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Joe Biden has criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of Covid-19, while courting elderly voters in the key battleground state of Florida.

The Democratic presidential nominee told them that the president saw seniors, who have been more at risk in the pandemic, as “expendable”.

There are sharp policy differences between the two candidates on Covid-19.

In Pennsylvania, President Trump told thousands of supporters he felt like “Superman” after his Covid treatment.

He tested positive for the virus on October 1, spent three nights in hospital and was cleared by doctors to return to the campaign trail at the weekend, holding his first rally in Florida on October 12.

Battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania are crucial for gathering the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the presidential election, which is not determined by a simple count of votes nationwide.

Opinion polls suggest Joe Biden has a 10-point advantage over Donald Trump nationally, but his lead in some key states is narrower. In Florida, the Democrat is 3.7 percentage points ahead, according to an average of polls collated by Real Clear Politics.

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President Trump narrowly won Florida in 2016 in a result buoyed by senior voters. But the latest polls suggest a shift away from the Republican among them this time around.

Joe Biden spoke to a group of people at a community centre for seniors in southern Florida, with social distancing measures in place.

The event was in stark contrast to the president’s mass rally on Monday in Florida.

The Democratic candidate accused the president of dismissing the threat that coronavirus posed to senior citizens.

He said: “You’re expendable, you’re forgettable, you’re virtually nobody. That’s how he sees seniors. That’s how he sees you.”

The “only senior Donald Trump seems to care about” is himself, he added.

Joe Biden also criticized President Trump for holding “super-spreader parties with Republicans hugging each other without concern of the consequences”, while senior citizens couldn’t see their grandchildren. A recent White House event for the Supreme Court nominee led to several attendees testing positive for Covid.

Introducing Joe Biden at the Florida event, congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said it was voters aged 65 or over who would “swing elections in the Sunshine State”.

Joe Biden, 77, and Donald Trump, 74, are the two oldest candidates to contest a US presidential election.

However, President Trump has regularly mocked Joe Biden as a senior citizen who lacks energy and is “sleepy”. On October 13, the president tweeted a doctored image of Joe Biden as a wheelchair-user and the words “Biden for Resident”, implying a nursing home.

Image source: Getty Images

The commission organizing the second presidential debate in Miami on October 15 said it would have to take place remotely after President Donald Trump tested positive for coronavirus.

President Trump has refused to take part in a virtual TV debate with his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The president’s refusal sparked a day of wrangling about how and when any further debates would take place.

At the moment it appears a debate could take place on October 22, although in what form remains to be seen.

The first presidential debate on September 29 had descended into insults and interruptions. The vice-presidential debate, held on October 7 between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, was a far more measured affair.

Latest opinion polls suggest Joe Biden has a high single digit lead nationally, but the outcome is often decided in battleground states where the races can be much closer.

Six million votes have already been cast in early voting.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that candidates would take part in the Miami debate “from separate remote locations… to protect the health and safety of all involved”.

This infuriated the president who, in a phone-in interview with Fox Business Channel, said he was “not gonna waste my time” on a virtual debate and “sit behind a computer, ridiculous”.

Joe Biden said the president “changed his mind every second” and his campaign team added that Donald Trump “clearly does not want to face questions from the voters”.

The Trump campaign answered back, with manager Bill Stepien calling the commission’s decision to “rush to Joe Biden’s defense… pathetic” and saying President Trump would hold a rally instead on October 15.

The Biden team then proposed the town-hall style debate, set for Miami, should go ahead on October 22 instead.

This brought a brief moment of agreement, on the date at least.

However, the Trump team said there should be a third face-to-face debate – on October 29, just five days before polling.

The Biden team refused. Three dates had been set for debates – September 29, October 15 and October 22. That would be it.

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On October 15, Joe Biden will now take part in his own primetime event on ABC answering questions from voters.

Quite what format any Biden-Trump debate takes now is hard to pin down.

The president touched on a number of key matters, including his health and the possibility of movement towards a stimulus package for the economy.

On his health, President Trump said: “I’m back because I’m a perfect physical specimen.”

He said he had stopped taking most “therapeutics” but was still taking steroids and would be tested for Covid again “soon”.

Although his doctor has said he now has no symptoms, questions still remain about when the president first became infected and whether he could still be contagious.

