'He gave me permission': Joe Biden jokes about touching complaints

Author: Sabrina Siddiqui / Source: the Guardian

Joe Biden on Friday twice made joking references to complaints from women that his physical behavior made them uncomfortable.

The former vice-president’s comments came during his first public appearance since the allegations began to surface last week.

Taking the stage in Washington at a gathering of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Biden was introduced by the president of the union, Lonnie Stephenson.

Biden quipped: “I just want you to know – I had permission to hug Lonnie.”

The crowd, which was mostly male, erupted in laughter. Later, Biden made a similar joke after inviting a group of children onstage and putting his arm round a young boy.

“By the way, he gave me permission to touch him,” the former vice-president said, again to laughter.

“Everybody knows I like kids more than people,” Biden said.

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