CNN host Michael Smerconish defended former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday, The Hill reports.
The journalist defended the potential Democratic presidential nominee against allegations of inappropriate and unwarranted touching brought on by multiple women.
"I don't seek to minimize the feelings of women who believe he was too close for their comfort. If they think it, then it was," Smerconish began his monologue, but then went on to argue that Biden has always acted similarly toward both men and women.
"I only wish to suggest that this is how he is with men and women. And with Biden, there's nothing hidden, nor prurient about it."As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Biden -- who has all but officially launched his presidential campaign -- has been accused of inappropriate touching by eight different women. What started the controversy was Nevada Democrat Lucy Flores' column penned for the Cut, in which she recalled an encounter with the former vice president.
According to Flores, Biden made her feel uneasy by approaching her from behind, placing his hands on her shoulders, and kissing the back of her head, all without her consent.
"I couldn't move and I couldn't say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me," she wrote.
Following Flores' testimony, the media started re-examining Biden's problematic behavior, and old articles about the former vice president's various uncomfortable encounters with women resurfaced. Conservative media jumped at the chance to criticize and mock the Democrat, and even President Donald Trump made fun of Biden, posting a parody video showing the former vice president touching his own shoulders and smelling his own hair.
Biden apologized for "not understanding more."
"I'm not sorry for any of my intentions. I'm not sorry for anything that I have ever done," he said.
As The Hill notes, in subsequent public appearances, Biden cracked numerous jokes about the controversy. He later apologized for joking about the matter, stating that he did not intend to "make light of anyone's discomfort."But according to CNN's Michael Smerconish, while there are reasons not to back Biden in 2020, alleged inappropriate behavior is not one of them. According to the host, there has never been a "whiff" of scandal about the former vice president.
Allegations of inappropriate touching may or may not jeopardize Biden's imminent run for the White House, but his conservative voting record --Biden opposed integration, and voted for the Iraq war, for instance -- certainly could.The crowded Democratic primary field is looking more progressive than ever, with the vast majority of candidates embracing a number of policies championed by the likes of Bernie Sanders.