Advisers to Joe Biden reportedly believe recent allegations of the former vice president’s inappropriate conduct toward women are being pushed in part by the Bernie Sanders camp.
According to Axios, “Several around Biden think advisers to Bernie Sanders are at least partly behind the anti-Biden campaign. One prominent backer thinks Biden will run, and ‘is ready to kill Bernie.’”
Biden is said not to be deterred by the apparent political hit.
Axios co-founder Mike Allen wrote that he received a text from a source close to Biden, which read, “VP directed staff this evening to reach out to supporters and donors with a simple message — full steam ahead.”
Lucy Flores, 39, launched a flurry of negative media coverage directed at the former vice president in an Op-Ed published on Friday titled “An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden.”
In the piece, she accused Biden of inappropriate contact during a 2014 campaign rally in support of her campaign to become lieutenant governor.
Flores recounted how after Biden smelled her hair and kissed her on the back of the head, “I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
The former Nevada state assemblywoman supported Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid over Hillary Clinton.
In her endorsement announcement on Facebook, Flores argued that the American dream is no longer attainable to most, and the current system serves the top 1 percent.
“I believe that now, more than ever, America needs a political revolution,” she wrote.
The Democrat refuted the notion that she is trying to help Sanders’ 2020 chances by accusing Biden, five years after the alleged incident.
“To set the record straight, I haven’t endorsed any presidential candidate including Sanders,” Flores tweeted over the weekend. “But even if I had endorsed someone, that doesn’t erase the multiple pictures, articles & the well known ‘open secret’ abt Biden’s inappropriate behavior. This shld been addressed long ago.”
To set the record straight, I haven’t endorsed any presidential candidate including Sanders. But even if I had endorsed someone, that doesn’t erase the multiple pictures, articles & the well known “open secret” abt Biden’s inappropriate behavior. This shld been addressed long ago https://t.co/g3fwEGZC3H
— Lucy Flores (@LucyFlores) March 30, 2019
Flores also tweeted compilation of pictures she wrote reflected “normal human interaction” she had with others, which included Sanders, former President Barack Obama and freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
This is such a nice compilation of normal human interaction with people who I have had the privilege of getting to know and work with. Thank you for putting this together for me! pic.twitter.com/EZ4aXMO0zn
— Lucy Flores (@LucyFlores) April 2, 2019
Biden’s spokesman Bill Russo said that the former vice president does not recall kissing Flores on the back of her head in 2014, USA Today reported.
“Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes,” Russo said in a Friday statement.
He added that Biden “believes Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it’s a change for the better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so.”
A second woman came forward to accuse Biden of inappropriately touching her.
Amy Lappos, 43, told the Washington Examiner on Monday the incident took place at a political fundraiser in October 2009, while she was serving as a congressional aide to Democratic Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut.
Lappos recounted that Biden put his hand around her neck and pulled her toward him to rub noses.
“I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth,” she recalled.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Biden with a seven-point lead over Sanders, approximately 29 to 22 percent.
The next closest presidential candidates are Sen. Kamala Harris of California at 9.8 percent and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke at 9.2 percent.