And although the names of many people who have interacted with the president and tested positive are now known, it remains unclear just how many were exposed at the White House. New Covid safety measures are in place there.

One of the top Republicans, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, said on October 8 that he had not been to the White House since August 6 because its approach to handling Covid with social distancing and masks was “different from mine and what I suggested we do in the Senate”.

October 8, President Trump said that “somebody got in and people got infected” but gave no more details.

A gathering on September 26 announcing President Trump’s Supreme Court pick has been seen as a possible “super-spreader” event, with several attendees known to have tested positive.

Image source: Getty Images

President Donald Trump and Joe Biden have fiercely clashed in the first of the three White House debates.

The Republican president frequently interrupted, prompting the Democratic candidate to tell him to “shut up” as the two fought over the pandemic, healthcare and the economy.

Donald Trump was challenged over white supremacist support and refused to condemn a specific far-right group.

Opinion polls suggest Joe Biden has a steady single-digit lead over President Trump.

However, with 35 days until Election Day, surveys from several important states show a closer contest.

Polls also suggest one in ten Americans have yet to make up their mind how to vote. But analysts said the September 29 debate – the first of three – probably would not make much difference.

Overall, the 90-minute debate in Cleveland, Ohio, was light on serious policy discussion. Both candidates talked over each other but President Trump cut in some 73 times, according to a count by CBS News.

The tenor became clear early on as the two candidates sparred over healthcare. Hectoring from Donald Trump saw Joe Biden call the president a “clown”.

As they moved on to the Supreme Court, the rancor continued, with Joe Biden refusing to answer when asked if he would try to expand the number of judges.

“Will you shut up, man?” Joe Biden snapped at President Trump, later adding: “Keep yapping, man.”

President Trump responded: “The people understand, Joe. Forty-seven years [in politics], you’ve done nothing. They understand.”

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In one of the most talked about exchanges of the night, Donald Trump was asked by the moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, if he was prepared to condemn white supremacists.

President Trump initially said he would but when asked to denounce the far-right Proud Boys group by name, he sidestepped.

He said: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”

The Proud Boys, an anti-immigrant, all-male group, took to social media to celebrate.

“Standing down and standing by sir,” it posted on Telegram.

Antifa, short for “anti-fascist”, is a loose affiliation of far-left activists that often clash with the far right at street protests.

Joe Biden said Donald Trump had “panicked” over the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans.

“A lot of people died and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter, a lot quicker,” he said.

President Trump objected to Joe Biden using the word “smart”.

“You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class,” he said.

“Don’t ever use the word smart with me. Don’t ever use that word.”

Local rules required everyone in the room to wear masks but of the president’s family members present, only First Lady Melania Trump donned a face covering during the debate.

Due to the pandemic, the forum at Case Western Reserve University had a small, socially distanced audience and the traditional opening handshake was skipped.

Image source NBC News

Joe Biden has been officially crowned as the Democratic presidential candidate at the party’s convention.

He was endorsed by two Democratic former presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican.

Bill Clinton said President Donald Trump had brought “chaos” to the Oval Office.

President Trump trails Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of November’s election.

Joe Biden, the former vice-president under President Barack Obama, became the Democratic Party’s nominee on Tuesday night in a pre-recorded roll call vote from delegates in all 50 states.

This is Joe Biden’s third White House bid, having formerly run in 1988 and 2008. The 77-year-old’s campaign appeared to be in danger of collapse back in February this year.

On the second night of the party convention on August 18, with the theme “leadership matters,” Bill Clinton delivered the key address.

“Donald Trump says we’re leading the world,” Bill Clinton said in his five-minute message pre-recorded from his home in Chappaqua, New York.

“Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple.

“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command centre. Instead, it’s a storm centre. There’s only chaos.”

Following addresses from former First Lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders on August 17, the next day’s speeches aimed to persuade voters the Democratic party is the best suited to repair problems at home and abroad.

Colin Powell said Joe Biden shared “the values I learned growing up in the south Bronx and serving in uniform”.

The decorated four-star general said he supported him for president because “we need to restore those values to the White House”.

In June, Colin Powell – who served under President George W Bush and has appeared at multiple Republican conventions in previous years – called President Trump a liar and endorsed Joe Biden.

