Senator John Kennedy (R., La.) on Wednesday said the invasive behavior ascribed to former vice president Joe Biden by two women was “creepy,” and suggested that the country would no longer tolerate politicians who are seen to abuse their power.
“This is no country for creepy old men. And it needs to stop. Do I consider it inappropriate to smell someone’s hair? To get so close that I smell their hair? Yes! I mean duh! Somebody gets close enough to smell my hair they might get to smell my hair but they might lose some teeth,” Kennedy told reporters on Capitol Hill. “It’s inappropriate! But other than that I don’t know what to say. This is no county for creepy old men. And leaning in and smelling a guy’s hair or a woman’s hair is a little bit too close.”
Two women have now accused Biden of invading their personal space in a way that made them uncomfortable during his time as vice president.
Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state assemblywoman, claimed in a New York Magazine piece published Friday that Biden approached her from behind and “inhaled” her hair before kissing the back of her neck during a campaign event in 2014.
Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide, told the Hartford Courant that Biden pulled her face toward his and rubbed his nose against hers during a fundraiser in 2009.
In a series of statements released last week, Biden vowed to listen his accusers but maintained that he had never intended to make anyone uncomfortable. Then, in a statement released on Monday, Biden spokesman Bill Russo accused journalists and “right-wing trolls” of taking innocent photos out of context to discredit Biden ahead of a possible 2020 Democratic presidential bid.
“These smears and forgeries have existed in the dark recesses of the Internet for a while. And to this day, right wing trolls and others continue to exploit them for their own gain,” Russo said.