Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist who backed fellow socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders for the 2020 presidential nomination, says allegations of sexual assault against Joe Biden are “legitimate to talk about.”
During an appearance at the women’s organization “The Wing” on Tuesday night, AOC was asked about allegations by former Biden staff Tara Reade, as well as Biden having a “long history of being creepy to women.”
“What you’re voicing is so legitimate and real. That’s why I find this kind of silencing of all dissent to be a form of gaslighting,” the former bartender said, according to CBS News. “I think it’s legitimate to talk about these things. And if we want, if we, again, want to have integrity, you can’t say, you know — both believe women, support all of this, until it inconveniences you, until it inconveniences us.”
She added, “I think a lot of us are just in this moment where it’s like, how did we get here? You know, it almost felt like we started this cycle where we had kind of moved on from, you know, from all of this. And now it feels like we’re kind of back in it. And, you know, the most diverse field that we’ve ever seen — that we’re kind of back kind of replaying old movies in a way.”
Reade says in 1993, when she was 29, Biden pinned her against a wall, reached under her skirt and pushed his fingers inside her. When she pulled away, Reade says Biden told her, “Come on, man, I heard you liked me.”
“He greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone. It was the strangest thing,” Reade said in a podcast. “There was no like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
The Biden campaign denies Reade’s allegation.
“Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false,” Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager and communications director for the Biden campaign, said in a statement to Fox News.
Reade thanked AOC for her comments.
“Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is literally the first member of Congress to address publicly what happened to me when I worked for Joe Biden. Thank you @AOC,” Reade wrote on Twitter.
— taratweets ( Alexandra Tara Reade) (@ReadeAlexandra) April 15, 2020
And for all of the bluster of AOC, she still supports Biden.
“I think right now just the stakes are too high when it comes to another four years of Trump. My community especially has been so impacted and for a lot of communities this is an issue of life and death.”
“I think what’s really important is that we do realize that at the end of the day, one of these two candidates are going to be elected president of the United States. It’s either going to be Joe Biden or it’s going to be Donald Trump. And I think it’s important to communicate some empathy. I know for a lot of people, this was not the outcome that they may have wanted and this was not the choice that they wanted to make,” she said.