Colin Powell joins several Republicans who have endorsed Joe Biden, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich during the first night of the convention.

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Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican Senator John McCain, also spoke about the friendship between her late husband and Joe Biden, though she stopped short of a formal endorsement.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the convention virtually to assail President Trump’s leadership.

He said: “When this president goes overseas, it isn’t a goodwill mission, it’s a blooper reel.

“He breaks up with our allies and writes love letters to dictators. America deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at.”

The freshly minted Democratic nominee’s wife, Jill Biden, potentially the next first lady, delivered the night’s headline address, standing in an empty classroom at the Delaware high school where she taught English in the 1990s.

Urging everyone to vote for her husband, who joined her, Jill Biden said: “The burdens we carry are heavy, and we need someone with strong shoulders.

“I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours: bring us together and make us whole.”

The DNC is largely virtual, amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it is unclear whether a format of pre-recorded speeches and no live audience will generate the same levels of enthusiasm as the traditional party gatherings. Next week’s Republican convention will also be mostly online.

The opening night drew 28% fewer viewers than in 2016, according to ratings from Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. Democrats said an additional 10 million watched online, which if confirmed would put its audience at slightly above levels that year.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has launched a stinging attack on President Donald Trump as Democrats prepared to crown Joe Biden as their White House challenger.

“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” Michelle Obama in an emotional recorded message to the Democratic convention.

Disaffected members of President Trump’s Republican Party also piled in on him at the Democratic National Convention.

This year’s election takes place on Tuesday, November 3.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, Democrats scrapped plans for a crowded party extravaganza with balloon drops and all the other political razzmatazz in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

However, it is unclear whether the largely virtual schedule of pre-recorded speeches with no live audience can generate the same level of enthusiasm as pre-pandemic gatherings of the party faithful.

Image source: Handout/DNCC via Getty Images

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Republicans will face the same challenge as they make their case for four more years in the White House at a drastically scaled-down convention next week.

Michelle Obama, who recorded her keynote address before Joe Biden announced his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, six days ago, launched a blistering attack on President Trump.

“You simply cannot fake your way through this job,” she said in remarks that closed the first night of the convention on August 17.

The former first lady added: “Our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long.”

“Stating the simple fact that a black life matters is still met with derision from the nation’s highest office,” Michelle Obama continued.

“Because whenever we look to this White House for some leadership, or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy.”

Michelle Obama said the last four years had been difficult to explain to America’s children.

“They see our leaders labeling fellow citizens enemies of the state, while emboldening torch-bearing white supremacists.

“They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages and pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protests for a photo op,” she said.

Michelle Obama continued: “Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head.

“He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”

Barack Obama’s wife described Joe Biden as a “profoundly decent man”, touting the Democratic White House candidate’s experience as vice-president under her husband.

“We have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” Michelle Obama said, wearing a necklace that said “Vote”.

Tara Reade, who accuses Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden of assaulting her 27 years ago, has called on him to quit the presidential race.

In an interview, Tara Reade urged Joe Biden to “please step forward and be held accountable”.

The 56-year-old added: “You should not be running on character for the president of the United States.”

Joe Biden, who is set to challenge President Donald Trump in November, has denied Tara Reade’s accusation.

Photo AP

Tara Reade worked as a staff assistant to Joe Biden from 1992 to 1993 when he was a Delaware senator.

In her most detailed account yet of the alleged assault, Tara Reade told media personality Megyn Kelly the incident happened in 1993.

Tara Reade was asked by Megyn Kelly if she wanted Joe Biden to withdraw from the race.

She said: “I wish he would, but he won’t, but I wish he would.

“That’s how I feel emotionally.”

She offered to take a lie detector test about her claim, on condition that Joe Biden do so also.

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Tara Reade said she had received a death threat after Biden supporters accused her without evidence of being a Russian agent.

She continued: “His surrogates have been saying really horrible things about me and to me on social media.

“He hasn’t himself, but there is a measure of hypocrisy with the campaign saying it’s been safe – it’s not been safe.

“All of my social media has been hacked, all of my personal information has been dragged through.”

Joe Biden campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield said in a statement after the interview aired that Tara Reade’s story contained “inconsistencies”.

“Women must receive the benefit of the doubt,” said the statement.

