Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden encroached on the personal space boundaries he recently said he’d be “more mindful” of while attending a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday.
Biden, who’s been plagued with concerns over his inappropriate touching and lack of respect for personal boundaries, pressed his nose up against one young girl wearing glasses while meeting with potential voters and their families. “Now, what grade are you in?” the former vice president asked the girl before pulling away.
Biden also gave a young boy a kiss on the top of the head after hugging both the children.
— Wojciech Pawelczyk 🇵🇱🇺🇸 (@PolishPatriotTM) November 4, 2019
The encounter comes in the wake of Biden addressing his personal-space issue in a video posted to social media, wherein he blames his questionable interactions on changing “social norms.”
“Social norms are changing,” he captioned the video, which was posted in April. “I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. 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.”
Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. 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. pic.twitter.com/Ya2mf5ODts
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 3, 2019
“Today I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I’ve made to women and some men that have made them uncomfortable,” Biden says in the clip, according to HuffPost. “And I’ve always tried, in my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection ― 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, it’s the way I’ve tried to show I care about them and listen.”
“I’ve never thought of politics as cold and antiseptic,” he continued. “I’ve always thought about connecting with people. As I said, shaking hands, hands on the shoulder, a hug, encouragement.”
“Social norms have begun to change, they’re shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset, and I get it, I get it. I hear what they’re saying, I understand it. And I’ll be much more mindful ― that’s my responsibility. That’s my responsibility, and I’ll meet it,” the Democrat added.
Biden also “raised eyebrows” in May when he touched a 10-year-old girl at a campaign rally.
“She told him that her favorite subject was journalism, so Mr. Biden proceeded to bring her to the back of the room, where journalists and TV cameras were congregated, and put his hands on her shoulders,” The New York Times reported. “The moment raised some eyebrows among online commentators.”
President Donald Trump has repeatedly mocked Biden for his antics, including posting a mocking version of Biden’s apology video, as seen below:
WELCOME BACK JOE! pic.twitter.com/b2NbBSX3sx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2019
The video of Biden’s Friday interaction with the young children was first highlighted by Wojciech Pawelczyk, who has been credited with first highlighting a fake video of an alleged bombing in Syria by ABC News; the video was actually footage from a Kentucky-area shooting range.