Biden vows to keep pace with the changing boundaries of ‘personal space,’ hints at presidential bid

After a series of accusations of inappropriate behavior from multiple women, former Vice President Joe Biden said he will be more mindful of personal space but stopped short of offering an apology.

“Social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and I get it,” said Biden, 76, in a video posted to his Twitter account. “I get it. I hear what they’re saying, I understand it and I’ll be much more mindful, that’s my responsibility, my responsibility and I’ll meet it. I’ll always believe that governing, quite frankly, life, for that matter is about connecting. That won’t change but I will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space and that’s a good thing, that’s a good thing. I worked my whole life to empower women, I’ve worked my whole life to prevent abuse, so the idea that I can’t adjust to the fact that personal space is more important than it’s ever been is just unthinkable. I will. I will.”

Over the last week four women had come forward to say Biden had made them uncomfortable, with actions ranging from a kiss on the back of the head to a hand resting on her thigh for too long. Videos and photos of Biden touching women in public have been circulating for years, combining with the latest incident to cause some to question whether he should embark on his expected run for president.

But Biden began the two-minute video with what sounded like a confirmation that he would indeed enter the Democratic field of candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination.

“In the coming month I expect to be talking to you about a whole lot of issues,” the former vice president said before explaining that his style of politics was to make a human connection through encouragement and contact.

“Today I want to talk about gestures of support and encourage that I’ve made to women and some men that have made them uncomfortable,” said Biden. “I’ve always tried in my career to make a human connection and that’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, ‘You can do this.’ Whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been and It’s the way I tried to show I care about them and I’m listening.”

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Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden together through the years
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Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden together through the years
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) attend a ceremony to unveil a portrait honoring retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. December 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) is joined by her husband former US President Bill Clinton (R) and US Vice President Joe Biden as she is ceremonially sworn in at the State Department in Washington, February 2, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton welcomes Vice President Joe Biden as he disembarks from Air Force Two for a joint campaign event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
PORTSMOUTH, NH - MAY 11: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) greets fellow presidential candidate Joe Biden (D-DE) in the lobby of the Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth after addressing the International Association of Fire Fighters Convention (IAFF) Conference May 11, 2007 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The IAFF is a labor union of fire fighters from the United States and Canada, formed in 1918, consisting of 280,000 members. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden campaign together during an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden wave to neighbors as they stopped to visit Biden's childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) attend a ceremony to unveil a portrait honoring retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. December 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden campaign together during an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) addresses a luncheon held in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L), as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden looks on at the State Department in Washington, June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Stelios Varias (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 15: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden conduct a campaign rally at Riverfront Sports in Scranton, Pa., August 15, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Scranton, PA - AUGUST 15: Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and US Vice President Joe Biden acknowledge the crowd at Riverfront Sports athletic facility on August 15, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton focused her speech on the economy and bringing jobs to the key swing state of Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review from the White House Briefing Room with Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looking on in Washington December 16, 2010. The review said "notable operational gains" had been made and Taliban momentum had been "arrested" in much of the country and reversed in some areas, but any gains were fragile and reversible. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)
Combination images show U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) sharing a laugh during the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 29, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)
Orangeburg, UNITED STATES: Democratic presidential hopefuls (L-R) US Senator Joe Biden, US Senator Barack Obama and US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at the Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate, 26 April 2007, at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington, UNITED STATES: US Democratic Senator from Nedw York Hillary Clinton (R) greets a member of Congress next to Democratic Senator from Delaware Joe Biden (C) as they arrives for US President George W. Bush's annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington 23 January 2007. AFP PHOTO/Larry Downing/Pool (Photo credit should read LARRY DOWNING/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) and Vice President Joe Biden (L), along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Also pictured are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd R) and Defense Secretary Robert Gates (R). Please note: A classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured at source. Picture taken May 1, 2011. A pivotal moment in the long, tortuous quest to find Osama bin Laden came years before U.S. spy agencies discovered his hermetic compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS To match special report BINLADEN/KILL (SPECIAL REPORT)
Orangeburg, UNITED STATES: Democratic presidential hopefuls (L-R) US Senator Joe Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at the Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate, 26 April 2007, at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Orangeburg, UNITED STATES: Democratic presidential hopefuls (L-R) US Senator Joe Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at the Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate, 26 April 2007, at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)(L) and U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) speak after their debate at Howard University in Washington, June 28, 2007. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (R) is greeted by U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-De) at a Democratic Presidential Candidates Forum sponsored by AFSCME in Carson City, Nevada, February 21, 2007. REUTERS/Kimberly White (UNITED STATES)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (L) and Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) listen as U.S. President George W. Bush delivers the final State of the Union address of his presidency in Washington January 28, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks while Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) listens during the AFL-CIO Presidential Forum at Soldier Field in Chicago, August 7, 2007. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) presents a gift to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden watches, during a luncheon held in Merkel's honor at the State Department in Washington June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Stelios Varias (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talk during a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington December 7, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES POLITICS)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C) speaks at the third annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) at the Department of the Interior in Washington May 9, 2011. Flanking Biden are Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to Vice President Joe Biden as U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell (R) looks on during a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES POLITICS)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C), Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toast during a luncheon at the State Department in Washington November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES POLITICS)
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Biden referenced the personal tragedies he had suffered through — the loss of his first wife and baby daughter in a 1972 car crash and the death of his adult son Beau to brain cancer in 2015 — and how that has caused others to seek him out in times of crisis.

“Over the years knowing what I’ve been through, the things I’ve faced I’ve found that scores if not hundreds of people have come up to me and reached out for solace or comfort, something, anything that may help them get through the tragedy they’re going through. it’s just who I am and I’ve never thought of politics as cold and antiseptic I’ve always thought about it about connecting with people. Like I said, shaking hands, hands on the shoulder, a hug, encouragement and now it’s all about taking selfies together.”

The comments echo those of Biden’s original statement on the allegations made against him by women that he released Saturday.

"In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort," Biden's statement said. "And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested that I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this week that the behavior should not disqualify Biden from a presidential run while a woman in one of the viral photos with Biden defended him. Biden, who previously ran for president in 1988 and 2008, currently leads in a number of Democratic primary polls has been reported to be planning a campaign launch in the coming weeks.

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