Barack Obama privately believes that Joe Biden would make an “excellent president” in spite of allegations that he has inappropriately touched several women, although publicly he’s remaining silent about the scandal, The Hill is reporting.
Biden has been dogged by accusations of inappropriately touching women for the past few days, and his old boss, Barack Obama, has been silent about the accusations. However, anonymous sources close to Obama say that the former president is standing by his old friend.
“President Obama thinks the world of him and thinks he’d be an excellent president. He’s spent an infinite amount of time talking about his character, and they remain in touch and good friends.”
Staying silent about the allegations against his former right-hand man is the right move for Obama, at least at this time, says Dana Perino. Perino, who served for a while as the White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, said that Barack Obama can make or break the Democratic primary with his endorsement, according to Newsweek. If he makes an endorsement at all, he’ll do it towards the end of the primary season, and only if it becomes “nasty.” What’s more, says Perino, Obama wants Biden to win on his own, rather than riding on Obama’s coattails.
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“Biden has to prove that he can win this on his own. Imagine if Obama had to come out and save him now. Hundreds of more women could come out and say they have similar experiences with Joe Biden. He’s been hugging people his whole life, is what he says.”
At this point it bears noting that Biden has not yet officially entered the 2020 race for the Democratic Party’s nomination, although he’s been broadly hinting for months that he’ll run. Polling indicates that he would be the early front-runner among voters.
However, his path to the nomination may have some bumps in it. This week, old videos surfaced of Biden touching the shoulders a visibly-uncomfortable Stephanie Carter, wife of Ash Carter, who at the time was being sworn-in as Secretary of Defense. Other women have since claimed that Biden touched them “inappropriately,” although all have said that the contact wasn’t sexual.
Biden, for his part, admitted this week that his definition of personal space may not necessarily square up with what is considered appropriate social norms these days. He stopped short of apologizing, but said that, moving forward, he would be more respectful of personal space.