Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin revealed Sunday that he does not believe one allegation of sexual misconduct is enough to prevent former Vice President Joe Biden from running for president in 2020.
“Certainly one allegation is not disqualifying, but should be taken seriously,” Durbin replied when Chuck Todd asked on “Meet the Press” if former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores’s claim against Biden was enough to derail his candidacy.
Flores came out with her allegations against the prospective presidential candidate Friday in the New York Magazine op-ed titled “An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden.” She claimed Biden, who was campaigning for Flores at the time, kissed her and smelled her hair without consent.
“Joe Biden is a friend and a seasoned veteran when it comes to political campaigns — I know nothing about the allegations, that I also read this morning as well,” Durbin said. “I think all of us should take each allegation seriously and with respect.” (RELATED: Biden’s Accuser Says Politics Was The ‘Impetus’ For Coming Forward)
“I took Joe Biden’s statement to say just that exactly,” he noted, referencing the following statement from Biden’s spokesperson that was included in the article:
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. But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it 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.
“Yes, I think he’s ready if that’s his decision to move forward in this presidential campaign,” Durbin continued. “We have a spirited field of 15 or 16 candidates across the spectrum in the Democratic Party and its values.”
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