The Democratic lawmaker accusing former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual misconduct revealed Sunday that “politics was definitely the impetus” for coming forward with her allegations.
“The reason why we’re having these conversations about Vice President Joe Biden is because he’s considering running for president,” former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Flores came out with her allegations against the prospective presidential candidate Friday in the New York Magazine op-ed “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.
Tapper pressed Flores on her political motivations, noting she supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders while he was running for president in 2016. Despite claiming to not endorse any candidate yet in the 2020 election cycle, she has been spotted at campaign events for former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who officially announced he would be seeking the Democratic nomination for president March 14.
“As we go through the vetting process for all of these candidates, that important aspect [of Biden’s inappropriate behavior] was being left out, and it was being dismissed, and it wasn’t being acknowledged,” Flores continued. “For me that was 1. incredibly offensive and 2. that really speaks to the fact that when behavior isn’t considered ‘serious enough’ for society, for America, it’s very easy to dismiss it.”
Flores said Biden’s behavior in 2014 did not rise to the level of sexual assault, but she said it should still disqualify him from holding political office.
“It’s completely inappropriate, that it does not belong in any kind of a professional setting, much less in politics,” she said.
Flores also contended Biden’s response to her allegations lacked empathy and compared it to how he treated Anita Hill during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.
“I think that his response to the way in which he handled the Anita Hill hearing was completely also inappropriate and lacked empathy and frankly lacked accountability,” Flores said. “Saying that he wished there was something more he could have done … you were the chair of that hearing!”
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