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Jill Biden Opens Up to CNN About Joe’s ‘Touching’: ‘The Times Have Changed’ and ‘Joe Has Learned’

CNN’s Dana Bash interviewed Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Joe Biden, and asked her about the continuing issue of the former Vice President’s history of unwanted contact with women. She told Bash that times have changed and that her husband has learned his lesson about personal space. She said it three times, in fact.

In the above clip, Bash first asks Biden why now is the right time for her husband to run for office. Dr. Biden answered that everywhere she goes, people tell her that “Joe has to run.”

“I’ve really taken it to heart and thought about it, and is such a unifier. He brings people together,” she said. That led to the next question on touching.

“The physical way that your husband expresses himself has gotten a lot of attention. Some criticism from some women,” said Bash. “I was struck that you, in the book, write about your own experience coming into the Biden family. You say that you are not someone who was used to public shows of affection, and that was an initially uncomfortable development.”

“Yeah, he comes from a very affectionate family. They’re always touching,” she continued. “One thing I’ve admired about Joe is the way he makes connections with people. But recently, I mean, things, times have changed. And, Joe has heard that, you know, to back off and give people their space.”

“He has now taken responsibility for that,” she said. “And someone asked me, you know, did this ever happen to you? And I have to say it has happened to me. And I, like 20 years ago, and I did not have the courage to speak up then and say stop that, you’re in my space. Now, I would have the courage. But 20 years ago, I wouldn’t. Times have changed.”

Bash asked whether she ever warned him about it.

“Was there ever a time over the decades where you said, honey, I know this is your DNA, but maybe it’s not the way that you should, you know, interact with people? Especially when you’re dealing with women, they might take it the wrong way?” asked Bash.

“No. I didn’t say anything to him, I guess, because that’s the way he — I mean, that’s just the way Joe was,” she answered. “But times have changed. And now things are different. And he has to back off a little bit and let people come to him. He shouldn’t go to them.”

So, to summarize: three times Jill Biden said that times have changed and that Joe has learned to give people “space.” Bash, for her part, said it’s how he “expresses himself”, said there’s been “some criticism,” that it is in his DNA, and that the danger is women might take it the “wrong” way. But did not mention the #MeToo movement or use any words to imply it is anything more than a matter of people’s preferences about their personal space.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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