Published: Thu, April 04, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Joe Biden pledges to respect women's 'personal space'

Joe Biden pledges to respect women's 'personal space'

"Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future".

"Social norms have become to change, they've shifted. That's my responsibility, my responsibility, and I'll meet it", Biden said. "I get it. I hear what they're saying and I understand it", the former vice president also says in the video.

Joe Biden has pledged to be "more mindful" about physical contact with women, hoping draw a line under a controversy that has cast a cloud over his expected White House bid.

In recent days, four women have said Biden made them feel uncomfortable when he touched them at political events in past years.

He did not directly apologise, but seemed to be seeking to ease some people's discomfort over the "gestures of support and encouragement" he had made to "women and some men".

Since then at least three other women have come forward saying they were made uncomfortable by Biden's physical contact with them.

This week a second woman, Amy Lappos, said Mr Biden had rubbed noses with her at a fundraiser in 2009.

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"I was going to call him".

Biden, who has topped polls of likely Democratic challengers to Trump in 2020, has previously taken the president to task for his comments about women.

Late last week, former Nevada politician Lucy Flores wrote that Biden had grabbed her shoulders, smelled her hair and kissed her on the back of her head at a campaign event in 2014.

"I've never thought of politics as cold and antiseptic", he said in the clip, which ran just over two minutes.

"I will be more mindful and respectful of people's personal space, and that's a good thing, that's a good thing", he said. But when he says that he has used his "whole life to empower women" and to "prevent abuse", as he did in Wednesday's peculiar video, he must understand that his profoundly mixed record on women's rights and gender equality will be viewed through a 2020 lens.

"In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort", Biden's statement said.

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2019.

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