Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday responded to a series of misconduct allegations leveled against him by promising to “be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future.”
Biden acknowledged the allegations in a tweet, saying that he recognizes that “social norms are changing” and he has heard his accusers.
“Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying," Biden tweeted. "Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it."
The latest allegations against Biden surfaced Tuesday from two women who spoke to The New York Times. One of the claims dated from 2012, while the other encounter was said to have taken place a few years later.
In the 2012 incident, writer D.J. Hill said Biden put his hand on her shoulder, then dropped it down her back in a way that made her "very uncomfortable" while Hill and her husband posed for pictures with him at a fundraiser in Minneapolis. Hill said her husband noticed the movement and made a joke about it.
In the second incident, former college student Caitlyn Caruso told the paper that Biden "rested his hand on her thigh — even as she squirmed in her seat to show her discomfort — and hugged her 'just a little bit too long' at an event on sexual assault at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas." Caruso, now 22, told the paper that she was 19 at the time and had just recounted her own story of sexual assault.
On Monday, Amy Lappos, a former aide to Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., told the Hartford Courant that Biden touched her face with both hands and rubbed noses in 2009. Late last week, former Nevada politician Lucy Flores wrote that Biden had grabbed her shoulders, smelled her hair and kissed her on the back of her head at a campaign event in 2014.
In his Twitter video, Biden discussed the "gestures of support and encouragement" that he said he's made to both men and women which "have made them uncomfortable."
"In my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection," Biden said. "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.’ And whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been. It’s the way I’ve tried to show I care about them and I’m listening."
He went on to explain that he's always believed politics was "about connecting with people" and vowed to adapt to social norms.
"You know, social norms begin to change, they’re shifted and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset and I get it. I get it," Biden said. "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."
And while he said he'll always think of "connecting with people" as a foundation to both governing and life, he "will be more mindful and respectful of people's personal space."
Fox News' Samuel Chamberlain and Gregg Re contributed to this report.