Joe Biden was called out by Jon Stewart and the “Daily Show” for “groping” women back in 2015, video from the Comedy Central archives show.
In a segment that also featured then-show correspondent Samantha Bee, Stewart played multiple instances of Biden being hands-on with women and noted how all the touching might come back to bite him if he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
“There’s been a rumor that Vice President Joe Biden may be gunning for the Democratic nomination in 2016, but before we talk about a promotion, I think we need to take a look at how he’s doing in his current position,” Stewart said before playing video footage of Biden placing his hands on the shoulders of Stephanie Carter, the wife of Obama Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
“Hey you seem tense. Is it the stress of me groping you for 28 straight seconds?” Stewart mocked. “Jesus, 28 seconds. That’s like three decades in groped-on-camera years.”
On Sunday, Carter published a Medium post defending Biden, saying images of the vice president grasping her shoulders had been taken out of context.
“The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful,” she wrote. “A still shot taken from a video – misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends – sent out in a snarky tweet — came to be the lasting image of that day.”
In the four-year-old clip, Stewart offered other video instances of Biden getting close with women. After another close encounter between Biden and the daughter of Delaware Sen. Chris Coons that was captured by C-SPAN, Stewart pretended to put hand sanitizer in his eyes.
“I can still see it!” he groaned. “What could you possibly be saying to her?!”
(Coons has also gone on record saying the video was not what it looked like).
Though he has not officially declared his candidacy, the former vice president has been atop the polls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. His prospects took a significant tip on Friday, however, after Lucy Flores, a Nevada politician and activist penned an essay accusing him of touching her inappropriately during a campaign event in 2014. Though Flores said it wasn’t sexual per se, she detailed how Biden had kissed the back of her head and smelled her hair without permission.
“My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused,” Flores wrote in The Cut. “I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me.” A second woman, Amy Lappos, came forward on Monday telling a similar story to the Hartford Courant.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told the paper. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.”
In a weekend statement, Biden said he respected Flores’ recollection but said he remembered things differently.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort,” he said. “And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
Reps for Biden at his Political Action Committee “American Possibilities” did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap over the Stewart video.