Former Vice President Joe Biden has yet to formally declare his candidacy for president. But, in the wake of now two allegations against him for touching women inappropriately, Biden could potentially stay out of the 2020 race.
If so, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced on March 5 that he wouldn’t seek the presidency, could change his mind and throw his hat in the ring. People, who have discussed the matter with Bloomberg, told Axios that if Biden decides not to run, he would most likely launch a 2020 bid.
Bloomberg, 77, joined the Democratic Party last year in opposition of President Trump. He’s estimated to be worth $58 billion and “could spend unlimited amounts to argue that no one in the race had done more to promote action on climate and guns,” according to Axios.
Because the race looked like “a bloody fight for the same slice of voters” Bloomberg backed out. “He’s a data guy,” sources told the publication. “He couldn’t get the math to work.”
If Bloomberg sees a clear path for a centrist candidate, which is now occupied by Biden, the sources said, he’ll give it a go.
The allegations against Biden are clearly a setback. He says his touchy-feely behavior is only “expressions of affection, support and comfort,” but it’s coming off as “creepy” to some.
Lucy Flores and Amy Lappos
Last week, Lucy Flores, former Nevada state assemblywoman, accused Biden of inappropriate touching and kissing her during a campaign event in 2014, when she was running for lieutenant governor.
Related Story: Lucy Flores Accuses Joe Biden of Touching Her Inappropriately
Biden said, in a statement, on Sunday, “In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately.”
He continued, “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.”
On Monday, a second woman, Amy Lappos, also came forward to accuse Biden of touching her inappropriately at a fundraiser in 2009 in Greenwich, Conn.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Amy Lappos told the Hartford Courant. “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 said, in a statement, that she’s disappointed in the way the Democratic Party has treated Flores:
“I am speaking out today because I am so disappointed in my party, the Democratic Party, and the way we have treated Lucy Flores. Biden’s statement in response to Lucy’s article was not only disturbing it was disgusting. I stand by Lucy and any woman with the courage to come forward regarding inappropriate behavior by men.”