Joe Biden: Activist Lucy Flores says former vice president kissed her without consent: ‘I couldn’t move or say anything’

'Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?'

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 29 March 2019 22:12 GMT
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Lucy Flores, a former member of Bernie Sanders’ political group Our Revolution and Nevada assemblywoman, has accused Joe Biden of inappropriate contact during a campaign event in 2014.

Ms Flores was running for lieutenant governor in Nevada at the time when the former vice president’s team arranged an event in which he would endorse her Democratic candidacy.

In an article published in The Cut on Friday afternoon, Ms Flores said Mr Biden “inhaled” her hair and kissed the back of her head just before she went on stage.

“I felt him get closer to me from behind,” she wrote. “He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’”

Ms Flores did not immediately respond to calls from The Independent about her views on Mr Biden possibly joining the 2020 race for the White House.

Mr Biden has previously faced backlash over seemingly awkward or inappropriate contacts with women in public settings.

In 2015, the Washington Post’s humour writer Alexandra Petri wrote an article titled “What are we going to do about Creepy Uncle Joe Biden?” which derided his physical contact with women during swearing-in ceremonies for lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The “Creepy Uncle Joe Biden” moniker has often been used to describe Mr Biden’s interactions with women by his critics and conservative opponents online.

Ms Flores addressed the nickname in her article, writing, “that in and of itself implied a certain level of acceptance.”

“After all, how many families just tolerate or keep their young children away from the creepy uncle without ever acknowledging that there should be zero tolerance for a man who persistently invades others’ personal space and makes people feel uneasy and gross?” she wrote.

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“In this case, it shows a lack of empathy for the women and young girls whose space he is invading, and ignores the power imbalance that exists between Biden and the women he chooses to get cozy with,” Ms Flores added.

The former vice president has never been publicly accused of sexual assault or misconduct. A contact for Mr Biden did not immediately respond to enquiries.

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