Joe Biden faces backlash over jokes made at event for union workers

Did the former vice president make more problems for himself in his first appearance since he was accused of making women uncomfortable?
3:58 | 04/06/19

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Transcript for Joe Biden faces backlash over jokes made at event for union workers
We'll check back with you in just a few minutes. Now to vice president Joe bide and Stephanie Ramos joins us. Reporter: Good morning, just days earlier Joe Biden put out a video on Twitter saying he gets why women are concerned and that he will be more mindful moving forward of personal space but kicked off his event joking about it. In his first speech since multiple women came forward with accusations that former vice president Joe Biden made them feel uncomfortable, the potential 2020 candidate brushed off allegations of unwanted physical contact Friday. I just want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie. I had permission. I don't know, man. Reporter: Biden invited these kids up to the stage and made a second joke. You guys can sit on the edge -- I don't want you to have to stand all along, but it's up -- by the way, he gave me permission to touch him. Reporter: Biden's remarks at the event for union workers didn't go over so well with Lucy flores, the woman who first accused Biden of kissing the back of her head at a rally five years ago. Flores tweeted, it's clear Joe Biden hasn't reflected at all on how his inappropriate and unsolicited touching made women feel uncomfortable. To make light of something as serious as consent degrades the conversation women everywhere are courageously trying to have. Biden immediately after the speech explained his comments. It wasn't my intent to make light of anyone's discomfort. I realize my responsibility is to not invade the space of anyone who is uncomfortable in that regard. And I hope it will be taken that way. Reporter: President trump who's had more than a dozen women come forward alleging misconduct against him ranging from sexual assault to harassment, inappropriate behavior says Biden is only a threat to himself. You got to sort of smile a little bit. Do you think Joe Biden is a threat? No, I don't see Joe Biden as a threat. Biden actually says he surprised if more women came forward and said they felt uncomfortable around him but said he's had hundreds of people reach out and say the exact opposite so, guys, it looks like Biden is ready for what's coming his way and hasn't even announced he's running for president. A lot expect he will soon. Stephanie, thank you so much. For more on this let's bring in ABC news political commentator cokie Roberts. Cokie, good morning. I'm very eager to hear your thoughts here. Do you think Joe Biden materially hurt his potential candidacy by his performance on stage yesterday? Look, Dan, we're dealing with a generational problem here. Those of us who are older think young people are deadly serious. But older people also have gone through lots of life experiences that they've gone through by getting -- by using humor. And Joe Biden is a prime example of that but it also reminds you of the generational gap and reminds you that he's old and that's a problem for him running for president regardless of these allegations. So what, if anything, can he do to put this behind him? Do you see this as a blip or a real roadblock? No, I think it's a real problem because his real appeal is that he's normal. He's natural. He is himself. And if he tries to now put himself in a bottle and not be just genuine, it will ruin his candidacy, so he's got to figure some path where he can be genuine but not be offensive to people who take these matters very seriously. Stakes are high for Joe Biden. Cokie Roberts, we really appreciate you coming in early on a Saturday morning. Thank you so much. Always good to be with you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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