Former Vice President Joe Biden was rebuffed after trying to grab the hands of a younger woman in Iowa earlier this week, while talking to her about his candidacy.
Biden, who was publicly accused by several women of unwanted touching earlier this year, had the awkward encounter on Monday while courting voters at a Labor Day picnic put on by organized labor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Video of the incident, which was published by the Washington Examiner on Friday, shows Biden talking to the 41-year-old special needs educator about his plans for strengthening collective bargaining rights for teachers in states like Iowa. After a short back and forth, Biden grabs the woman’s hand and clutches it firmly throughout the rest of the conversation.
Although the woman seemed receptive to the former vice president’s message, she later admitted to the Examiner that she was put off by Biden’s handsiness throughout their conversation.
“I think that he means well but, you know, he grabbed my hands right away and that was really uncomfortable,” she said. “He was very close and, in my mind, I’m like, this is part of our problem: Not recognizing that you need to ask first, or can I shake your hand? Not just grab your hands and hang onto them.”
“That bothers me,” she added.
This is not the first time that Biden’s demeanor on the campaign trail has made women uncomfortable. Earlier this year, the former vice president was accused of inappropriate touching by Lucy Flores, the Democrat’s unsuccessful 2014 nominee for lieutenant governor of Nevada. In a widely circulated op-ed, Flores alleged Biden inappropriately touched and kissed her during a campaign event. Following the revelations, several more women came forward to accuse Biden of unwanted touching.
Despite issuing a public apology and promising to be more “mindful” about respecting the personal space of others, Biden has repeatedly made light of the accusations on the campaign trail.
Flores has said those jokes prove the 76-year-old Biden has “not reflected” on how his behavior made women feel.