Some Democratic presidential candidates are expressing support for the Nevada political candidate who alleged former Vice President Joe Biden kissed her on the back of her head in 2014. But they are not saying it disqualifies Biden from joining the race.
Speaking to reporters in Iowa, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro said they believed Lucy Flores, who wrote in a magazine article that she felt uncomfortable with her interactions with Biden.
But asked whether Biden should opt out of a presidential run, both said it’s up to him to make that decision.
Lucy Flores, the former Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Nevada, made the allegations against Biden in an essay for The Cut, an arm of New York magazine, writing that Biden made her feel “uneasy, gross, and confused” in 2014 when, at a campaign rally in Nevada, she said he kissed her on the back of the head. Biden does not recall any impropriety, a spokesman said.
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified,” Flores wrote, adding that she wondered why the then-vice president had come that close to her. “He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
Asked by a reporter if the allegations should bar the Biden from entering the 2020 Democratic race, Warren responded, “that’s for Joe Biden to decide.”
Pushed further if it disqualifies any male candidate accused of inappropriate behavior from running, Warren said the final decision will be up to the voters.
“That is their decision whether or not to run, and it’ll be up to Democratic voters whether or not to support someone. That’s the process.”
Biden spokesman Bill Russo said in a statement that the former vice president does not remember kissing Flores but believes she “has every right to share her own recollection and reflections.”