The hosts of "The View" grill Joe Biden about complaints by several women of unwanted physical contact in his first interview since officially entering the 2020 presidential race.
"Sorry I invaded your space," Biden said when asked to apologize. "I’m sorry this happened."
"I’m not sorry in the sense that I think I did anything that was intentionally designed to do anything wrong or be inappropriate," he added.
JOE BIDEN: Here's the deal. I have to be and everyone has to be, much more aware of the private space of men and women. It is not just women but primarily women.
And I am much more cognizant of that. But I am, so, for example, I actually thought in my head when I walked out here, I mean, do I? We're friends! A hug.
JOY BEHAR: I know, it is tricky.
BIDEN: No, but, I have to be aware of it. I have to be more cognizant. We all have to be, a woman or a man, especially a woman, has the right to say this is my space.
They shouldn't have to say no, I should be able to read better, but I have never in my life never done anything in approaching a woman that has been, other than trying to bring solace. I'm used to, one of your staff, producers backstage said, "I remember you're the only guy who walked into the audience and talked to people."
I think it is really important we listen and understand what people are going through... I don't think that's old fashioned, everybody should be doing that.
I have to be more careful and including whether I sit down next to somebody, and I was not invited to sit down. That’s my responsibility. I have to be more aware. It’s totally legitimate for someone not to have to say, "No, no, don’t get into my private space." It’s my job. It’s my job to read, no, no, this is space no one wants me to invade.
Anyway, I think it is legitimate, and I think -- I don't think anyone's ever said I invaded their space in a way that was designed to do something other than making them feel uncomfortable, but not anything having to do with harrassment or something like that.
SUNNY HOSTIN: But they've also said they would like an apology.
BIDEN: Well, look, I’m really sorry if what I did in talking to them and trying to console that they took it a different way. It’s my responsibility to make sure that I bend over backward to try to understand how not to do that.
JOY BEHAR: Nancy Pelosi wants you to say I’m sorry that I invaded your space.
BIDEN: Sorry I invaded your space. I’m sorry this happened. I’m not sorry in the sense that I think I did anything that was intentionally designed to do anything wrong or be inappropriate. It was inappropriate that I didn’t understand, that I assumed.