House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has some words of advice for former Vice President and possible presidential candidate Joe Biden. At an event on Tuesday, Pelosi spoke out about the recent accusations against Biden, telling her Democratic colleague that he “has to understand that in the world we are in now people’s space is important to them and what’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it.” As for how to go about making actual change, Pelosi suggested that Biden “join the straight arm club,” or “just pretend you have a cold and I have a cold” when greeting women.

The tip comes days after two women have come forward claiming Biden touched them in a way that made them uncomfortable during his vice presidency. The first woman, Lucy Flores, wrote an essay for The Cut claiming Biden had kissed her on the back of the head without consent, while on Monday Amy Lappos told The Hartford Courant that Biden had grabbed her face and rubbed his nose against hers. Neither of the women made any claim about sexual assault, but both called Biden’s manner and behavior towards women into question.


Biden, meanwhile, has been thinking of making a bid for president for quite some time now. Although his campaign did not comment officially on plans, some staffers told The Washington Post anonymously that the accusations had not slowed down plans to launch a campaign. Nevertheless, his spokespeople have come out in support of the former Vice President, and Biden has made a statement apologizing for any misunderstanding. “We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention,” he said. “And I will.”

Pelosi’s piece of advice comes as a friendly gesture, as she was quoted on Monday as saying that she didn’t think the accusations disqualified Biden from a presidential bid. But she wants him to learn from his mistakes, it seems, and just pretend he has a god damned cold next time.

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