Biden reveals Anita Hill hearing regret

In an interview on NBC News, former Vice President Joe Biden reveals his biggest regret during Anita Hill's Senate hearing.

Posted: Sep 22, 2018 2:37 PM
Updated: Sep 22, 2018 2:52 PM

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that he understood at the time of the Anita Hill hearing the gravity of women coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault and the importance of how they are treated.

Biden has faced criticism for years over his handling of Hill's hearing. As Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in 1991, Biden presided over the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during which Hill alleged she faced sexual harassment by the then-nominee. The episode, which draws striking parallels to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process in the midst of sexual assault allegations, looms over Biden as he considers a presidential run in 2020.

"The woman should be given the benefit of the doubt and not be abused again by the system," Biden said in an interview with NBC Friday. "My biggest regret was, I didn't know how I could shut you off because you were a senator and you were attacking Anita Hill's character...She got victimized during the process."

"It seems like you get it now, versus in '91," NBC's Craig Melvin later said.

"Well I think I got it in '91," Biden responded, noting he drafted the Violence Against Women Act. "People have their own opinion."

Hill has long been critical of Biden's approach to the hearings and earlier this week, said she has yet to receive a direct apology from the former vice president.

"He owes all of us an apology," Hill told the Boston Globe. "He owes the country an apology because the affront was not just to me. It was really a disservice to every one of us — not just on behalf of sexual harassment victims but also on behalf of those people who believe in the integrity of the court and that it should be protected by the Senate, whose role is to advise on judicial nominations."

The Senate Judiciary Committee is negotiating the terms of a potential hearing with Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of physically and sexually assaulting her at a party during their high school years. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

Biden said he thinks an FBI investigation into the allegations should be conducted and urged the committee to learn from the lessons of the Thomas hearings 27 years ago, stressing they should not engage in "character assassination."

"So much has changed about how the public understands the pressure on women. And I've learned a lot, as well too," he said. "She should not have to go through what Anita Hill went through and some of the questions that she got asked and the way the right went after her on national television and questioned her integrity and questioned her, not just her honesty, questioned her behavior."

"That's just not appropriate," he added. "You shouldn't have to be twice put through the same exact thing."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 34211

Reported Deaths: 2125
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9761576
Lake3573186
Allen160069
Cass15877
St. Joseph126634
Elkhart126228
Hendricks116671
Hamilton115493
Johnson1097108
Madison58659
Porter53428
Bartholomew50834
Clark49741
LaPorte43023
Howard40428
Tippecanoe3933
Delaware38536
Jackson3821
Shelby37122
Hancock33127
Floyd31839
Boone31635
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2662
Montgomery23817
White2338
Noble22821
Clinton2271
Decatur22431
Grant21022
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry17211
Greene16924
Vigo1688
Dearborn16821
Monroe16712
Warrick16628
Lawrence15924
Miami1401
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Kosciusko1271
Orange12622
Scott1193
Franklin1108
Ripley1086
Marshall1021
Carroll932
Daviess8516
Steuben832
Wayne785
Fayette777
Newton7710
Wabash772
LaGrange762
Jasper661
Washington521
Clay511
Jay500
Fulton491
Randolph473
Rush462
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley413
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan351
Owen341
Brown331
Perry320
Wells310
Benton300
Knox280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Blackford252
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke170
Adams171
Posey160
Gibson152
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 118917

Reported Deaths: 5330
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook771193603
Lake8238288
DuPage7620368
Kane6259176
Will5510273
Winnebago220955
McHenry153972
St. Clair112180
Kankakee90045
Kendall77819
Rock Island65124
Champaign6277
Madison57259
Boone44117
DeKalb3994
Sangamon34829
Jackson28210
Randolph2694
Peoria2218
McLean21813
Ogle2033
Stephenson2012
Macon19419
Clinton18617
Union15510
LaSalle15013
Whiteside13912
Iroquois1314
Coles12615
Out of IL1181
Warren1150
Jefferson10116
Grundy982
Knox980
Monroe9511
McDonough8711
Lee811
Unassigned800
Cass730
Tazewell725
Henry690
Williamson661
Pulaski560
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan361
Christian354
Livingston342
Jo Daviess320
Douglas270
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Menard200
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Hancock170
Mercer170
Carroll162
Shelby161
Bureau151
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
Robinson
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
Indianapolis
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 63°
Rockville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 61°
Casey
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 65°
Brazil
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
Marshall
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
A great Sunday on tap!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events