russo said Biden “believes Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it’s a change for the better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so.”