03:44 GMT +313 November 2019
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    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a media briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 7, 2016

    ‘Pretend You Have a Cold’: Pelosi Tells Biden to Keep His Hands to Himself

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    The House of Representatives Speaker suggested that former Vice President Joe Biden should learn how to value others’ personal space – yet added that she doesn’t believe the accusations of inappropriate behaviour should “disqualify” his presidential campaign.

    Nancy Pelosi said during an event in Washington that Democrats and other male politicians should keep their distance during encounters with women and refrain from being too close and touchy-feely.

    “Join the straight-arm club with me,” Pelosi said during her Politico interview, adding that Biden is “an affectionate person, to children, to senior citizens, to everyone, but that’s just not the way”.

    READ MORE: Nancy Pelosi Losing Control Over Democratic Party — White House Press Secretary

    “Just pretend you have a cold and I have a cold,” she added, noting that Biden should keep to handshakes only.

    Unlike the range of criticism from other Democratic politicians, most of whom are running for the presidency, Pelosi suggested that the two allegations of unwelcome contact should not keep Biden from running for the presidency in 2020.

    “I don’t think it’s disqualifying,” she told the event on Tuesday. But she added that Biden “has to understand that in the world we are in now, people’s space is important to them and what’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it”.

    Earlier on Friday, former Nevada state legislator and Democratic party member Lucy Flores accused Biden of inappropriately kissing the back of her head while putting his hands on her shoulders when she was a candidate for lieutenant governor of the state. Another woman, Amy Lappos, accused Biden of inappropriate behaviour when she told the Hartford Courant that Biden had touched her inappropriately and rubbed noses with her during a 2009 fundraiser in Greenwich, Conn. Biden has denied the accusations, issuing a statement on Sunday saying he does not believe he has acted inappropriately during his long public life.


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