Stacey Abrams on Thursday defended Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE amid allegations that the former vice president has inappropriately touched women, saying that “we cannot have perfection as a litmus test” for candidates.
The former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate, appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” added that she thinks Biden has held himself accountable and applauded him for pledging to change his behavior.
“We cannot have perfection as a litmus test. The responsibility of leaders is to not be perfect but to be accountable. To say, ‘I made a mistake, I understand it and here’s what I’m going to do to reform as I move forward,’ ” Abrams said.
“I think we see Joe Biden doing that. I think the vice president has acknowledged the discomfort he’s caused. He has created context for why that is his behavior and he has confirmed that he will do something different going forward. I think that’s what we should be looking for,” she continued. “We have to as a people have to be ready to forgive. But forgiveness does not mean you accept it unless what you see is accountability.”
A number of women have said in the past week that Biden, who is expected to announce his 2020 presidential campaign in the coming weeks, has touched them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. Lucy Flores, a former Democratic lawmaker in Nevada, made the first accusation on Friday. Since then, at least six additional women have come forward.
Biden released a video Wednesday saying that he would be “much more mindful” about the personal space of women.
“Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset, and I get it,” he said. “I hear what they’re saying. I understand it. I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility, and I’ll meet it.”
Abrams, who may also run for president in 2020, on Thursday also reiterated her denial of a report that Biden is considering her as his running mate.
“I do not believe you run for second place,” Abrams said. “I do not intend to enter the presidential race as a primary candidate for vice president. If I enter the race for president, I will enter the race for president.”
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