“They must be able to come forward and share their stories without fear of retribution or harm – and we all have a responsibility to ensure that.

“At the same time, we can never sacrifice the truth. And the truth is that these allegations are false and that the material that has been presented to back them up, under scrutiny, keeps proving their falsity.”

Joe Biden, who is the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, broke his silence on the matter a week ago, appearing on a morning TV show to brand the allegations “false”.

A court document from 1996 shows Tara Reade’s ex-husband describing “a problem she was having at work regarding harassment, in US Senator Joe Biden’s office”, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported.

“It was obvious that this event had a very traumatic effect on [Reade], and that she is still sensitive and effected [sic] by it today,” wrote Theodore Dronen, Tara Reade’s then-husband, in a legal memo during their divorce battle.

The file obtained by the California newspaper appears to be the only document from the time that might describe Tara Reade’s allegation.

Tara Reade’s brother, a former neighbor and a former colleague have all said they heard her describe the accusation against her boss after the alleged incident. Her mother appears to have called a CNN show about the claim back in 1993.

High-powered Manhattan lawyer Douglas Wigdor said in a statement that he is representing Tara Reade. He has also represented alleged assault victims of jailed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Bernie Sanders has announced he is endorsing Joe Biden’s campaign to take on Donald Trump in November’s election.

The 78-year old pulled out of the contest to be the Democratic Party’s nominee last week, leaving Joe Biden as the only remaining candidate.

In a live split-screen webcast, former VP Joe Biden thanked his former rival for the endorsement.

Former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders urged all Americans to unite to defeat Donald Trump.

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The Vermont senator described Donald Trump as “the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country”.

He said: “Today I am asking all Americans – I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans – to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy which I endorse.

“It’s imperative that all of us work together.”

Joe Biden, 77, said he was “deeply grateful” for the endorsement and said he needed Bernie Sanders not just for the campaign, but to govern.

He said: “You’ve put the interests of this nation and the need to beat Donald Trump above all else. As you say – ‘Not me, us’.”

Addressing Bernie Sanders’ supporters, Joe Biden added: “I see you, I hear you, I understand the urgency of what it is that we have to get done in this country, and I hope you’ll join us.”

The former vice-president said he and Bernie Sanders were setting up policy working groups to address issues including climate change, health care and college fees.

It emerged shortly afterwards that Joe Biden had beaten Bernie Sanders in last week’s Wisconsin’s Democratic presidential primary – held amid controversy because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bernie Sanders, a self-described “Democratic socialist”, ended his presidential campaign last week, telling supporters he could see no feasible path to get enough votes to win the nomination.

The senator became an early front-runner, popular with younger voters, and made healthcare and income inequalities key election issues.

However, he slipped behind Joe Biden in recent weeks.

Bernie Sanders, an Independent, had sought the Democratic presidential nomination before, losing out in 2016 to Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders has decided to suspend his presidential campaign, clearing the way for former Vice-President Joe Biden to become the Democratic Party’s nominee.

The 78-year-old Vermont senator told supporters on April 8 he saw no feasible path to get enough votes to win the nomination.

An early front-runner, Bernie Sanders found success with young voters, but slipped behind Joe Biden in recent weeks.

Bernie Sanders helped make healthcare and income inequalities key election issues.

Among the most left-leaning candidates during this year’s election cycle, Bernie Sanders, a self-described “Democratic socialist”, campaigned on policies including healthcare for all, free public college, raising taxes on the wealthy and increasing minimum wage.

Bernie Sanders, an Independent, had sought the Democratic presidential nomination before, losing out in 2016 to Hillary Clinton.

 In both elections, he found favor with young voters who embraced his calls for a political “revolution”.

Photo Getty Images

Bernie Sanders won endorsements from a number of celebrities, including Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Mark Ruffalo and Dick Van Dyke.

He cemented his front-runner status at the start of the 2020 Democratic primary election season with wins in New Hampshire and Nevada, but his momentum lagged in later days.

Joe Biden made a comeback by winning a number of big states, including Texas and North Carolina, in early March, and later by racking up votes in Florida, Arizona and Illinois.

Bernie Sanders failed to win key African-American voters across the southern states, who largely went for Joe Biden.

In recent weeks, Bernie Sanders had been hosting campaign events through online live streams due to health concerns from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Joe Biden, 77, is now expected to be crowned the Democratic presidential nominee at the party’s convention in August. He will then face off against President Donald Trump during the November general election.

