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.
How will VP Biden respond if his opponents tonight go on the attack? “Hug em!” he told me.
— Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) June 27, 2019
— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaWPLG) June 27, 2019
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.
Joe. Let go of me. Joe… pic.twitter.com/9x8wWUYhBd
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) August 15, 2016