Former Vice President Joe Biden reportedly telephoned Anita Hill earlier April in an effort to make amends with the law professor who testified before the Senate in 1991 about her allegations of sexual misconduct by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas — yet Hill is unhappy with how the conversation unfolded.
In a Wednesday interview with the New York Times, Hill revealed she feeling unsatisfied with Biden’s remarks and would not go as far as to say the former vice president apologized for “what she endured.” The Times reports that Hill appears unconvinced that Biden, who served as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman during Thomas’ confirmation process, truly “accepts the harm he caused her.” Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment while he was her manager at both the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose,” she told the newspaper.
Further, Hill said wouldn’t support Biden’s presidential bid until he owns up for his demeanor during the hearings. She also expressed concern over several recent allegations of inappropriate touching.
“The focus on apology to me is one thing,” Hill stated. “But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw. And not just women.
“There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence,” she added.
Last month, Biden said he regrets not providing Hill with what he described as “the hearing she deserved,” lamenting that she was forced to testify before “a bunch of white guys” who failed to “fully understand” her point of view.
“I wish I could have done something,” he said in his remarks at an event honoring those who battle sexual harassment on college campuses.
In a statement to the Times, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said both the former vice president and Hill shared a difficult conversation about the ordeal and praised the law professor for shining a light on sexual harassment.
“They had a private discussion where he shared with her directly his regret for what she endured and his admiration for everything she has done to change the culture around sexual harassment in this country,” Bedingfield said.
Hill’s remarks come hours after Biden launched his 2020 campaign Thursday morning, pledging in his announcement video to fight for the “soul of the nation,” while claiming Americans face a rising threat of white nationalism. The video features footage of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, calling the event “defining moment” in American history. “It was there on August of 2017 we saw Klansman, and white supremacists and neo-Nazis come out in the open, their crazed faces illuminated by torches, veins bulging, and baring the fangs of racism,” the former vice president claimed.
Biden also repeated the hoax that President Donald Trump called neo-Nazis “very fine people” and criticized the president for what he claimed was a comparison of “those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.”