The Note: Biden is explaining more than apologizing

PHOTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage awards, March 26, 2019, in New York.PlayFrank Franklin II/AP
WATCH Biden says 'I get it' after women accuse him of unwanted touching

The TAKE with MaryAlice Parks

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Former Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged making some women feel uncomfortable, but he stopped short on Wednesday of directly apologizing to those who said they felt violated by his unsolicited physical contact.

In his latest statement, Biden did not deny what he has been accused of, instead -- in a way -- he tried to own it.

PHOTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage awards, March 26, 2019, in New York. Frank Franklin II/AP
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage awards, March 26, 2019, in New York.

"I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I've made to women and some men that have made them uncomfortable," Biden said in a statement posted to Twitter. "In my career, I've always tried to make a human connection … it's the way I've always been."

But by explaining, Biden might be admitting he's in a tough spot. What's more, explaining runs the risk of feeling patronizing, especially when part of this story has been that those big signs of affection can feel presumptuous and misogynistic to some.

Biden said he "gets it," but it's really for voters to decide if he gets in the race.

The RUNDOWN with Rick Klein

There was going to be a border shutdown this week, except now it's not happening. There was going to be a Republican health care plan soon, but now it's coming after the 2020 campaign. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is feuding with Puerto Rican officials over disaster funding, while poking at Biden over the type of issues he knows fairly well himself.

Republicans have grown used to the president's freewheeling style, up to and including his Borscht Belt-style musings at fundraisers and even official White House events. It long ago became the GOP mantra to focus on what the president does, as opposed to what he says.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the National Republican Congressional Committees annual spring dinner in Washington, April 2, 2019. Susan Walsh/AP
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual spring dinner in Washington, April 2, 2019.

But what Trump's saying is already tying Republicans into policy knots. His ideas, including ones he's quickly withdrawn, spur concerns over major economic and personal impacts -- and keep the focus far away from achievable goals, like infrastructure investments.

Trump, of course, will not change. Republicans are along for his ride, but it's looking as rough as it always seems to be in the Trump era.

The TIP with Molly Nagle

Biden will make his first public appearance after acknowledging he's physical interactions might have made some women uncomfortable.

Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores presents a measure in committee at the Legislative Building in Carson City, Nev., May 10, 2013. Cathleen Allison/Cathleen Allison/AP
Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores presents a measure in committee at the Legislative Building in Carson City, Nev., May 10, 2013.

Shortly after the former vice president tweeted a video acknowledging that "the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset," the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced Biden would deliver remarks at their conference Friday morning in Washington.

Prior to that announcement, Biden wasn't scheduled to appear in public until April 11 at a University of Pennsylvania panel discussion on the opioid crisis. As speculation about Biden's presidential deliberations grows, expect all eyes to be on him on Friday.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. On Wednesday afternoon's episode, ABC News White House Chief Correspondent Jon Karl and Political Director Rick Klein interview former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara. He talks about his new book "Doing Justice," being fired by President Donald Trump, and the fallout from the Mueller report. https://abcn.ws/2YO7Q3d

ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Thursday morning's episode features ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks, who walks us through former Vice President Joe Biden's new response to allegations of inappropriate contact and why some are still not satisfied. Then, ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce and ABC News' Mike Levine explain why House Democrats have authorized subpoenas for the full Mueller report but haven't yet issued them. And, we break down George Stephanopoulos' exclusive interview with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Donald Trump participates in the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Meeting at 11:30 a.m. Later, he meets with the vice premier of China at 4:30 p.m.
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who announced a presidential exploratory committee in January, appears on "Good Morning America" at 7 a.m.
  • Presidential candidate and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, continues his four-day swing through Iowa making stops in Carroll, Denison and Sioux City, beginning at 9:30 a.m. CST.
  • Presidential candidate and former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., and Buttigieg speak at the second day of the National Action Network Convention in New York City beginning at 10 a.m.
  • Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, appears on ABC's "The View" at 11 a.m..
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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