Joe Biden accused of touching and kissing former Nevada politician's head during 2014 campaign
Former Nevada politician Lucy Flores has finally come forward with her story saying former Vice President Joe Biden kissed her on the back of her head without her consent
A former politician from Nevada has opened up about the time she felt uncomfortable when former Vice President Joe Biden forcibly kissed her while supporting her campaign back in 2014.
Lucy Flores, who ran for lieutenant governor in Nevada in 2014 as the Democratic nominee, confessed in a bombshell essay that Biden made her feel "gross and confused" as they worked together during her campaign, according to a Daily Mail report.
During a campaign rally on November 1, 2014, Biden, then 72 years old, allegedly grabbed her by the shoulders from behind and gave a "big slow kiss" on the back of her head.
In a personal essay for The Cut, Flores wrote: "Biden was the second-most powerful man in the country and, arguably, one of the most powerful men in the world. He was there to promote me as the right person for the lieutenant governor job."
According to her, Biden approached her moments before she went on stage to speak and gave her a rather perverse, unwarranted kiss.
"I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?" Flores recalled.
"I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, 'I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it'. And also, 'what in the actual f**k?'"
"He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused," she added.
To put into words her feeling of shock and immobility, Flores used a Spanish phrase — tragame tierra — meaning "earth, swallow me whole."
"I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me. My name was called and I was never happier to get on stage in front of an audience," she said.
While she didn't describe the creepy contact as overtly sexual nor violent, she thought it was "demeaning and disrespectful." Flores claimed she was used to feeling uncomfortable being a Latina woman working in the male-dominated field of politics. However, this awkward gesture crossed the line for her.
"I had never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before," she said. "The vice-president of the United States of America had just touched me in an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners — and I felt powerless to do anything about it."
After the incident, Flores said she did "what most women do" and moved on with her life, choosing not to report it as it didn't amount to sexual assault. In response to Flores' confession, Joe Biden's spokesman said he doesn't remember kissing a Nevada lieutenant—governor hopeful back in 2014.
"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," spokesman Bill Russo said in a statement on Friday.
Russo added that Biden "believes Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it's a change for the better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so."
This is not the first time Biden is accused of crossing the line with women. He's been caught in the past nuzzling the neck of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s wife, kissing Sen. Chuck Grassley’s wife on the lips, and getting too close to female constituents. Furthermore, several instances of Biden's misconduct with women, as well as children, have been recorded and distributed across the internet, notoriously earning him the moniker "Creepy Uncle Joe".
"And yet despite the steady stream of pictures and the occasional article, Biden retained his title of America’s Favorite Uncle," Flores said.
While Flores admitted she was fearful of coming forward with her story initially, she decided it was time to speak out after speculations of Biden's potential candidacy for POTUS.
"For years I feared my experience would be dismissed. Biden will be Biden. Boys will be boys. I worried about the doubts, the threats, the insults, and the minimization," she noted. "But hearing Biden’s potential candidacy for president discussed without much talk about his troubling past as it relates to women became too much to keep bottled up any longer."
"I’m not suggesting that Biden broke any laws, but the transgressions that society deems minor (or doesn’t even see as transgressions) often feel considerable to the person on the receiving end. That imbalance of power and attention is the whole point — and the whole problem," Flores said.