Joe Biden remained determined Tuesday to run for president, despite allegations that he improperly touched two women — while even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the ex-veep to keep his mitts to himself.
Biden and his top advisers have been telling backers — especially donors — that he was still expected to enter the presidential race after Easter, The Hill reported.
“He’s taking this all very seriously and is still committed to running,” one player on Team Biden told the newspaper’s Web site, adding that Biden still believes he is the best person to defeat President Trump in 2020.
Bill Russo, Biden’s spokesman, responded, “No comment from me,” when The Post asked if the report was accurate.
Pelosi, meanwhile, said the claims of inappropriate touching should lead Biden to keep women at a safe distance.
“I’m a member of the straight-arm club. I just pretend that you have a cold and I have a cold. Join the straight-arm club with me, if you will,” Pelosi told Politico.
“I don’t think it’s disqualifying. [But] he has to understand in the world that we’re in now that people’s space is important to them, and what’s important is how they receive it and not necessarily how you intended it,” she said, referring to the #MeToo movement.
She urged Biden to give people space — especially women.
The veteran Democratic lawmaker said she has known Biden for a long time and noted that he was an “affectionate person — to children, to senior citizens, to everyone. That’s just the way he is.”
Russo issued a new statement on Tuesday that included comments from two dozen women vouching for Biden’s behavior, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), TV talker Meghan McCain and actress Alyssa Milano.
Milano, a prominent #MeToo advocate, said she is “proud to call Joe Biden a friend.”
“He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them,” the “Charmed” actress wrote on her Twitter account.
McCain, daughter of late GOP Sen. John McCain, called Biden a “good, decent man.”
“I do not believe — he has never made me feel uncomfortable once, I’ve been around him a lot,” she said on ABC’s “The View” Monday.
Feinstein said she has known Biden for 25 years and “there has never been a problem before.”
“He’s a warm, tactile person. He reaches out and touches,” she said. “It’s hardly sexy.”
Two women have publicly accused Biden of touching them without consent.
Lucy Flores, a former state assemblywoman in Nevada, said Biden put his hands on her shoulder, sniffed her hair and kissed the back of her head during a campaign rally in 2014. Amy Lappos claimed Biden pulled her close to him and rubbed noses during a political fundraiser in Connecticut in 2009.
Their allegations sparked publication of older photos, stories and videos of Biden over the years in a series of cringe-worthy close encounters.
In a statement issued Sunday in response to Flores’ accusations, Biden said that during his many years campaigning, he has “offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort.”
“And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately,” he continued. “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
Biden previously apologized for his handling of the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, when Anita Hill testified that she had been sexually harassed by the then-Supreme Court nominee.
Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and failed to give her “the hearing she deserved,” he has admitted.