Biden on Anita Hill: ‘I don’t think I treated her badly’

Former Vice President Joe Biden apologized Friday for how Anita Hill was treated by the Senate Judiciary Committee during her 1991 testimony about Clarence Thomas, but defended his own treatment of Hill.

Speaking on ABC’s “The View,” Biden was asked if he would directly apologize to Hill for the way he treated her.

“I’m sorry for the way she got treated,” Biden said. “Look at what I said and didn’t say; I don’t think I treated her badly.”

{mosads}“I believed Dr. Hill, I believed what she was saying,” he added. “There were a lot of mistakes made across the board and for those I apologize. We could have conducted it better, but I believed Dr. Hill from the beginning and I said it.”

Biden reached out to Hill in the run-up to his Thursday presidential-bid launch to express regret for how she was treated during her 1991 testimony, when she accused then-Supreme Court nominee Thomas of sexual harassment. Biden was chairman of the committee at the time.

Hill rejected Biden’s apology, saying she is not convinced that he truly accepts responsibility for the matter.

“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you,” Hill said to The New York Times. “I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose.”

On Friday, the women anchors of “The View” gave Biden several opportunities to directly apologize to Hill for how he treated her. 

Biden defended his actions and blamed Republicans on the committee for smearing Hill and turning the hearing into a spectacle.

“I’m sorry she was treated the way she was treated,” Biden said. “I wish we could have figured out a better way to get this thing done. I did everything in my power to do what I thought was within the rules to stop things.”

Biden also praised Hill for becoming an advocate for victims of sexual harassment and assault.

“When we got through that god-awful experience, she’s one of the reasons why we have the ‘Me Too’ movement,” he said.

“She’s responsible for significant changes and she deserves credit for it…I’m grateful she took my call.”

Updated 1:50 p.m.

Tags 1991 Anita Hill hearing Biden campaign Joe Biden The View
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