The former Nevada legislator who accused former vice president and potential Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE of inappropriately touching her at a 2014 campaign rally said she’d still support him if he were matched up against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.
“That’s not even a question,” Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman who unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in 2014, told CBS News. “Of course I would support Biden.”
But Flores added that she believes Biden’s actions should disqualify him from seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Flores, who supported Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) in 2016, also said that Biden’s previous “anti-abortion” stances are reasons why he shouldn’t run.
Flores said in a firsthand account last week that Biden made her uncomfortable by gripping her shoulders, smelling her hair and kissing her on the back of her head as she was getting ready to go on stage at a 2014 campaign rally for her lieutenant governor bid.
Biden has responded to the claim by saying he believes he’s never intentionally “acted inappropriately” in his “many” years in public life, while saying he would “listen respectfully” to any accusation.
“If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention,” he said in a statement, adding that “we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention.”
Flores told CBS that she felt Biden’s response wasn’t sufficient, saying that he failed to say that the behavior was inappropriate.
“I think that in terms of when he talks about his motivation etcetera we really need to also acknowledge that it’s not, it’s not about the intent, it is about the person on the receiving end of that behavior, that unwanted behavior, and the way in which it makes that person feel, especially, especially in a situation where you have that kind of a power imbalance going on,” she said.
The accusation from Flores has prompted scrutiny regarding Biden’s many public interactions with women over the years.
Bill Russo, a spokesman for Biden, in a statement on Monday pushed back forcefully at a “cottage industry of lies” he said has formed about the former vice president supposedly crossing a line between affectionate or supportive behavior with women to something inappropriate.
For example, Russo said that a photo of Biden with Stephanie Carter, who is married to former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, was repeatedly taken out of context. The photo shows Biden with his hands on Stephanie Carter’s shoulders during her husband’s 2015 swearing-in ceremony.
Stephanie Carter said the image was “misleadingly extracted” from its situation and denied that Biden made her feel uncomfortable in a Medium post on Sunday.
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