Former Vice President Joe Biden cozied up to a 10-year-old girl on Tuesday, despite his promise to control his personal interactions with women and children.
“I’ll bet you’re as bright as you are good-looking,” Biden said to a girl who asked him a question at an American Federation of Teachers town hall in Houston, Texas.
He exclaimed when the girl told him that she wanted to be a journalist, and led her over to meet the reporters in the room.
As he introduced the child to the press, he leaned over and spoke in her ear, before finishing his speech.
“By the way, as these guys will tell you, I’m not always their favorite subject, but the truth of the matter is, the reason why we are who we are is called a free press,” he said, as the audience applauded.
Biden then urged someone in the room to take the girl to “meet the press” so she could meet some role models.
Some reporters found the exchange rather odd.
In a somewhat odd moment at tonight's AFT town hall, Biden tells a 10-year-old girl, “I’ll bet you’re as bright as you are good-looking." He takes her over to the assembled reporters, then stands behind her and puts his hands on her shoulders while he's talking.
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) May 28, 2019
The former vice president earned criticism prior to launching his campaign about his habit of touching women and children in public without their consent.
In April, Biden explained in a video released by the campaign that he would be much more mindful of his behavior in the future.
“The boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset. I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying and I understand it,” he said. “I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility and I’ll meet it.”