Joe Biden Threatens to ‘Hug’ Rivals During Democrat Debate

US Vice President Joe Biden hugs his wife Jill after speaking on the third evening session of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 2016. / AFP / Nicholas Kamm (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden joked that he would “hug” his Democrat rivals if they attacked him in the MSNBC debate on Thursday night.

Biden joked with reporters as he proceeded through the debate arena walkthrough on Thursday afternoon.

Prior to announcing his run for president, Biden faced criticism from women who voiced discomfort with his tendency to hug them for extended periods of time without their permission.

He addressed his critics in a video posted to social media, promising to respect the people he came into contact with.

“You know, 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,” he said at the time.”I hear what they’re saying, I understand it, and I’ll be much more mindful, that’s my responsibility.”

In August 2016, Biden famously hugged failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for an uncomfortable period of time while greeting her at an airport after endorsing her for president.

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