Former Vice President Joe Biden released a video Wednesday to address the instances of unwanted physical encounters with women that have been brought forward in recent days, and which threaten to derail a possible presidential bid in 2020.
In the online video, which runs some two minutes, Biden is seated on a couch and speaks directly to the camera. “I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders,” he says. “It’s a way I’ve tried to show I care about them and I’m listening,” he also said.
“It’s just who I am,” Biden also explained.
“Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset, and I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying and I understand it.” the former vice president also says in the video.
The video is the first time Biden has spoken about his behavior since Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman, said Biden touched her and kissed her head during a political rally in 2014.
In a tweet posted with the video, Biden wrote “Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.”
Sunday, after Flores’ allegation, Biden issued a statement that feel short of an apology. “I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear,” Biden said. “But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”