Bernie Sanders told supporters in a live stream that the decision to end his campaign was “very difficult and painful”, and acknowledged some of his supporters would have wished him to fight until the last state contest.

He said: “If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue.”

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Bernie Sanders added that the campaign has “transformed American consciousness as to what kind of nation we can become and have taken this country a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice”.

He noted that across the country, his campaign received “a significant majority of the votes…from people not only 30 years or younger, but 50 years or younger”.

“The future of this country is with our ideas.”

Bernie Sanders also congratulated Joe Biden, and said that he will work with him to “move our progressive ideas forward”.

He added that he will still be on ballots in states that have yet to vote in the Democratic primary elections, in order to gather delegates and influence the party’s general election platform at the convention.

“Together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history.”

Joe Biden has strengthened his position as front-runner in the Democratic race to take on President Donald Trump in November’s White House election.

On March 10, he won Michigan, the biggest prize of primary voting, extending his lead over main rival Senator Bernie Sanders.

Five other states – Washington, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho and North Dakota – voted on March 10.

The former vice-president also swept aside Bernie Sanders in Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho.

The Vermont senator won North Dakota, with results from Washington state still outstanding on March 11.

It is unclear if Bernie Sanders would fight on until the party convention in July.

The Democrats’ next big election milestone is in a week’s time when 577 delegates are up for grabs.

To secure the nomination, a candidate needs the support of 1,991 delegates. Before March 10 vote, Joe Biden had 648 to Bernie Sanders’ 563.

Joe Biden had lagged behind his Democratic rivals in early voting states, but rebounded after big wins on Super Tuesday and endorsements from several former nomination rivals.

His campaign looked all but lost at the start of the primary season in February. The 77-year-old finished a poor fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary.

However, the turn came with South Carolina – where he won due to the support of the large African-American community – and on the Super Tuesday he won 10 out of 14 states at stake, establishing a sizeable lead over Bernie Sanders.

Thanking supporters from Philadelphia on March 10, Joe Biden said Democrats, including supporters of Bernie Sanders, could beat Donald Trump.

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Bernie Sanders, 78, enjoys widespread support among young voters, but has so far failed to turn that into electoral success.

The Democratic Party has been involved in a lengthy internal debate aimed at deciding which candidate has the best chance of denying President Trump a second term in office this autumn.

Once a crowded field of more than two dozen, celebrated for its women and candidates of color, the Democratic contest is now a race between two white male septuagenarians.

Joe Biden, a moderate, and Bernie Sanders, a staunch left-winger, offer starkly different visions for America’s future.

In a remarkable rebound for his campaign, Joe Biden has won nine of the 14 states that voted to pick a Democratic White House candidate on Super Tuesday.

The former vice-president to Barack Obama overturned predictions to narrowly take the key state of Texas from his main challenger, Bernie Sanders.

However, Bernie Sanders is projected to win California – the biggest prize of the night – as well as three other states.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders lead the race to face Republican President Donald Trump in November.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent more than $500 million of his own money on his campaign, but did not win a single state.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, once the frontrunner in the race, suffered a humiliating defeat to Joe Biden in her home state of Massachusetts.

Super Tuesday awards more than 1,300 of the 1,991 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic White House nomination in July.

As things stand, Joe Biden has 402 delegates and Bernie Sanders 314. However, results from California, which has 415 delegates, could affect the current standing.

Only last month, Joe Biden’s campaign was all but written off by some observers after he finished a poor fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary.

Joe Biden won Texas – the second biggest state with 228 delegates – along with Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.

Maine, which has 24 delegates, is also yet to declare but partial results put Joe Biden slightly ahead of Bernie Sanders.

Virginia and North Carolina are crucial because they are key swing states in the 2020 election.

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Exit polls across the board suggested Joe Biden attracted large majorities of African-American voters, a crucial bloc for the Democratic Party.

Joe Biden, 77, also appears to have won among the type of suburban voters who pollsters say have been turning away from the current president.

If Bernie Sanders, 78, does win California, as the Associated Press news agency projects, he will pick up the lion’s share of the whopping 415 delegates that the Golden State sends to the party convention.

