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Jill Biden says it's 'time to move on' from husband's role in Anita Hill hearings

Jill Biden says it's 'time to move on' from husband's role in Anita Hill hearings
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Jill Biden, the wife of 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE, said Tuesday that it is "time to move on" from the former vice president's role in the Anita HillAnita Faye HillAnita Hill says she'll vote for Biden Biden set to accept nomination in convention-closing address 50 years covering Biden MORE hearings.

"I watched the hearings like most other Americans, and so I mean Joe said, as I did, we believed Anita Hill," Jill Biden told NPR. Joe Biden, then a senator, chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee when Hill testified against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, whom she accused of sexual harassment, during his 1991 confirmation process.

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"He voted against Clarence Thomas. And as he has said, I mean he's called Anita Hill, they've talked, they've spoken, and he said, you know, he feels badly. He apologized for the way the hearings were run. And so now it's kind of — it's time to move on."

Biden has faced increased scrutiny over how he handled Hill's 1991 testimony in the weeks since he launched his third presidential campaign. Biden reached out to Hill in April to express regret over how she was treated during the high-profile hearings. 

But Hill told The New York Times that she was not satisfied with Biden's gesture. 

"I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose,” she said. 

Biden in late April said he takes full responsibility for Hill not receiving a "fair hearing" based on her accusations, emphasizing that he believed her "from the very beginning."

Jill Biden said she was unsure why her husband waited until just before launching a presidential campaign to reach out to Hill. 

"Well, I guess it was just not the right time maybe," she said. "So, he wanted to call her. I think he didn't know whether she would take his call, and he was so happy that he she did take his call, and they spoke. And I think he was, you know, I think they came to an agreement."

She said she played no part in her husband reaching out to Hill, telling NPR that the move was "his decision."

Early polls show Joe Biden as an overwhelming favorite in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary. A Morning Consult poll released Monday showed him with a 21-point lead over the rest of the field.