Nancy Pelosi Just Weighed in on Whether Joe Biden Should Run for President
The former VP was recently accused of inappropriate behavior by two women.
In the past week, two women have come forward accusing former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriate behavior. Last Friday, Lucy Flores, a former Nevada Democratic legislator, wrote an essay published on The Cut in which she said that the former vice president kissed her on the head at a campaign in 2014, while former congressional aide Amy Lappos told the Hartford Courant on Monday that Biden touched her inappropriately at a fundraiser in 2009.
Biden responded to Flores's accusation in a statement saying that it was never his intention to act inappropriately towards her. He has yet to respond to Lappos's allegation.
In the days since both allegations made news, however, many celebrities and politicians have come forward with their own reactions.
On Monday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she didn't believe the accusations should disqualify Biden from running for president.
"I don’t think that this disqualifies him from being president,” she said, according to The Hill. “Not at all.”
Speaking to the New York Times on Sunday, feminist advocate Gloria Steinem commented on Flores's allegation, noting that male politicians should pay better attention to their behavior.
“Maybe Biden and other male politicians should observe their female counterparts,” she wrote in an email, adding that since “women candidates are unlikely to hug and kiss men they don’t know, male politicians could refrain from hugging and kissing women they don’t know.”
In a series of tweets on Monday, actress Alyssa Milano defended Biden, calling him a friend, and "a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years."
"I respect Lucy Flores' decision to share her story and agree with Biden that we all must pay attention to it," she wrote. "But, just as we must believe women that decide to come forward, we cannot assume all women's experiences are the same."
Milano went on to say that she believes his "intent has never been to make anyone uncomfortable, and that his kind, empathetic leadership is what our country needs."
Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain and co-host of The View, also defended Biden, tweeting on Monday that he is "one of the truly decent and compassionate men in all of American politics."
"He has helped me through my [father's] diagnosis, treatment and ultimate passing more than anyone of my [father's] friends combined," she wrote. "I wish there was more empathy from our politicians not less."
In the wake of the news, there was renewed attention on a photo of Biden with Stephanie Carter, wife of former secretary of defense Ashton B. Carter. While many took the photo as a sign of a pattern of inappropriate behavior, Carter wrote in a Medium post that the photo was "misleading," and that he had not acted inappropriately towards her.
The accusations have come just as it has been speculated that Biden would be announcing a bid for the 2020 presidential campaign. The New York Times reported that despite the allegations, his advisors "indicated on Sunday that the accusation would not dissuade him from entering the 2020 campaign," which he reportedly still intends to do at the end of April.