Lucy Flores, the former Nevada lawmaker who accused Joe Biden of inappropriately touching and kissing her, said Sunday she was happy the former Vice President is willing to “listen” but that misses the point – she wants him to admit the behavior was wrong.
“I’m glad that he’s willing to listen. I’m glad he is clarifying his intentions. Frankly, my point was never about his intentions, and they shouldn’t be about his intentions. It should be about the women on the receiving end of that behavior,” Flores told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Flores said Biden’s comments in a statement released Sunday don’t go nearly far enough.
“Of course I want him to change his behavior. And I want him to acknowledge that it was wrong,” she added on CNN. “And I want this to be a bigger discussion about how there is no accountability structure within our political space.”
Biden’s spokesman Bill Russo released a new statement Sunday on Twitter saying the likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said he doesn’t recall the 2014 incident the same way as Flores.
“And not once – never – did I believe I acted inappropriately. It is suggested I do so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention,” the statement said.
Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman, said she came forward because Biden has a history of touching women inappropriately.
“Part of the reason why I decided to finally say something is because those behaviors were not being taken very seriously. They were not being considered from the woman on the other side of that power dynamic,” she said on CNN. “I just can’t imagine that there was never a situation where someone said to him, ‘Mr. Vice President, you probably should stop doing that.’”
Flores said Biden’s alleged behavior disqualifies him as a candidate.
“Never do I claim that it rises to the level of a sexual assault or anything of that nature. What I am saying is that it’s completely inappropriate, that it does not belong in any kind of a professional setting, much less in politics,” she said.
During her appearance on CNN, Flores recounted the details she initially wrote about in an article in New York Magazine on Friday.
Flores, then a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Nevada, was backstage at a campaign rally preparing to deliver a speech when she said Biden stepped up behind her.
“Very unexpectedly and out of nowhere, I feel Joe Biden put his hands on my shoulders, get up very close to me from behind, lean in, smell my hair and then plant a slow kiss on the top of my head,” she said.
Flores said she was shocked because she wasn’t expecting that level of intimacy from “someone so powerful and someone who you just have no relationship whatsoever to touch you and to feel you and to be so close to you in that way.”
“So I frankly just didn’t even know how to react. I was just shocked. I felt powerless. I felt like I couldn’t move,” Flores said on CNN. “I just didn’t even know how to process it.”