AP NEWS

The Latest: Biden uses humor to defuse physical controversy

April 5, 2019
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President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, April 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former Vice President Joe Biden (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Joe Biden isn’t directly apologizing to several women who have told stories about how his behavior made them feel uneasy.

The Democratic former vice president said Friday in Washington, D.C.: “I’m sorry I didn’t understand more. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I’ve ever done.”

Biden says he’s “never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman.”

Biden gave a speech to an electrical workers union conference on Friday as he nears a decision on whether to run for president in 2020. It was his first time speaking publicly since the women started telling their stories about his behavior with them.

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1:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is claiming that electrical workers will be in his corner come the 2020 presidential election as he responds to former Vice President Joe Biden’s Washington, D.C., speech to union members.

Trump tweeted on Friday, “I’ve employed thousands of Electrical Workers. They will be voting for me!”

Biden and Trump have increasingly focused on each other in recent days as Biden considers entering the Democratic presidential primary race. Biden says Trump “opposes every day the core values of our nation.”

Joe Biden opened his first public speech since facing criticism from several women for unwanted touching with jokes about the controversy. He also slammed President Donald Trump, saying the president fans racism and lives in the past. (April 5)
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Biden on Friday gave his first public speech since facing criticism from several women for unwanted touching. Biden says he’s sorry he “didn’t understand more” but is “not sorry” for his intentions and has “never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman.”

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1 p.m.

Is former Vice President Joe Biden progressive, liberal or moderate?

Biden resisted labels Friday as he talked to reporters about whether he could win a 2020 presidential primary in a Democratic Party drifting left.

Biden says he considers himself a liberal and points to his record on gay rights as an example. He says when he ran for the U.S. Senate in Delaware he never ran as a moderate. He says, “I’m an Obama-Biden Democrat, man, and I’m proud of it.”

Biden dismisses the idea a Democrat has be “socialist” to be considered progressive. He says the party should welcome the debate within it and needs a range of views to beat the Republican Party.

Biden says, “show me the really, left, left, left winger who beat a Republican” in 2018.

Biden spoke to an electrical workers union conference Friday, his first time speaking publicly since several women started telling their stories about how his behavior made them uncomfortable.

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12:50 p.m.

Joe Biden isn’t directly apologizing to several women who have told stories about how his behavior made them feel uneasy.

The Democratic former vice president said Friday in Washington, D.C.: “I’m sorry I didn’t understand more. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I’ve ever done.”

Biden says he’s “never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman.”

Biden gave a speech to an electrical workers union conference on Friday as he nears a decision on whether to run for president in 2020. It was his first time speaking publicly since the women started telling their stories about his behavior with them.

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12:20 p.m.

Joe Biden is criticizing President Donald Trump, saying Trump fans racism and is living in the past.

Biden on Friday spoke publicly for the first time since several women started telling their stories about how his behavior made them feel uncomfortable. He addressed an electrical workers union conference in Washington, D.C., and said the Republican president is “locked in the past.”

The Democratic former vice president says that while Trump tries to re-litigate culture wars the rest of the world is leaving the United States behind. Biden cites China’s push for an expanded 5G network and the rest of the world trying to implement the Paris climate accord, from which Trump withdrew.

Biden says Trump “Enflames our nation’s oldest wounds, racism,” and “opposes every day the core values of our nation.”

Trump says he doesn’t see Biden “as a threat” to him.

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11:45 a.m.

Joe Biden has opened his first public speech since facing criticism from several women for unwanted touching with a joke about the controversy.

Biden spoke Friday to an electrical workers union conference in Washington, D.C., and said he got “permission to hug” union president Lonnie Stephenson, who introduced him. The comment by the Democratic former vice president was met with cheers from the overwhelmingly male crowd.

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11:35 a.m.

Joe Biden is speaking publicly for the first time since several women started telling their stories about how his behavior made them feel uncomfortable.

Biden’s Friday speech to an electrical workers union conference in Washington, D.C., comes as he nears a decision on whether to run for president in 2020. The Democratic former vice president is expected to talk about his vision for the country, though it’s unclear how deeply he’ll discuss the controversy about his past behavior.

Biden this week released a video acknowledging his behavior made some people uneasy and said he’ll be “more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.”

Aides say Biden is negotiating with key potential national political staff members and is planning a late April announcement.

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1 a.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is set to make his first public appearance since a handful of women came forward to say his affectionate behavior had made them uneasy in the past.

Biden is scheduled to make remarks on Friday to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington as he considers a 2020 Democratic presidential bid. It’s unclear if he will address the situation.

He said in a video released Wednesday that he understood “social norms have begun to change” and “the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset.”

Biden allies insist the eruption has done little to slow planning for a 2020 campaign. Barring the unforeseen, he is expected to announce his candidacy after Easter and embark on a trip to early voting caucus and primary states.