All five hosts of The View came out with a near-unanimous, full-throated defense of former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday morning following a recent allegation of inappropriate behavior from Lucy Flores, a former member of the Nevada State Assembly.
“You know Joe Biden’s presidential campaign hasn’t even officially begun and people are trying to knock him out of the running,” Whoopi Goldberg began, throwing to a clip of Flores describing her 2014 experience with Biden to CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Echoing the defense Biden has been getting from pundits like CNN’s Van Jones, Goldberg said Biden might be “a little overly familiar” and “a hands-on kind of guy,” but she had trouble believing he could make anyone feel “violated.”
“It would have been nice if she turned to him and said, ‘You know what, I don’t really like this,’ or ‘Mr. Vice President, I’m not really comfortable with this,’” Goldberg added. “Something, because she’s standing right there.”
“It’s a long way from smelling your hair to grabbing your hoo-ha,” Joy Behar added, describing Biden as a close-talker and saying, “I feel it would be really unfortunate if we got rid of everybody who’s just an affectionate kind of person.”
Abby Huntsman then asked, “I always wonder when these things come out, what is the motive for this person? Is it simply to let people know I was uncomfortable, which you could have done in private? Or is it because you maybe want someone else to win and you want him to have doubts about actually announcing for president?”
“I’ve had concerns about the #MeToo movement from the beginning, about getting to this place where you can't have normal interactions with each other,” Huntsman continued, expressing fear that we’re going to “get to a place where we can't shake hands, where we can’t hug each other.”
Only co-host Sunny Hostin was willing to acknowledge the “power dynamic” between Flores and Biden that may have made it difficult for her to call him out in the moment. “You're talking about the vice president of the United States,” she said. “She was running for lieutenant governor. She may not have wanted to offend him. And I know a lot of women get put in that kind of situation where they're offended, they're uncomfortable, but they may not say anything.”
And then there was Meghan McCain, who has a close relationship with Biden and expressed real fear that “retail politicians” like him, Bill Clinton, and her late father John McCain would be discouraged from doing things like shaking hands with everyone in Iowa.
Later, after Goldberg told women not to “sit and wait and say I'm uncomfortable on national television,” McCain predicted, “Honestly, Whoopi, you and I will probably get heat over this.”
“I get heat all the time, that’s all right,” Goldberg replied. “I’ve been a woman a long time. My mother said if you’re not comfortable, you tell them to stop. She instilled that in me. I’m trying to share it with you.”