More Democrats are weighing in on allegations that former Vice President Joe Biden inappropriately kissed the back of a former Nevada state assemblywoman’s head and made her feel uncomfortable in 2014.
While Democrats are calling on Biden to directly address the allegations, they have so far withheld from saying he should not run for president in 2020, an endeavor he is currently considering and mulling over with advisers.
First to address the controversy was Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who said Biden “needs to give an answer” for the accusations made by Flores, who at the time was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Nevada.
Warren said “I believe Lucy Flores,” but stopped short of saying Biden should not run for president, instead leaving that decision up to him.
In addition to Warren, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro chimed in on Biden’s predicament on Saturday, talking to reporters at a campaign stop in Iowa.
“I believe Lucy Flores,” Castro said echoing Warren’s response. “I believe that the vice president put a statement out today and we need to live in a nation where people can hear our truth.”
Regarding whether Biden should have second thoughts about running for president, Castro added, “He’s going to decide whether he’s going to run or not and then the American people — if he does — decide whether they support him or not.”
Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, the first Democrat to jump into the 2020 race, said he was not caught up on the details of the accusations due to his busy schedule, but has “no reason to doubt” Flores’ claims.
Biden spokesman Bill Russo issued a statement on the allegations Friday night, empathizing with Flores’ claims but noting they were never made aware of her feelings until the story came out.
“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. “But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so. He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best.”