Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden

(Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Could Biden’s troubles clear path for Bloomberg run in 2020?

April 02, 2019 - 11:58 am

WASHINGTON (1010 WINS) -- With former Vice President Joe Biden facing questions over his past behavior toward women, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who ruled out a 2020 run, reportedly may reconsider if Biden doesn't get into the race.

RELATED: Conn. woman claims Biden touched her inappropriately: 'It’s not affection. It’s sexism or misogyny' | Biden defends his behavior with women | Warren, Castro say they believe woman's claim about Biden

Sources told Axios that Bloomberg would likely take the centrist path as other Democrats move to the left.

“I know what it takes to run a winning campaign, and every day when I read the news, I grow more frustrated by the incompetence in the Oval Office," Bloomberg said in a March statement, "I know we can do better as a country. And I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election. But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.”

Aides to Biden are stepping up their defense. Spokesman Bll Russo blasted 'right wing trolls' for conflating images of Biden embracing colleagues and friends in his official capacity during swearing-in ceremonies with uninvited touching.

Two women now say Biden acted inappropriately with them.

Former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores says Biden kissed her on the back of the head in 2014, during her run for lieutenant governor.

Amy Lappos says she was a congressional aide to Rep. Jim Hines when Biden touched her inappropriately at a 2009, fundraiser.

"It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head," she said, "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."

Lappos called the alleged contact disrespectful.

“I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody,” Lappos said. “There’s absolutely a line of decency. There’s a line of respect. Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It’s not cultural. It’s not affection. It’s sexism or misogyny.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said womens' assertions that Joe Biden touched them inappropriately years ago are not a reason for him to abandon the idea of running for president.

Pelosi said Biden would be wise to join the 'straight arm club' and keep his handshakes to an arm's distance and avoid being touchy-feely.

``(Biden) has to understand that in the world we are in now people's space is important to them,'' she said.

The View co-host Meghan McCain is standing behind Biden tweeting that he is 'one of the truly decent and compassionate men in all of American politics.'

Biden said he does not feel he acted inappropriately, but added that 'men should pay attention.'

“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort," Biden 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. I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”

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