Woman tells Biden at rally: 'You can hug and kiss me anytime, Joe'

The former VP has been hit with stories from several women who have come forward recently to say he touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable.
Image: Joe Biden Holds Campaign Event In South Carolina
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at a campaign rally last week in Columbia, South Carolina.Sean Rayford / Getty Images

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By Mike Memoli

HENDERSON, Nev. — Joe Biden was just beginning his first public campaign rally in Nevada on Tuesday when one voter made a provocative invitation.

"You can hug and kiss me anytime, Joe," a woman, who identified herself to NBC News as Libby Peterson, shouted to the former vice president from just feet away in the audience.

Biden laughed nervously as the crowd roared in approval, before making the sign of the cross to suggest a prayer of forgiveness.

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"That's very nice, thank you," Biden eventually responded.

The moment happened just miles from where in 2014, Lucy Flores, who was running for Nevada lieutenant governor at the time, introduced Biden at a campaign rally for the Democratic ticket. Before Biden announced his candidacy last month, Flores came forward to describe what she considered inappropriate physical contact as both prepared to take the stage, which left her "embarrassed," "shocked" and "confused."

Biden later released a video acknowledging what he said were changing social norms and promising to be more mindful of how he interacts with voters.

Biden’s wife, Jill, discussed that episode Tuesday in an interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.

"There used to be a time when it was acceptable for people to, I don't know, connect with one another with a touch on the arm. But now things have changed, you know?" Jill Biden said. "Joe heard what she said. I thought it was very courageous that she came out, spoke out, and like I said before, that has happened to me."

At the campaign event Tuesday, another person shouted out, "Trump is Hitler! Get rid of Hitler! Come on, Joe!"

Biden responded, "I'm not gonna stoop down to his level...The president has deliberately attempted to divide this nation, and he's decided to be president for his base. I'll be president for all Americans."