Elizabeth Warren is standing behind Lucy Flores, the Nevada Democrat who claimed that Joe Biden gave her an unwanted and uncomfortable kiss.
Fores came forward this week to recount a 2014 incident in which she claimed Biden, then the vice president, made an unwanted advance while at a campaign rally in Nevada and kissed her on the back of the head. Lucy Flores wrote about the allegations in The Cut, describing the uncomfortable moment.
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified,” Flores wrote.
“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.”
Joe Biden said he did not recall the incident, but it has been a major mark against the man topping many 2020 Democratic primary polls, even though he has yet to enter the race. The incident is now drawing a response from Biden’s prospective opponents as well.
Elizabeth Warren, who was among the first to declare in the primary, said this weekend that she believes Flores in her account of the incident.
“I read the op-ed last night, I believe Lucy Flores, and Joe Biden needs to give an answer,” Warren said on Saturday at the Heartland Forum in Iowa via The Huffington Post.
Flores said that she decided to come forward because she believes all candidates have to “address these kinds of power and imbalances and address the lack of accountability structures in order for people to feel safe.” There has been some controversy because of Flores’ connections to Bernie Sanders, with some believing that her decision to come forward now may be more politically related than anything.
— Miguel Marquez (@miguelmarquez) March 30, 2019
Nevada Democrat accuses Joe Biden of kissing her without consent: "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." https://t.co/GGf0zlpGfM
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) March 30, 2019
It is not clear yet what effect the account would have on the race, as polling has not yet been completed after the allegations have come forward. But Biden would seem to have much to lose, as he has polled at the top of most early polls and has been one of the best performers in head-to-head polls against Donald Trump. Biden is also well-connected with many major Democratic donors, which is seen as an advantage both in the Democratic primary and general election, should he reach it.
Warren was also the first of the Democratic candidates to speak out about the incident, showing that it will likely become an incident that will prompt a larger reply out of Joe Biden.