Joe Biden to men of his generation claiming sexual harassment was 'acceptable': 'Give me a break'

Joe Biden made an unplanned appearance at the Glamour Women of the Year Live Summit in Brooklyn on Monday morning. With his wife, Jill Biden, the former vice president of the United States was interviewed by the magazine’s editor in chief, Cindi Lieve, during which she asked him about sexual harassment, specifically how men in power are defending themselves by claiming they came from a different era and it was “acceptable” in the past.

“Give me a break. I’m part of that generation,” Biden, whose new memoir, Promise Me, Dad, is out on Tuesday, said in response. The politician went on to reflect on the lessons he learned from his father, who used to say that “the greatest sin anyone could commit is the abuse of power.”

He continued, “Women hold up half the sky. And guess what? It’s time this ends.” He believes that society is on “the cusp of fundamentally changing the culture” because “so many brave women came forward and knew they would be vilified.” He urged victims to “keep pushing.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden during a Chicago appearance earlier this month. (Ashlee Rezin/Sun Times via AP)
Former Vice President Joe Biden during a Chicago appearance earlier this month. (Ashlee Rezin/Sun Times via AP)

Biden also nodded to his video PSA collaboration with Lady Gaga, which aims to raise awareness of sexual assault as part of his college-focused “It’s on Us” campaign, and mentioned that the unlikely pair is not yet finished working together. Sexual-assault awareness, Biden noted, is “the next great frontier,” and one that he wants to be part of.

This issue has long been important to the former VPOTUS, who worked with President Obama on “It’s on Us” when the campaign launched through the White House in 2014. Two decades earlier, in 1994, Biden played a part in getting Congress to pass the Violence Against Women Act, which brings funding to communities to address domestic and sexual violence. Since its enactment, according to the the Biden Foundation, annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by 64 percent.

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