The left-wing senator also won his home state of Vermont, along with Colorado and Utah.

Bernie Sanders had been heavily favored to win Texas, but it was finally claimed by Joe Biden.

In a victory speech, Bernie Sanders lambasted President Trump, but also took a shot at Joe Biden.

He said: “We’re taking on the political establishment.

“You cannot beat Trump with the same-old, same-old kind of politics.”

The next primaries take place on March 0 in Michigan, Washington state, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and North Dakota, with 352 delegates available.

Former Vice-President Joe Biden is being accused of inappropriate touching for second time in just three days, as the leading Democrat mulls a White House bid.

The second woman, Amy Lappos, said Joe Biden had touched her face with both hands and rubbed noses with her a decade ago.

The allegation comes after another woman, Lucy Flores, said on March 29 that Joe Biden kissed her on the back of her head at a campaign event.

Joe Biden has said he did not believe he has ever acted inappropriately.

The former Delaware senator, who served as President Barack Obama’s vice-president between 2009 and 2017, is seen as a possible front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Amy Lappos, a 43-year-old former aide to a Democratic congressman, said Joe Biden touched her inappropriately at a fundraiser in a private home in Hartford, Connecticut, in 2009.

The woman told Hartford Courant the then vice-president entered the kitchen to thank a group of aides, before wrapping both hands around her face and pulling her in to rub noses with her.

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Amy Lappos called on Joe Biden not to run for the White House, saying: “Uninvited affection is not okay. Objectifying women is not okay.”

Lucy Flores was running as the Democratic candidate for Nevada’s lieutenant governor in 2014 when Joe Biden flew in to support her bid.

As she prepared to go on stage, Joe Biden placed two hands on her shoulders from behind, smelled her hair then planted “a big slow kiss on the back of my head”.

Asked about the new allegation, a spokesman for Joe Biden referred reporters to a statement he issued on March 31.

The statement read: “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.”

“But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will,” it added.

Joe Biden and Barack Obama were known for their close friendship, often seen playing golf and attending sports events together. Joe Biden even said that Barack Obama offered him financial help when his son was ill.

For his vice president’s birthday in 2017, Barack Obama posted a photo of the two of them on Twitter, writing that Joe Biden was his “brother and the best vice president anybody could have”.

On April, a spokesman for Joe Biden also accused “right wing trolls” of presenting harmless images of the former vice president interacting with women over the years as evidence of inappropriate touching.

A number of candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have backed Lucy Flores.

Senator Elizabeth Warren said Joe Biden “needs to give an answer”, and Senator Amy Klobuchar said that in politics “people raise issues and they have to address them”.

Some supporters though have defended him. Cynthia Hogan, a former aide to the vice-president, told the New York Times that Joe Biden “treated us with respect and insisted that others do the same”. An ally of Joe Biden told CNN he was not reconsidering a run for the White House following the allegations but stressed he was yet to make a decision.

Former Vice-President Joe Biden appeared to announce his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, before immediately correcting himself.

Joe Biden made the slip while addressing 1,000 Democrats at a dinner in his home state of Delaware.

The democrat said his record was the most progressive “of anyone running for the United-” before correcting himself and saying, “anybody who would run”.

The audience stood up and chanted “run Joe run”, while the 76-year-old crossed himself and said: “I didn’t mean it!”

Addressing party brokers and leaders in the city of Dover, Joe Biden said that it was time to restore the country’s “backbone”, but that they needed political consensus to move beyond what he called today’s “mean”, “petty” and “vicious” political landscape.

“I’m told I get criticized by the new left,” Joe Biden said, referring to a group of popular new left-wing Democrats that includes congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the United- “

The former vice-president then corrected himself, saying: “Anybody who wouldrun.”

As the diners rose to their feet and chanted “run Joe run”, Joe Biden laughed and insisted: “I didn’t mean it!”

“Of anybody who would run,” he continued.

“Because folks, we have to bring this country back together again.”

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Joe Biden, who was vice-president from 2009 to 2017, added that the 2020 election will be the most important vote in a century.

Speculation that Joe Biden would announce his candidacy has reached feverish levels.

If he were to run, Joe Biden would be entering an increasingly crowded race – with 15 other Democrats having already declared their bids.

Among them are senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders, who ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke joined the race last week.