Jill Biden says it's time to 'move on' from her husband's treatment of Anita Hill during the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings
Ross D. Franklin/AP Images
- Jill Biden, the wife of former Vice President Joe Biden, said Americans should "move on" from the controversy surrounding her husband's treatment of Anita Hill's sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
- "He's called Anita Hill, they've talked, they've spoken, and he said, you know, he feels badly," Biden said during a Tuesday NPR interview. "He apologized for the way the hearings were run. And so now it's kind of - it's time to move on."
- Hill told The New York Times after the call with Biden that she was dissatisfied with his apology and she wanted him to publicly apologize for his own actions in 1991. But Biden has since refused to do so.
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Jill Biden, the wife of former Vice President Joe Biden, said Americans should "move on" from the controversy surrounding her husband's treatment of law professor Anita Hill's sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during a Tuesday NPR interview.
Then-Senator Biden's handling of Hill's 1991 testimony, over which he presided as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has received renewed scrutiny following his 2020 presidential announcement.
In an apparent attempt to smooth over the issue, the former vice president called Hill last month to apologize for how she was treated during the hearings. But Hill told The New York Times she was dissatisfied with his apology during the call and she wanted him to publicly apologize for his actions.
"I cannot be satisfied by simply saying, 'I'm sorry for what happened to you,'" Hill said. "I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose."
Jill Biden, a college professor who recently published a memoir, said her husband "feels badly" about how the hearings went and he expressed that to Hill.
"Joe said, as I did, we believed Anita Hill. 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," she told NPR. "He apologized for the way the hearings were run. And so now it's kind of - it's time to move on."
When asked why her husband waited until two weeks before his presidential announcement to call Hill, Biden said it might not have been "the right time" before now.
"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.
The former vice president has since refused to apologize for his role in the hearings, during which Hill was aggressively questioned by the all-male and all-white Judiciary Committee.
"I am sorry she was treated the way she was treated," he said late last month. "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 be able to stop things."
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