Biden’s vice presidential pick, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), said last year that she “believes” multiple women who accused him of inappropriate touching of their bodies, and sniffing of their hair, often while in public.
After months of speculation as to who would be joining Biden on the Democratic presidential ticket this November, Harris was confirmed as his running mate on Monday. However, Harris hasn’t been the stalwart backer of Biden that some would have hoped to see as his vice president.
Last year, before Biden entered the presidential race, a number of women came forward, accusing him of inappropriate and sexual touching.
Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state Democrat, wrote in The Cut that in 2014, Biden grabbed her shoulders, leaned forward, smelled her hair, and then “proceeded to plant a big slow kiss” on the back of her head. “My brain couldn’t process what was happening,” Flores said.
Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide, then came out and discussed how Biden “grabbed her by the head,” put his hands around her neck, and pulled her in to rub noses. “There’s absolutely a line of decency. There’s a line of respect,” she argued. “Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It’s not cultural. It’s not affection. It’s sexism or misogyny.”
Harris was asked about these experiences at a presidential campaign event in Nevada in April last year, where she said that she “believes them and respects them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it.” When asked whether Biden should still run, Harris said he “is going to have to make that decision for himself,” as she “wouldn’t tell him what to do.”
Further accusations about Biden came out later in the year, including from Tara Reade, who said that Biden sexually assaulted her, although Harris did not comment on Reade’s case.